Happy New Year-The Best of 2012!

One of my fellow contributors sent me a picture a couple weeks ago, buy when I asked my contributors to write a Best Of list for me before the end of the year…this is what he sent me:

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And to that I say…what TERRIBLE spelling (who doesn’t know how to spell coming?) and also, HA!

I mean, I’m known for some lists of greatness, how could I not do a best of 2012 list?

Here’s the difference between most other lists though. This list is my own personal opinion. This is MY best of the year. There are going to be a lot of awesome things from this year that aren’t on this list…because, again, its my personal list. You can all argue with it as much as you like. Look at the top of this page, what does it say up there?

It says WhataNerdGirlSays..and that’s me, which equals MY opinion.

There have some seriously awesome things that came out of 2012: movies, books, shows, and on and on. I feel like I should call 2012 the Year of the Geek…if only because thats what it was for me.

Before this year I was geeky and nerdy for sure, but since 2012 was basically the year I discovered the Los Angeles Dumbledore’s Army, I’ve gotten even better since then. I discovered TV shows like Doctor Who, The Vampire Diaries, Firefly. I’ve started reading comic books and other authors I hadn’t read before. And on and on and on. This year was definitely a nerd year for me.

So to count off some of my FAVORITE things about this year:

Best YA Book of 2012-The Diviners

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Now, most people probably are not goign to agree with this. They’re going to say that The Fault in our Stars as the best young adult book of the year. Well, hold your horses because it’s below. I personally believe that The Diviners by Libba Bray was one of the best young adult novels released this year. A lot of the books that were released this year in the realm of YA were second books, third books, fourth books, etc in series already out there. Cassandra Clare put out a book, and so on. And while I like Cassandra Clare, City of Lost Souls didn’t impress me as much as the first installment of Libba Bray’s new series. Her character is fresh and fun, the story captivating and it reminds us that there still are truly fantastic authors out there. Its been awhile since I could pick up a paranormal YA novel, and I actually enjoy it and feel that it is original and Libba Bray did just that with The Diviners.

Best Ending to a Book Series 2012- The Crimson Crown

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Cinda Williams Chima is a breath of fresh air in the world of young adult fantasy literature. I know that I picked up the first three installments of her Seven Realms series the week that the Crimson Crown, the final book, hit book stores but it definitely wins as the best ending to a book series, hands down. Chima writes real, pure, GOOD fantasy. There’s no love triangle or fluff to fill these novels. It’s all just plain good, the politics and the fantasy and the emotions and all of that. Queen Raisa is dealing with so many things: a corrupted military, several border countries biting at her ankles, poverty, and so on and she works her ass off to fix all of it, with a band of amazing and well developed characters. Han Alister is still trying to escape his thief king past, and come to terms with being a wizard, and try to prove his worthiness of marrying the queen. I’ll be pushing Chima for years; its been so long since I read a fantasy that swept me up and made me fall in love as hard as this book series did.

Best Movie of 2012-The Hobbit

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Despite lackluster reviews of one of the most anticipated movies of the year, it has become my favorite movie of the year. This movie was not made for the critics, that much is for sure, if anyone of you has read even one review of the movie. It’s too long, and it doesn’t make sense and all that sort of criticism. But this movie was definitely made for the fans, because it tells more of the story than just the story of Bilbo Baggins and for fans that know these stories, it was awesome. Peter Jackson pulled off an amazing display of cinematography and there was such an all star cast with some fantastic performances (I’m looking at you, Martin Freeman). The movie built up enough suspense to make me super excited to see The Desolation of Smaug next December. Definitely, definitely was made for the fans and it was very enjoyable for the fans.

Best Movie of 2012 Part Two-The Avengers

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I remember when I heard that Disney had bought out Marvel…I didn’t think this was going to go off so well. This was around the time that the seriously horrible Spiderman 3 had come out and I was already feeling kind of bummed out when it came to Marvel. Obviously it didn’t hurt too much. The Ironman movies have been great, and the Captain America and Thor movies have been fairly enjoyable. Then Marvel/Disney hit us with the whopper this year: The Avengers. First off, could they get a more attractive group of people to put in a movie? I mean, seriously between Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Cobie Smulders, Scarlett Johanssen. There are so many hot people in that movie. But it was more than that (I swear, it is!). With Joss Whedon at the helm, it had a nice blend of action and drama and humor, with that sarcastic wit that Joss is so damn good at. Even if you weren’t really a superhero fan before this movie, I guarantee that you are now.

Best Animated Movie of 2012: The Secret World of Arrietty

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I love Hayao Miyazaki. The guy rocks, and I don’t think he’s put out a movie that I don’t enjoy. Paired with the fact that the Borrowers was one of my favorite books when I was a child and I absolutely adored this movie. I mean, sure there was also the fact that Brave was okay, but not fantastic Pixar caliber and none of the other animated movies of the year really jumped out at me. The Secret World of Arrietty had all the charms of a Miyazaki movie and still held on to the beauty of the book. I only own three Miyazaki movies at home: Ponyo, Howl’s Moving Castle…and Arrietty. That shows my attachment to this movie; I LOVED it. The movie has that kind of wholesomeness to it, paired with humor that so many of kids movies lack. And the art of a Miyazaki always brings a smile to my face…because I can spot it from a mile away.

Best Adult Book of 2012-The Casual Vacancy

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How is it even remotely possible that after writing seven amazing, unforgettable novels and creating a world beyond any of us, J.K. Rowling could write another amazing novel. Set in a small town in Britain, and spinning a political web, the Casual Vacancy is not what some people would expect from our dear queen. But her writing, no matter what it is that she’s writing, is always fantastic. J.K. Rowling tells a story with such ease and grace. This book doesn’t grab you as fast as the Harry Potter books do and there’s about a thousand characters to keep track of, but when you’ve finally figured out who belongs to who and you start to get the gist of what is going on, you just can’t put it down. Its near impossible. In Harry Potter, you’re dying to know what happens next but in the Casual Vacancy, you’re just dying to figure out what the hell is going on.

Best Children’s Book of 2012-Wonder

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Have you read Wonder by R.J. Palacio yet? If you haven’t, you are severely missing out. Yes, it is meant for children, probably about the middle grade age group but when has that ever stopped us from reading children’s books? I still enjoy reading Percy Jackson and the Heroes of Olympus series and those are shelved in the children’s section. I love reading The Giver and all those sorts of books. Wonder is a book that should be counted amongst the best of the best in children’s novels. As a debut novel, I am amazed at Palacio’s ability to captivate her audience, whether its a child or an adult. The story of Auggie, a kid with severe face deformities, who goes to middle school for the first time after a life of home schooling is sweet, funny, sad and uplifting. If there is a child out there that hasn’t had the chance to pick up this book, then they definitely should…and I feel the same no matter what age you are. Its an amazing book, and its beautifully written and if it doesn’t win the Caldecott this year, then…well then the people who vote for the Caldecott obviously missed what a great book this is.

Best Video Game of 2012-LittleBigPlanet Karting

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Obviously I am not a gamer. I enjoy the occasional video game, and I have a great liking to watching my boyfriend play them (especially when he plays the Uncharted games…god they’re like a movie!) but I’m not very good at them. It’ll take me several times to beat a certain level and sometimes I have to play a video game on “easy” mode to even think about coming close to beating it. But that’s exactly why I LOVE the LittleBigPlanet games. They are super fun to play, they have enough difficulty to not be a stupid little kid’s game but they’re easy enough that I’m not struggling. They’re so much FUN and Sackboy is badass, though extremely hard to play in the Playstation All Stars battle game. But LittleBigPlanet karting…it’s not something new, not in the slightest. It is very reminiscent of the most popular racing games, Mario Kart, but it has the fantastic LittleBigPlanet twist to it. The weapons are more fun, and when they’re used, the reactions are more over the top and enjoyable. The tracks are silly…I mean, come on, who doesn’t want to dodge cupcakes while racing? All in all, it was the game I most enjoyed playing this year. 

Best Event of 2012: Harry Potter Skate Night

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Now, you guys have heard of LADA, the Los Angeles Dumbledore’s Army, the group that literally changed my life in the last year. They have given me so much more than I had before, and I’ve done a million fun things with them that I cannot begin to remember them all. But one of the highlights of my year with them was our first epic giant event, Harry Potter Skate Night. We had over 600 people show up and the place was packed. Everyone there was dressed in various Harry Potter wear, from shirts to school robes to full on costumes…there was even a little girl dressed as Dobby. There was a mix of contemporary music and Harry Potter music playing, there was butterbeer to drink, and different handmade Potter fare to buy. I cannot WAIT until we have our second one in April, to bring back the most epic event in Harry Potter nerd history. The first one was awesome in its own right, and we seriously rocked it and had a fantastic time. Just think how much more fun its going to be when we do it again this year.

Best New TV Show of 2012: Once Upon a Time

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I adore Once Upon a Time. Now technically this show began in 2011, but majority of the first season was in 2012, along with the season finale and the beginning of second season. The point is, I consider it a 2012 show and what an awesome, awesome show it is. It has become one of my favorite shows and I cannot bear to miss an episode. I’ve always liked Disney princesses and fairy tale stories, especially alternative ones. One of my favorite books is Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory McGuire. I love the idea of fairy tales being told differently…like Snow White and Cinderella both getting pregnant with their prince charmings…so risque! Or Snow White being able to wield a weapon pretty well and the Evil Queen has way more to her than you would think. What about Rumplestiltskin’s love for his son or Red Riding Hood’s struggle with being the wolf herself? Its awesome and the creators of Once Upon a Time get me to watch every single week. I am so glad that this show has lasted as long as it has and that it continues to last :)

Best Discovery of 2012: Doctor Who

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February. 2012. This girl finally sits down, boots up her Netflix and sits down to watch six seasons of Doctor Who. And she was never so glad in her entire life to do so. I watched all six seasons of Doctor Who in about a month, maybe less. This is also with school and Valentine’s Day, and my anniversary and my birthday going on. I’d like to say that’s pretty impressive. Now, ask anyone who knows me now what’s one of my favorite things and they will definitely say Doctor Who. I cannot understand how anyone could watch even one or two episodes of the show and not completely fall in love. All of the Docotrs-9, 10 and 11-are all awesome and have their own individual charm and all the companions-Rose, Martha, Donna, Amy, Rory and now, Clara-are all so kickass. I cannot believe it took me as long as it did to discover this amazing, amazing show. I’ve only been a fan for about a year but already I cannot imagine what my life would be without Doctor Who. And the best part? My boyfriend came along right besides me, and that doesn’t happen…and I loved it.

Best Boy of 2012: Mike Trout

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All right, I admit it, Mike Trout literally has nothing to do with being a nerd whatsoever. Like…he’s a baseball player and doesn’t fit in with my blog at all…except for one thing: I’m a fangirl and a fangirl means obsession. I’m obsessed with Harry Potter and Doctor Who and Star Wars and Lord of the RIngs and all that fun stuff….and I’m obsessed with my Los Angeles Angels. And along with that comes my obsession with Mike Trout. Now, if you have even the smallest bit of interest in baseball, I’m sure you’ve heard of Mike Trout. The guy was amazing this year. As a rookie, and being only 20/21 years old, the guy broke a ton of records, made the All Star Game, became the AL Rookie of the Year and caused some serious debate for the AL MVP. And come on, he’s hot. He’s super hot. Like…girls who didn’t even like baseball before are starting to watch baseball because he is so hot. But straight up, he rocked this year in baseball and reminded me again why I love the sport so much. I’m counting down the days until baseball returns.  

Best Girl of 2012: Karen Gillan

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Karen Gillan is my girl…she was my biggest girl crush of the year. She’s had the longest run on Doctor Who as a companion as Amy Pond and she’s one of my absolute favorites, besides Rose and Donna. (God I don’t like Martha…ugh). I loved Rose because she was the Doctor’s love and I liked Donna because she was the 10th Doctor’s best mate. But I love Amy because she’s the Doctor’s best friend but she has her own love story in the form of Rory Williams. She was sarcastic and fun and she was able to keep the Doctor in line and safe, but she never fell in love with the Doctor the way that Martha did. She had her own adventures, and while no one can compare with the Doctor, she kept up with him. I have a thing for redheads too. She’s so pretty and her Scottish accent is adorable and I love her in Doctor Who, and she parted ways with the show with grace and much, much fan girl tears. I will so definitely miss her as the companion, her and Rory.

Best of 2012 Period: The Fault in Our Stars

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I have read a lot of books this year. No I cannot tell you how many that I have read because I have never kept track…until now. I started a list on November 1st to see how many books I really do read in a year. (So far, I’m up to about 30…not bad for two months). But one of the books that I’ve read a few times this year, that I cannot forget no matter how many books I’ve read since then,  John Green’s latest masterpiece, The Fault in Our Stars. John Green has a way of penning the voice of an adolescent and making it feel so real, no matter what the situation is. I have always believed in the authencity of his characters, even when he’s writing as a teenage girl, Hazel, with cancer when he’s a healthy thirty-something year old man. He is able to tell a story in ways that you don’t see a lot of authors doing. He grabs the audience by being contemporary and funny, and using language that adolescents use already but he creates such a universal story that can be hilarious or uplifting or heartbreaking and sometimes you forget that you’re here and not in his book. This book is one of the best books, not just of this year, but of all time. Its not often that you pick up a book like that.

So the year is basically over, and for some of you (I’m looking at you Eastern Hemisphere), the new year has already come. The best part of it is this: 2012 was great, full of great books and movies and TV shows, great times with my friends and my boyfriend and my family. But now we have 2013 and there are so many more things to come. I’m going to San Francisco next week, I have Anime Expo, Gallifrey One, WonderCon and Comikaze to look forward to. Clockwork Princess is coming out, and the City of Bones and Sea of Monsters movies are coming. So much more to look forward to and so much in the past that was awesome. Its a good time to be a nerd.

Happy New Year everyone, be safe, be happy, be nerdy :)

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We Say Goodbye to the Ponds

Last night was the fall season finale of Doctor Who, website like this Angels Take Manhattan, cost until it returns in December for the Christmas special. This was the last episode for Amy Pond and Rory Williams.

In all these interviews, try Matt Smith and Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill and Steven Moffat have been saying its a tearjerker and that it was gonna be a total downer. I had heard that for months. That coupled with the fact that it involved the Weeping Angels should’ve given me some idea of what this episode was going to be like.

I wasn’t prepared at all.

Damn you, Steven Moffat, damn you.

In the most wonderful, heartbreaking way possible.

First off, there was the fact that it involved the Weeping Angels. There are so many villians in the world of Doctor Who: the Atraxi, the Daleks, the Master, the Silence, the Cybermen, etc, etc. but one of the scariest ones to me are those damn Angels. I can’t look at a statue without shuddering now. There’s something very creepy about them. They’re so silent, they make no noises and they move so silently. You don’t want to look but you can’t take your eyes off of them. AND they added little baby angels to this episode. Those little giggling things freaked the hell out of me.

I was actually really glad River Song came back. For awhile there, I just couldn’t stand her. Seriously. Every time she came on screen, I wanted to throw my pillow at my TV. I didn’t, of course, because I love my TV but you know what I mean. When River marries the Doctor at the end of season six, I really didn’t know how to feel about it. But with River back, as the Doctor’s wife? I LOVED her. It was weird how much I loved having her back. Especially the way the Doctor is with her. Ugh. So much emotions.

SO MUCH EMOTIONS.

This episode was a huge punch in the gut. a HUGE one. I knew that this was going to be Amy and Rory’s last episode. I knew that. I just didn’t think it was going to affect me that badly.

The Doctor, Amy and Rory are in New York City, 2012, reading in Central Park. Rory goes off to get coffee, comes in contact with a Weeping Angel and gets sent back in time. The Doctor realizes that he is written a book by Melody Malone a.k.a. River Song, outlining the events that are taking place and that will take place. They make their way to 1938, where Rory is transported to and find their way to the Winter Quay, the headquarters of the Angels.

Rory has to die. He has to. Because he just saw himself, eighty-something years old, and so he has to die. Unless there is a paradox. So he runs, he does what every other companion does, he runs. Until he reaches the top of the building and the FLIPPIN Statue of Liberty is chasing after him! And he does something that only Rory would do, only the last Centurion would do. He decides to throw himself off the top of the building, on the faith that it’ll create the paradox needed to get out of that building.

And all I could think was, oh god Rory is going to die! He’s going to die! And wait, what is Amy doing? She’s climbing up on the ledge with him. Oh no, they’re both jumping. They’re both going to die. The incredibly, impossible power that creates the paradox is their crazy insane love for each other. It was so sick and beautiful, I was about to lose it.

And then they all reappear at the Tardis, in 2012, they’re fine. It worked! But I knew, I knew in my heart that this was not how it was going to end. This is Doctor Who we’re talking about. Rose Tyler was trapped in an alternate reality, never to see her Doctor, the one she loved ever again. (As far as we know). Donna Noble loses all her memories of the Doctor; she’ll never remember the amazing thing she has seen and done. The regeneration of the 10th Doctor was the saddest thing in the world…he didn’t want to go! So I knew this couldn’t be it.

Then Rory say his gravestone, an angel appeared and Rory was gone, disappeared off to another time. They can’t go get him, its impossible, there’s no way. And Amy is staring at the Angel, one blink away from disappearing and going along with him. And you can see the Doctor is in serious despair, he’s begging for Amy not to go, he can’t lose her. The Doctor loves Amy; Amy is his best friend. This is when the tears started, in the corners of my eyes, as you just see the Doctor begging Amy not to go.

But of course she goes. Through it all, through all the adventures and danger and insanity, Amy loves Rory. She chooses Rory over the Doctor and she as turns away from the angel to say her final goodbye to the Doctor, she disappears and her name also appears on the gravestone. The Doctor gets one final message, one last goodbye from Amy in the afterword of the book by Melody Malone…saying goodbye, and that her and Rory love him, that they were happy together and to remind the Doctor to never be alone.

I turned to my boyfriend and LOST IT. I cried like a little baby. It was such a sad and bittersweet ending to the Ponds long run with the Doctor. And Matt Smith…Matt Smith shows that utter sadness at losing the two of them. He does an amazing job with that scene that I could feel it. All the emotions. All the feels!

Can I just pause for a quick moment to say how lucky I am to have a boyfriend who lets me cry, and comforts me when things happen to fictional characters that I love? He let me sob my eyes out after the last Harry Potter movie (all those deaths and the fact that it was over…I could barely handle it) and then last night, as I watched Amy and Rory die, he comforted me again. He’s amazing. Okay, moving on…

I thought it was a great way to end the fall season and a great way for Amy and Rory to go out. I felt like…even though it made me sad and it broke my heart, it was a devasting and beautiful way for them to go. Steven Moffat…you little rascal, you just know the perfect way to get a girl to cry.

Then they showed a nice little quick preview of the Christmas special, where Jenna-Louse Coleman will be making her debut as companion, and thats exciting. I can’t believe how long I have to wait until then! I’m going to miss Amy and Rory immensely but I can’t wait to see what the rest of series 7 has in store for us.

What did you all think of Angels Take Manhattan? Did you like it/dislike it? How hard did you cry when Amy and Rory were gone? As always, let me know in the comments.

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