That Time I Met James Dashner and My Tire Exploded…


How are all of you on this fine weekend? I hope fantastic! What are you all reading right now? I’m currently re-reading The Fiery Heart, viagra in the hopes that I’ll finish it before Tuesday when Silver Shadows comes out.

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Today was a super fun and crazy day! Last week, more about my good friend Cassandra and I drove down to San Diego (roughly about a two hour drive) to pick up wristbands for a book signing event that would be taking place at the local Barnes and Noble for Comic Con weekend. James Dashner would be there, promoting the movie tie-in edition of The Maze Runner. I met James back in April at WonderCon but was totally looking forward to seeing him again!

Who knew it was going to be such a crazy day!

I picked up Cassandra and we began the fun task of driving all the way over there. We were only roughly about 30 minutes away when my car started shaking uncontrollably and I smelled smoke. Obviously not a good sign. I started to slow down, in order to pull over, and BAM! My tire on my car literally EXPLODED! It was one of the craziest feelings ever!

So, of course, I call AAA. Well apparently they cancelled my membership or something. DRAMA. So then I dialed 511 to see if I could get free roadside assistance. No free roadside assistance in the middle of nowhere area I was in. (Fun Fact, I ended up in the town of Rainbow. No lie) DRAMA. I called my dad but he was a good 1.5 hours away. DRAMA.

But the clouds opened and the sun shined down on us! An AAA guy stopped and asked if I called him. I didn’t, and he was actually looking for another car but he stopped and helped me replace my tire anyway. We were back on the road! Yay!

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We made it to the Barnes and Noble and discovered that we were basically the first people there. We bought our books, grabbed some iced teas and sandwiches from the cafe and then proceeded to wait until they set up the area for us. Suddenly, people started lining up behind us, as they tend to do and we ended up in the front row! Yay!

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Do we look tired? We were kind of tired haha! We also met up with the darling Sama (aka bookautopia from instagram) and she was a total sweetheart.

Then it was time for James Dashner!

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He talked about The Maze Runner trilogy, the upcoming adaptation and his newer book, The Eye of Minds. Yesterday was the first official screening of the finished movie so he talked about that a bit. It was really cool because when he first came out, and was looking around at the crowd, he spotted me and went “I’ve met you somewhere before, right?” and I laughed, because I had just met him back in April at WonderCon and I was wearing the same shirt (my BRIGHT pink What A Nerd Girl Says shirt). That was pretty cool.

After talking for a bit, he took some fan questions. I was too busy listening to him that I just forgot to record any of it like a doofus but I did get this little bit. Someone asked him who he thought would survive in the maze, as far as the cast goes. Its a short video, so check it out!

After the Q & A, they set up for signings. We were given two options: get one book personalized OR get all of your books signed. As much as I love having my books personalized, I got my Maze Runner personalized back in April and I just wanted the rest of them signed, so I opted for that.

I got up in line, and he asked me where we had seen each other and I told him WonderCon and he remembered. We talked a little bit about the book and movie and especially about writing, and that was awesome.

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Here’s a flashback when I met James back in April:


Because I already had a copy of Maze Runner, I got my hands on a second copy (thanks Cass!) and got it signed!

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This, along with some of the cool swag I grabbed (see below), will make for an awesome giveaway. Keep an eye out for it, but don’t get too excited. It probably won’t be until September, around when the movie is released!

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The pins are mine :) But I have a couple bookmarks and an extra “Shuck It” sticker that’ll be up for grabs in that September giveaway! Keep an eye out.

After the signing, we went to a nearby tire place, took care of my tire issues. The guy working there really took care of my Elphie (oh yes, I named my car after Elphaba in Wicked) and even threw in a free tire. Meanwhile, Cass and I enjoyed some sushi and ice cream. Yum!

After that, we made the long drive home. We decided to stop by Best Buy. If you went by Best Buy, you could watch the newly released Mockingjay Part 1 trailer and get your hands on a ticket to see the movie, a Mockingjay pin and a poster. Unfortunately by the time we got there all they had were posters but that’s okay because I love posters! And the trailer was AWESOME. I can’t wait for this movie to come out!

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All in all, it was a super fun day, even with all the crazy car drama! I’m glad to have my entire TMR trilogy signed and I’ll be having an epic giveaway come September!

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BioShock Infinite: Worth the Wait!

After what seemed like the longest wait EVER (okay, website like this not ever, but still), Bioshock Infinite, the third installment in the Bioshock video game series, finally hit stores everywhere. The game was announced back in August 2010, after the release of Bioshock 2 in February of the same year. A few years and a couple delays later, we finally got this installment.

Now, I’m not a gamer. I wish I was. I LOVE video games. They have great stories, they’re super fun and they come in a million different varieties, just like books. You can play fantasy games and dystopian games, historical games, and children’s games.

But I don’t really play. Not because I dont’ want to but because I just plain SUCK at them. I just don’t have the patience for one thing…and my hand-eye coordination basically doesn’t exist. So while I had a strong urge to finally play this installment of Bioshock, alas, it was not in the cards.

It was however, in the cards, for our guest blogger, my boyfriend, Jonathan. He spent his Spring Break playing this game, and you can read his review below :) It is written VERY similarly to my Book of the Week posts, so it’ll be easy for you all to read!


Bioshock Infinite: A Review

I do not have much experience writing reviews but I figured why let that stop me! I recently purchased the game Bioshock Infinite and have already beat the game so I think I am now qualified to write a review of said game. This game is of course the follow up to the critically and commerically successful Bioshock which was released in 2007. The original Bioshock is the story of an underwater city, Rapture, in 1960 that turns for the worst. The game is heavily influenced by the works of Ayn Rand. Bioshock Infinite is the story of the floating city Columbia created by the US in 1912. Bioshock Infinite went through several delays and had already won numerous awards at events such as E3 and thus was building a lot of hype for its release. Alright so onto the review!

1st person shooter
Part of A Series?:
Yes it is, it is the third installment of the Bioshock series. It may not seem clear how Columbia is connected to Rapture but playing through it it becomes evident there is a connection between the two cities that have fallen.
Plot Summary:
“Bring us the girl and wipe away the debt”, a simple phrase that starts our hero on his journey. Bioshock Infinite is the story of a former pinkerton agent Booker Dewitt who has come into some enormous debt. Someone has offered to take care of his debt but in order to do so he must journey to Columbia, which had seceded from the US and disappeared, and retrieve a girl named Elizabeth who can open up “tears” in reality. Almost as soon as Booker arrives in Columbia he is proclaimed to be the “false shepherd” by the zealous prophet Comstock. The citizens of Columbia are then after Booker because they follow Comstock with religious intensity. Unlike other games where the whole story is the journey to the girl, Bioshock Infinite goes the way where Booker and Elizabeth meet fairly early in the game they then must fight their way to through a rebellion  find the truth about Elizabeth’s powers, and a way out of Columbia.
The Bad:
There is some bad in this game because there is no such thing as a perfect game. One of the things I did have a problem with was some things in the battle system. The battle system seemed very similar to the system in the original Bioshock without much being added to it. They strived to tell a good story with this game but the battle system did not feel it always got that attention. Another thing was the vigors system, it seemed added on to be like the battle system in Bioshock but for some reason no one else in Bioshock Infinite uses vigors to fight, ONLY YOU. That part did not make a whole lot of sense to me as I was going through fighting enemies.
The Good:
Oh the good in this game! I will get it out of the way first and say that the story in this game is amazing! The original Bioshock had a good story and so it was expected that this game would follow suit. It starts off simple enough but as the game progresses the story goes to new levels and were those levels exciting! The city becomes embroiled in a revolution but that never becomes the main story, the story always stays with Booker and Elizabeth. I will not give away any spoilers but the ending of this game is definitely worth playing through and will leave you thinking!
Columbia the city is a beautiful city and feels almost as it did actually happen in the past. A floating city in the sky at the height of American exceptionalism there is propaganda that adourns the cities and even statues referring to the founding fathers almost as deities. There are railways that connect the different floating islands with it all centered around the giant statue of Columbia, which is where Elizabeth is held captive. The setting has a steam punk kind of feel, which I am not always a fan of, but it really works well here because of how grounded it is into US history. Since Elizabeth’s powers have to do with tearing open reality there are a lot of musical Easter eggs in the game such as a barbershop quartet singing “God Only Knows” by the Beach Boys (as this song would not be written for another 50+ years!). These slight reality warping events add nice little touches in the game to look out for!
Lastly, this game would not have been as great without Elizabeth. A lot of the companions in games end up being huge burdens (Resident Evil 4-Sara, here: I totally agree. Your companion in that game is USELESS! ) but this is not the case in Bioshock Infinite. Never once do you have to worry about protecting Elizabeth, the game immediately tells you she can take care of herself. As I was going through the game I had to rely on her quite a bit as she finds salts, ammo, and health for you if you are running low. During battles she can also open tears that aid in the battle, such as bringing health, weapons, or allies. She is written very well as a character with depth she is determined to go see Paris and longs to be free of the nightmare of Columbia and she knows she has to make difficult decisions to get there. She does not spend time being a reactive character to your actions as she is easily the most powerful character in the game and her actions dictate what Booker does.
The game’s score, voice acting, and graphics were also top notch but in this kind of game those did not seem as important when the other stuff just worked so well.
5 out of 5 stars. This might quite possibly be my favorite video game of all time.
Recommended or Not?:
YES! I highly recommend this game to anyone who wants a game with a great story. If you just want to play a shooter there are better shooter out there but if you want something with an amazing story then this is the game for you! The game is currently being sold at places such as Walmart, Best Buy, Amazon, etc. I bought this one for my PS3 but it is also available for Xbox 360 and the PC. If you are not familiar with the series the PS3 version of the game comes with the original Bioshock (well mine did) and so you can get an idea how the series is (Bioshock 2 is not necessary to the story).
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Hope you enjoyed this review! Let us know in the comments, and let us know how YOU liked Bioshock Infinite!
Check back tomorrow for the Tuesday Top Ten!
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