Meeting Lauren Oliver

Okay, stuff before I say anything about the actual event, advice I have to say two things:

One thing is that…meeting authors is always an awesome thing for me. Authors are such rock stars to me. I mean, patient don’t get me wrong: I love me some actual rock stars and I love my actors and actresses and stuff but authors…authors are the most underrated rock stars out there. Books are the most amazing gift that anyone can give and authors are the people that give us those gifts. When I read a good book, and I set it down and I feel like I’ve been transported to a different world, or become a different person, or if I feel like my life has been changed…that’s the mark of a good author. So meeting authors…its an honor for me.

Secondly, young adult literature truly is an amazing thing. The outpour of young adult literature these days is just astonishing and if there’s one good thing (and I think there are several) that has come out of this outpouring, it is that it has encouraged more and more teens to read. The amount of young girls that were in that room…I was amazed and seriously happy about it. There were girls around my age, but there were also girls in high school, middle school…maybe even younger. (I’m really bad with guessing ages…like, really really bad). I reveled in that awesomeness for a bit.

But moving on…

Today I met Lauren Oliver!

It was an awesome, awesome thing to do. I have to send a lot of props to the Mission Viejo library and their teen services librarian, Allison. I’ve gone to two events put on by her before…I met Meg Cabot there about three or four years ago, and I met Cassandra Clare a couple years ago. Now she’s put on this awesome Lauren Oliver event, and another Cassandra Clare event in a couple weeks (and you know I’ll be there!) Also, much thanks needs to go out to A Whale of a Tale Bookstore in Irvine for sponsoring these events as well. If you’re around Southern California at all, definitely check this place out. Its exactly what a bookstore should be, and its run by a fantastic lady, and they help to put on these awesome events.

First off…the room that the event was in? Super awesome.

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And I know its super random to even remark upon the room but the room was really neat! Most events I go to are in big ‘ol rooms to accomodate a ton of people (which is probably what is going to occur when I attend the Cassandra Clare in about a week) but this one was in this cute little storytime room that is probably used for children’s events at the library and it was adorable. I kept finding new things to look at. I love libraries that have these kind of rooms because it just plays into the imaginations of kids and its just wonderful. So yeah, A+ on the room choice, guys. Plus it made the event super intimate. Lauren Oliver is already well known, and a best seller, but once her book becomes a hit TV show (more on that later), she’s going to blow up even more so it was nice to meet her in this capacity.

And she was soooo incredibly nice and awesome!

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She was really sweet and really personable. She mostly talked about the sort of journey she had gone through as a writer. She’s the daughter of two literature professors so she grew up with a love of books and proclaims herself a book addict (now where have I heard that term before…). She said she really began writing when she wrote fan fiction for the novels she liked, though ‘fan fiction’ wasn’t really a term yet. As she grew older, she began to write more and more, especially cheesy stories for her best friend, Jackie, which usually involved outlandish stories that involved them and cute boys that they were crushing on.

Then she talked about novels and how difficult it was in the beginning, because she felt like she just wasn’t really understanding how to write a novel. And that really hit home for a writer like me, because sometimes I feel like I’m the most awesome writer in the world, and sometimes I’m like, “I have no idea what I’m doing…”

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Yeah, like that. No, really, its nice to hear authors that you admire and worship talking about the difficulty of writing, because it IS difficult. Its difficult to figure out plot structure and character and setting and even just proper grammar. And it was nice to know that she didn’t just write Before I Fall, and that was that. It was her fourth or fifth novel that she’d actually ever even written and that gives me hope that I can write a novel that touches people and reaches out to people the way her books have to me.

I think that the best part of her presentation was that she talked about writing and her journey through writing and getting published and how it was difficult but well worth the effort. She talked about agents, and creative writing classes and all of that. She talked about books that influenced her (Roald Dahl, A Wrinkle in Time, J.K. Rowling, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, to name a few). She was funny, and witty and relatable. She was accessible to her fans.

It was also really awesome hearing about how she came up with the idea for Delirium, such a combination of things. First off, she said that Gabriel Garcia Marquez said all books are about love or death. Before I Fall is all about death so she thought she should write a book about love, not a romance novel, but love, itself. Combined with the fact that there was the swine flu outbreak at the time, she thought of love as a disease and a possible cure. She also briefly talked about how her fiancé/boyfriend of four years died in 2009, and how she would’ve said yes to something like the cure. Thus the Delirium idea was born. Its always really interesting how a story can come about; both from things going on around you and also things that are happening directly to you.

And of course, Lauren talked about the Delirium TV show on FOX! She sounds really excited about it; and that makes me really excited about it. Right now, casting is going on and hopefully they’ll film a pilot soon. As I’ve said before, Emma Roberts is playing Lena, Daren Kagasoff as Alex, Gregg Sulkin as Julian and Jeanine Mason as Hana. She’s read the script and has definitely approved of it and now I’m just hoping that they film it, that people love it and it gets optioned for an entire season. I think Delirium is a great book for television.

And meeting her was just fantastic. The line was kind of long and it was a warm day, but you barely even noticed. Everyone in line was talking books, either Lauren Oliver’s or Cassandra Clare‘s, as most of the people at this event are going to the Cassie event in a couple weeks. And when you did get to the front, it was totally worth the wait, and the bit of sweat. Ew.

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She was SO nice. The best part about this Lauren Oliver event is the time that she takes out of her day, and her life to meet with her fans. I’ve been to plenty of autograph signings and meet and greets where the celebrity signs your little thing, slides it across the table to you, and that’s that. Meg Cabot was not like that. Cassandra Clare and Holly Black were not like that…and Lauren Oliver is not like that. She takes the time to sit and talk to each and every person that comes through her line, and it really shows her appreciation for her fans. We show our appreciation by coming to this events, buying her books and all of that and she shows hers back by taking the time to talk to us. Its such a little thing but such a great one.

First thing she asked was if I was from around the area, and I said yes because I basically am. Everything in Southern California is basically just one big blob. But anyway, she remarked on how awesome our weather is, and how she has to go to yucky Texas tomorrow (though I’m sure she’s gonna love you all, Texans!!! And you guys have great food, or so I’ve heard!). Then she noticed my books.

Well, book. My copies of Delirium, Pandemonium, and Requiem are brand new. Requiem just released a few days ago, and I just bought Delirium and Pandemonium because I previously bought them on my Kindle and I couldn’t exactly have her sign my kindle….though I did think about it for a moment. No, the book I’m talking about is Before I Fall. It looks like one of MY books. What I mean by that is, it wouldn’t look out of place at a used bookstore but no one would buy it if it was sitting on the shelf of a Barnes and Noble. I show my books a lot of love; there’s always food stains, and creased pages, folded covers…sometimes just truly beat up covers. I show the books I love some seriously tough love and she noticed. Of course she did. Other readers will know what I’m talking about…and they notice it too.

Except you weird people who keep their books in perfect pristine condition and don’t fold the pages and all that. Weird people. (That was for my sister, who finds my book beatings astonishing haha).

But so we started talking about Before I Fall, which I think she liked. I think most people know of her Delirium trilogy and that she is proud of her Before I Fall novel. And its definitely my favorite. I remember reading it and absolutely hating Samantha Kingston. However, as you read the novel, your opinion changes. Samantha is forced to relive the last day of her life seven times and you’re just glued to the pages. Its a wonderful novel…and I knew that it had been optioned for a film but I hadn’t heard anything else.

Well, nerd girls (and guys, if you’re reading this), you heard it right here, from me, from Lauren: Before I Fall is still in the process of becoming a movie! It has a screenplay and it has a director. Right now, there are two actresses in mind for the role of Samantha, but according to Lauren, there’s a particular actress that they “need” to play her. Very intriguing. Of course, she couldn’t tell me, don’t be silly, dear readers, but I was really excited to hear that this movie was still a possibility because I truly believe that Before I Fall is Lauren’s greatest hit.

She also talked briefly of her middle grade books, Liesl and Po, and The Spindlers. Liesl and Po is about a girl and a ghost and a box of magic, in the words of Lauren, and The Spindlers is about a girl who has to go to this subterranean world to recover her brother’s soul, stolen by these spider creatures called the splinders. Apparently she meets some crazy creatures, and it has a very Alice in Wonderland feel to it. I’ve never had the pleasure to read these books yet; in fact, I didn’t even know they existed. Now that I do, however, I’ll be checking them out soon. I may be way too old for them according to the age group on the back cover but reading knows no age.

Great news as well! Even though the Delirium trilogy is over (much sad face), we have a lot to look forward to in the future. She has another young adult novel coming out soon, called Panic, a realistic instead of dystopian, and also an adult novel planned as well, and unfortunately, I can’t remember the title. Forgive me :( But lots of things to look forward to!

So meeting Lauren Oliver was a super fun time, and an enjoyable one at that. I’m definitely going to be tracking her down again at next month’s Los Angeles Festival of Books to say hi to her again. If you haven’t had the chance to read her books, definitely do so, and try to catch her while she’s on tour. You can check out the dates here.

And before you leave, check out this video of Lauren reading a spoiler-free excerpt from her newest novel, Requiem.

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Check out my signed books!!!!!

YA Literature: To Be or Not to Be

Today, symptoms I took my final examination for my children’s literature class. I know, I’m really sad about it. I am definitely going to miss this class. Its crazy how I took this class on a whim and it has been one of my favorite clases that I’ve ever taken.

But anyway, one of the questions on the final was to discuss the two different views on using young adult literature in the high school curriculum. Which got me thinking of course.

I know, more posts about young adult literature. Its something that I feel passionately about. I read a ton of young adult literature and I honestly do think that the high school curriculum could be improved by integrating contemporary young adult fiction.

I mean, don’t get me wrong: there are books in high school that I enjoyed and definitely should be read: The Joy Luck Club, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Great Gatsby, Brave New World, etc. There are a lot that I didn’t enjoy as well like Of Mice and Men (or anything John Steinbeck to be quite honest…can’t believe I share a birthday with that guy…), The Scarlet Letter…and Shakespeare. Oh god Shakespeare. No offense, Will, I understand what you did for the English language and writing and all that but no thanks.

Those books just didn’t make an impact on me at all. I didn’t learn anything and I didn’t gain anything.

Those who are against using young adult lit in schools fear that it is lowering the bar on literature standards. Young adult lit is often times used with remedial readers to help them understand themes and ideas and things like that. However, they are afraid of dumbing things down for the more sophisticated readers.

And I personally disagree with it. I feel as if these critics think we are going to be introducing books like Twilight and Hush, Hush or Gossip Girls and books of that kind of caliber. Now, I’m not hating on those books or anything; they are enjoyed by many people and they can be entertaining or whatnot but they are not of academic caliber. No way. I mean, I ADORE Cassandra Clare but I wouldn’t bring her books into the classroom, most likely. Unless I had an entire classroom of girls…anyway. These are the kinds of books that I believe critics are thinking of.

But think about this: we are in a golden age of young adult literature. Yes there is bad stuff, but there is bad stuff in regular literature as well. And there is so much GOOD young adult literature out there. Have you read John Green? Meg Cabot? Sarah Dessen? Tamora Pierce? Rick Riordan? Suzanne Collins? Libba Bray? Cinda Williams Chima? Stephen Chobsky? Deb Caletti? Morgan Matson? Kristin Cashore? Douglas Adam? I mean, I could go on and on and on. These books are written for adolescents in the voice of adolescents. These books are funny and engaging and entertaining and contemporary. They tell you great stories that are easy to understand and fun to read.

But these books aren’t superficial and just for entertainment. They touch on real issues: death, suicide, rape, abuse, relationships, sex, abandonment, family issues, friendships, coping, losing their virginity, peer pressure, drugs, alcohol and more and more and more. And all of these issues and themes…are they not themes that we see in the classics that we already read?

And whether or not the classics should be read or not is not the point. The point is, its hard enough to read the classics when you’re an advanced or competent reader. Imagine how hard it is for a remedial reader, which a lot of kids in high school are. The classics are hard to understand; the language is different and difficult, the issues are outdated (although, not always), etc. In contemporary youg adult fiction, we can have some of the same situations, issues or themes but in a world that these kids can understand. In contemporary YA fiction, we can garner some interest in reading and perhaps start discussions.

Okay, and let’s face it. Kids and teenagers are reading more and more nowadays and what are they reading? Three words: Young. Adult. Literature. They’re already doing it. Go out and look, pay attention. Kids are gobbling up these books because there are so MANY CHOICES. Kids are going nuts for John Green and Suzanne Collins and all those authors. So if they’re already reading it, shouldn’t we try and get something out of it besides just the pleasure of reading the book? Turn it into a dicussion the way you would discuss something in The Great Gatsby or Hamlet. Kids can still exercise their minds, tackle complex ideas and formulate new opinions…but in a way that they can relate to.

Honest, I love young adult fiction; its what I most read. You guys obviously know this by reading my blog…and you may have noticed it from my Stop Picking On YA! post a few weeks back. I am a firm believer in it. I feel like it can accomplish so much.

One, it can get kids to read. I’ve seen it happen! I’ve seen kids pick up Harry Potter or Percy Jackson or Hunger Games or John Green or whatever and they start to read…they keep reading. Kids who didn’t use to read, kids who never enjoyed it or had a desire to read…they’re suddenly reading! Who cares what they are reading? They’re reading and even if what they’re reading isn’t the most fantastically written stuff, they are still getting something out of it…and it often leads them to better written books. They are improving their reading and comprehension skills…which is wonderful because these are SO essential to being successful in your education.

Two, I feel like we can learn a lot from it. Any success I’ve had in my reading, or comprehension or even my writing skills have come from my nonstop reading. People tell you all the time: READ, READ, READ. Reading gives you better knowledge, better skills…so much. And there is so much good young adult fiction out there. Instead of using the same novels over and over again with limited success, we should try something new! Let’s discuss the theme of death, but instead of Hamlet or The Scarlet Letter, lets use The Fault in Our Stars or Hunger Games or Harry Potter. We can learn so much and accomplish so much more if we adjust to for the times.

Third, and last, the classics weren’t always accepted. I mean, a good share of them were but not always. And they had to go through all kinds of scrutiny and process to get into the high school curriculum. I mean, look at The Outsiders. That was one of the first real young adult novels and most kids read it in late middle school/early high school. And there is still controversy, so to speak, about the books that are already learned in school. There always will be. No one is ever going to completely agree…but I’d hope that we could agree on the advancement of our education…because come on, there a ton of kids out there that still lack basic reading comprehension and understanding of themes and such.

I know some of you may get tired of me defending young adult literature, or talking about young adult literature…and honestly, if that’s the way you feel, maybe this blog isn’t really meant for you. Like I said before, its something that I feel passionately about. I was lucky enough to have a natural love for reading…I’ve ALWAYS loved it and I’ve always had the ability to understand it and take away from it. Not everyone has that. And everyone should. Reading has benefitted me in so many ways: in my life, in my morals and views, in my education, in my relationships with people and on and on and on. I feel like everyone should have the chance to enjoy reading.

In the words of my queen, J.K. Rowling, “If you don’t like to read, you haven’t found the right book.”

The books we’re using now? They aren’t working. They just aren’t. I think its about time that we start finding more options and more books…finding those right books for every kid out there. Maybe its Great Gatsby…and maybe its Looking for Alaska. Either way, that’s my plan and that’s what I think.

What about you?

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Book of the Week: The Fault in Our Stars

Its been FOREVER since I’ve done a Book of the Week post. Its been so long that I cannot even remember what book I did for Book of the Week.

I’m also doing Book of the Week on a Monday instead of a Friday.

The best part? This Book of the Week is COMPLETELY spoiler free!!!

Mostly that’s because I had my very last children’s lit class today. Wednesday I’ll take my final and it’ll be done and over with.

And I’m actually really, order really sad about it. I took it as sort of an extra units, erectile sounds like fun kind of deal. I ended up loving it and I guess its no real surprise that I did. We spent the entire semester talking about folk and fairy tales (which I love, especially when you compare them to updates like Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister and Once Upon a Time), children’s books and young adult literature (we all know how I feel about YA).

So today was the last official day of class and I was feeling a bit bittersweet about it. The best part of the last day of one of the best classes I have ever taken was that we talked about the controversies of young adult literature in the classroom and we watched the video of John Green reading the first chapter of his 2012 novel, The Fault in Our Stars. This book has gotten incredibly recognition, not only as a young adult novel but as a novel in general. I urge you to watch the video below; its long, about thirty minutes but its the first full chapter and it sucks you in.

which brings us to this week’s extremely late but totally needed Book of the Week:

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

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What can I say about the Fault in Our Stars? Anything that I say is not going to be enough to describe this book. I guess I’ll try anyway because that is what I do. I write. Now I’ve already read this book before. Because we discussed it in class today, I just had to read it again. It was calling ot me.

I sobbed again. Damn you, John Green, and your abilities to make the waterworks come!

The Fault in Our Stars tells the story of Hazel, a sixteen year old girl who is battling cancer…except that she isn’t really battling cancer. She’s going to die, there’s no doubt about it, and the question is only when. She stays at home with her mom and her dad, reading and watching a ton of crappy TV, only going to support group because her mom makes her.

It’s at her support group that she meets Augustus Waters, a cancer survivor, and his friend Isaac, always part of the “club”. And Augustus grabs you, pulls you in, and pulls Hazel along with him. Suddenly, she’s out of bed and with him, watching movies and playing video games and getting so wrapped up in what is going on. He makes her forget that she has to lug around an oxygen tank or that he has an artificial leg or that Isaac has surgery that makes him blind. They do what every teenager, every young adult, every adult wishes for: they fall in love. A real love. So real that Augustus gives up his cancer Wish to go take Hazel to Amsterdam to meet her favorite author of all time.

The Good or The Bad:

I don’t even know why I wrote “or The Bad” up there. There is LITERALLY nothing bad about this book. Nothing. Now I do not have cancer, nor have I ever been sick enough to even comprehend what Hazel or Augustus or Isaac go through. But I have been sixteen…and I’m a girl…and I have been in love. And this is enough to make anyone love this book. If you even have a freakin heart, you’d love this book.

First off, there’s Hazel herself. The way that she handles her cancer is unbelievable. I mean, she’s not a saint and she’s scared and every time she has a hard time breathing, she gets scared. But she handles it. She overcompensates with humor and throws herself into good books and poetry and crappy television and Augustus. I don’t think you could’ve told the story from anyone else’s voice except hers. She sees such beauty and life in Augustus and he sees so much of it in her, and you discover it the same way she does, in the way only a sixteen year old girl would.

And the conversations they have! The way they talk about the world or their cancers or books or whatever. Its incredible. I’m not a strong person. Sometimes I like to think I am but in the face of something like cancer, I don’t know that I could be like them. I dont know that I would be able to compensate with humor and cancer puns. I think I’d crawl under my blanket and shut out the world. Which is essentially what Hazel does until she meets Augustus.

And Augustus is amazing. The way he head over heels falls in love with Hazel, and does so much for her. He brings her out of her shell. They deal with their cancers together, and they talk about death and love and they talk about this book. How many teenagers understand books the way Hazel and Augustus do, and talk about them like they do, and are changed by books like they are? I am, I was and this is so much a part of why I love them. Augustus is so sincere in his compliments and his beliefs. He spouts of these tangents on life and his beliefs and not for one moment does he sound pretentious. He gives up his Wish (you know, from Make a Wish foundation) so that he and Hazel can go and meet their favorite author. He LOVES her. She LOVES him. And despite the fact that they’re teenagers, its one of the most believable loves I’ve read in a book.

Because they are so believable. Sometimes I feel like young adult literature lacks real, relatable young adult characters. I need emotion. I need anger and happiness. I need some serious bipolarness. I need a character that both handles and doesn’t handle what life hands me. Hazel, August, Isaac: they are all afraid, they all cry and they all deal with their cancers in different ways. But they’re all strong too, they’re all there for each other.

I won’t go much farther than this. I don’t want to ruin this book for anyone who has not had the chance to read it yet. Everyone should read this book. The more I read young adult literature, good young adult literature, the more I remember that its not just meant for young adults. This book keeps you addicted the entire time and ends in such a horrible, heartbreaking way. And I reread it again tonight and let myself have my heartbroken again.

Damn you, John Green, damn you and your amazing, amazing writing.

The Fault in Our Stars was chosen as Time Magazine’s Best Book of the Year for the year 2012. Not best young adult book, best BOOK. And it definitely deserves that title. Hands down, its the winner, despite the other amazing books that came out this year.

Click the link above to purchase it. You won’t be disappointed.

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And Then I Got Another Tattoo…

Yes. Oh, buy yes. I went there guys. I definitely went there.

I got my sixth nerd tattoo. I so went there. I have 4 Harry Potter tattoos (one of them is half HP and half Something Corporate) and a Star Wars tattoo.

And today, see I got my sixth tattoo.

I got my Mortal Instruments tattoo today. I got my Shadowhunter rune, order Fearless.

Thats me! With my new tattoo!

And there is a close up.

I am insanely happy with it. I had an appointment today to get my tattoo and it worked out perfectly, because I was having a terrible day. This cheered me up immensely. It looks freakin fantastic, didn’t hurt at all and was fairly reasonable priced. If you live in Southern California, I truly recommend Bob at Above All Tattoo in Fullerton. Amazing job and a super cool guy.

Some of you might be wondering, what the hell is that anyway? So you all know how obsessed I am with Cassandra Clare and her Mortal Instruments/Infernal Devices series. The series focuses on a group of warriors called Shadowhunters. They are humans, with angel blood, who fight demons and keep the peace between warlocks, fae, werewolves and vampires.

Now they use a variety of weapons to accomplish it: daggers, seraph blades, whips, bow and arrows, etc. But they also have these object called a stele: a wand like object that draws both permanent and temporary Runes…black tattoos that give Shadowhunters various “powers”…they can give them strength or stealth or silence or they can open things, etc.

I chose the Fearless rune to tattoo on my body. The superficial reason is that its one of the best looking ones.

But the real reason I got this tattoo (besides my LOVE for this author and her series) was that I would love to be fearless.

Two of my tattoos, my Harry Potter tattoos, have to do with death: Deathly Hallows symbol and “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death”. I did these because I’m terrifed of death and I want to be unafraid of it, the way Harry and his parents were. They greeted death, they didn’t try to cheat death, like Voldemort and I think that’s something that’s extremely admirable. Death scares me more than anything.

But I’m also scared of so much else. I’m scared of my future, I’m scared of bugs, I’m scared of heights, I’m scared meeting new people and I’m scared of the dark. I’m kind of an anxious and scared person. And I don’t want to be that kind of person. Over the last year, I’ve definitely tried to change that. I’m trying to overcome my fears and become a better person. i don’t want my fears to hold me back from experiencing and loving life.

So that is why I chose the Fearless rune tattoo. I want it to be a sort of reminder that fear is temporary and that you can overcome it. I can never be completely fearless…but I can begin to overcome these fears, and tackle them and handle them. And the Fearless rune, while temporary for Jace and Alec in the books, gives both of them the courage to overcome their fears. Alec eventually realizes that he can come out as gay and he can be honest about his relationship with Magnus. Jace can overcome his fear of showing love for others, not only just his romantic love for Clary, but also his family love for the Lightwoods. And it gives me the courage to overcome my own fears.

And damn it looks so badass!

If you haven’t had a chance to see my tattoos or some of my friends’ awesome nerd tattoos, check out this blog post here.

And feel free to share your nerd ink with me. I’m always down to do another post about some epic nerd ink!

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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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Book of the Week: The Casual Vacancy

Hello my nerd friends! It’s Friday, pills which means its that time again, its time for book of the week!

Now, for those of you who aren’t quite sure what that is, or just can’t seem to grasp the idea, you can definitely check out the FIRST EVER Book of the Week, which was posted last week. This is my new weekly segment on WhataNerdGirlSays, and between me and my darling, beautiful and ever so talented friend/fellow blogger, Jackie, we’re gonna bring you some awesome, and maybe not so awesome, books.

Please Please Please keep in mind that any and all Book of the Week posts (and other blog posts) will contain spoilers. I try my best to keep them out as much as possible but they are going to be there.

So let’s get down to business. The book of the week for this week is:

The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling

So, literally after going to FOUR different Target stores to find this book because people just didn’t seem to grasp the concept that this was the first adult novel from possibly the greatest writer of our time and the first novel from J.K. Rowling since the publishing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in 2007, I finally got this book, went home, sat down and consumed it in about five hours.

I read fast. Really really fast. I read Deathly Hallows in about five hours. I know, I’m a bit of a freak. Moving along now…

This is J.K. Rowling’s first book since Harry Potter. And its her first adult book as well. Its been five years since we’ve had that amazing feeling of new words from her. This was a highly anticipated book, and the title, the cover, the plot…all of these were speculated for months and months.

And now that I’m finished, I’m ready to share. I realize most of the world has probably not read this as fast as me haha but I am willing to share anyway and its my hope that you will enjoy this post once you have read it!

So the basic plot is this: it centers around the small town of Pagford. Pagford has that sort of nose in the air, head in a bubble sort of view of their town. Their town is the center of the universe. They are proud of every little nook and cranny in that town, even the old crumbly 12th century abbey overlooking the town. And there is a sort of hate when it comes to the neigboring town of Yarvil. The people of Yarvil are different, different accents and definitely different social class and the people of Pagford just don’t deal with that sort of thing.

Years ago, before the events of this book take place, Yarvil built more and more homes, to help accomodate the growing population. One of the sections of homes that were built were called the Fields. Now the Fields were not your luxury homes; they were mostly owned by those who didn’t have the means to take care of themselves, those who were on welfare, those who had addictions and now had close access to the rehab center. Because of politics and all that, the Fields and the rehab center bcomes part of Pagford and its jurisdiction. Obviously this does bode well in the Pagford mindset; the Fields needs to be returned to Yarvil and the rehab center needs to come down.

Fast forward many years later to Barry Fairbrother, born and raised in the Fields, who is on the Pagford Parish council and is fighting tooth and nail to keep the Fields in Pagford because of the opportunities that Pagford has given him. After his sudden death (which literally happens in the first chapter), there is an empty seat on the council, a seat that is vitally important in this huge debate about the Fields. As the whole town literally gets involved in this seat battle, you get a glimpse inside this perfect town and how completely imperfect it really is.

The Good or the Bad: 

Now I’m going to say mostly good. I liked it a lot. It caught me right off the bat and kept me interested the entire time. I finished it in about five to six hours so you know that it kept me interested.

Now, one, I do NOT at all recommend this for children. I’d say…a mature sixteen and up for this book. Sorry, little Potter fans, this is NOT a book made for you. Our Rowling’s writings have grown up immensely in this book. We’re talking about the fact that this book is riddled with “F” bombs and the dropping of the “C” word and there is no shortage of sex. (Not like Fifty Shades of Grey here, people. JKR writes realistically!). So just because it has her name on the cover, doesn’t mean its for everyone. Its dark. Very funny, but dark.

I loved the way it bounced between characters. It was all written in third person, which was great, because you were able to see different points of view of the different people in town, but still have those gaps when you didn’t quite know what was going on.

I enjoyed the role of the teenagers in this book. When you’re reading them, you’re not really aware of why they’re there. Its, like, okay, they’re doing teenager stuff and they’re thinking teenager things and that’s all fine and dandy but what does this really have to do with anything? Oh, but it does. You never piss off a teen; there are way too many hormones going on in those bodies to piss off.

One of things that was really hard, harder than I thought it was going to be, was getting away from the fact that this is J.K. Rowling. She’s Miss Potter. The only thing we’ve ever known from her was Harry Potter. And we all know how much Harry Potter takes up of my life. So it was hard to concentrate on that but I kept reminding myself to read it separately of that and I felt like I did a fairly good job of it. I fear there will be many people out there that just won’t be able to do it, which is a tragedy, because if you put aside Harry Potter for a moment, it is a truly great book.

The biggest thing I liked about this book was the kind of web that she spun with all these characters. She bounced around these characters so much and so fluidly that it was hard to keep sometimes, but in a good way. I was left, often times, going “what on earth is going on?!” and I had to keep reading because I had to know what was going to happen next. I had a little bit of a beef with the ending. And it wasn’t necessarily HOW it ended, but how FAST it ended. Suddenly, it was done and I was like WHOA! And was that a sad ending or what? I was practically in tears. JKR has not lost her brutal touch of killing people, lets just say that.

All in all, it was a true enjoyment and a very captivating book. If JKR was ever worried that her book would not be received well because it wasn’t Potter, she had another thing coming. Her writing is amazing and it translates well into this new genre. I hope that Potterheads around the world can put Harry Potter aside for a moment while they read this book. Harry Potter is one of a kind. It was an epic, incredible, amazing, life-chaning journey in the form of a book. It’s hard to duplicate that. But this woman has talent, plain and simple and this book proves that. I definitely hope to see more from her in the future.

So, what did you think? Like/dislike? Why or why not? Let me know! I will be posting more in a couple weeks, as my LADA and I are discussing this book as our book club choice next month and I can’t wait to share all the views! Until then, tell me what you think, as always, in the comments :D

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Stop by next week, as the one and only Jackie reviews Frozen Heat by Richard Castle.