Tuesday Top Ten-Favorite Fictional Schools

Welcome back to school everyone! By this point, order most everyone has started school, more about and its just that time of year to buy pretty new school supplies and tell yourself that this semester is going to different, and you’re going to get your act together this year. I’m with you guys, this is your year! Bring home those A’s on the report card!

As you guys have noticed the last few weeks, my creativity level on the Tuesday Top Ten has been…well, basically nonexistent. My dad has totally come up with the ideas the past few weeks and this week is no different. Thanks Dad. Seriously, my creativity is all tapped out haha.

But anyway, now that school has started, I feel like this is a great way to start it off, and a great Tuesday Top Ten. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat in class, looking bored like Britney Spears in Baby One More Time, and wished I was in a different school. So that’s where this list comes in. Check it out!

10. Sweet Valley High from Sweet Valley High Series

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These were some of my favorite books when I was a kid. In hindsight, they probably weren’t the best things for a 7 to 9 year old to read, but my reading level was advanced, if nothing else, and my aunt gave me basically the whole series so there you go. But I always loved the absolute drama of Sweet Valley High. As a kid, high school seemed a thousand years away, and it was…magical, if that makes sense. High school was ALWAYS going to rock in my mind, and my mentality came from this series. Sure, there dramatics and all that, but it kept things all interesting and things always worked out in the end. You would have a nice car, be insanely attractive (the awkwardness of youth disappeared), get the hottest guys and have the best friends. Elizabeth is the dorky one but she’s still editor of the newspaper, fairly popular and has the hottest boyfriend in the school. Although, Todd, really? What kind of name is Todd?

9. Constance Billard/St. Judes from Gossip Girl 

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I think I’d want to go to Constance Billard for the pure enjoyment of the drama that comes down with being a part of the Gossip Girl show. There are a lot of things that are mostly guaranteed if you go to a school like Constance Billard, and its sister school, St. Jude. One, you’re rich. Let’s face it, its THE school to go to on the Upper East side, and its where you’re either made or unmade by Gossip Girl. Two, you probably have the best clothes in the entire world because either you can afford them or you’re a fashion genius Jenny Humphrey and you make it work. You have access to the coolest parties, and the dances, like Homecoming and Prom are OUT of this world. There are all kinds of amazing things about this high school that NEVER happened in real high school. Black and white balls, cotillions, all kinds of fun stuff. Sure, there is the ridiculous amount of drama and pressure but I still say that going to this school might have made high school a little more bearable.

8. Degrassi High from Degrassi: The Next Generation

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When you think about, I don’t know why I would want to go to Degrassi. People get shot and stabbed and get addicted to drugs, or become alcoholics or get in major car accidents or are in abusive relationships or get pregnant. I mean, this is NOT a happy school. But I LOVE this show. Its absolutely ridiculous and its completely dramatic and the amount of characters it goes through, and the amount of drama that takes place there…its all just so ridiculous. But I think its the same sort of thing with Constance Billard…it would be INTERESTING to go here. I think that it would have been crazy and dramatic and I’m sure I would ended up with some medical affliction or some sort of addiction but again, interesting.

7. Xavier’s Institute from X-Men 

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I know that in the comic and the shows and the movies that mutants aren’t accepted and that they are kind of hated because they’re different. I get that, and that sucks and it will be this ever growing fight in that universe and its kind of the whole point of it, besides the fact that they fight bad guys. But you have to admit, a school where everyone has a sort of mutation that makes them be able to do cool stuff like read minds or control weather or hop through walls? I honestly feel like I couldn’t hate school if I went to a school like that. There’s no way. Plus it would be really cool to have an awesome superpower that I was just born with, and I didn’t have to get bitten by an icky spider or anything. I like Iceman…I don’t know why but ice powers have always sounded really super awesome. I could be Icegirl and I would rock the hallways of Xaviers.

6. St. Vladimir’s Academy from Vampire Academy Series 

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I don’t want to be a vampire. I’ve never really had the desire to be a vampire unless I could become a vampire and become Simon Lewis’s girlfriend for eternity. But even then. However, I would become a dhampir. For those of you who are unaware, a dhampir is half human, half vampire, warriors trained to protect Moroi vampires from Strigoi, which are immortal, evil vampires. The main character is Rose, who attends St. Vladimir’s to eventually become an official guardian to protect her royal best friend Lissa. I always love a kickass female character, especially when they come paired with a delicious character like Dimitri, and I love this school. I love that, since they’re vampires, they go to school and party and do all their stuff at night, and sleep during the day. But because the novel is so well-written, you don’t even notice half the time, and so it’s not cheesy. I love that the classes are anything from magic (because the vampires have powers over different elements) and warfare and strategy and combat. That sounds like a really awesome school. Way better than learning chemistry and math and stuff like that.

5. The School of Idris from The Mortal Instruments series

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I have no idea if that is what its called but I call it that for now because no one has really named it yet. I want to go to Idris because it is the home of the Shadowhunter. No matter if they live there, grew up there, or grew up in an Institute or work in an Institute somewhere in the world, it is the home of the Shadowhunter. Like Mecca is to the Islams or Jerusalem is to Christians and Jews (and Islams too). It is a beautiful city, sort of old fashioned in the way that it is made, sort of like any other place in Europe, and it all seems so otherworldly and wonderful. I really want to see the Glass City part of it, with the demon wards, and the fountain, and the beautiful dances and wonderful parties. But I want to go to school in Idris because I want to be a Shadowhunter. Shadowhunters are preordained to protect the earth from demons; they’re born warriors. They don’t necessarily choose it but I think most of them would choose it. I want to be one. I want to have seraph blades, and a whip like Isabelle and I want to Mark my skin to help me fight. I would love training to be a Shadowhunter because it would be so different than our normal schooling.

4. Oden’s Ford from Seven Realms Series 

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Oden’s Ford is where the school exist in Cinda Williams Chima’s Seven Realms series. There is Mystwerk House, Temple School, Factor House, Merchant House, Isenwerk House and Wien House. What I love about this school is that it kind of reminds me of a fantasy college, if that makes sense. There are so many different schools there, schools for wizards and for trading and different crafts and that sort of thing, and the entire town seems built around the school. I love that. I love that so many people from all over the Seven Realms come here to learn a various number of things. I feel like you would get a real life experience here. There are people of all different races and religions and colors and shapes and sizes, and they’re all coming here to learn different trades, whether to harness their magics or become healers or warriors and that can really open one’s eyes wider to the world around them. You’re getting out of your bubble and you’re seeing what else is out there. I think that even though Raisa is sent here to escape the chaos that is going under her own roof, and that she is there under a false name, it really helped her become a better queen. She understood more of the way the world worked outside of her privileged life and it helped her. I also think it would be fun to live there because it is a place that is described so beautifully. So many bricks! I love brick buildings. SO beautiful.

3. Camp Half Blood from The Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series 

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Okay, I recognize that this isn’t technically a school and a good amount of the kids that stay there in the summer go to normal schools during the school year. But I like to think of it as a school because these kids will never stop being demigods. This is an essential part of their life…their very being, and they have been in trouble for so long, and they will continue to be in trouble. They are attracting to danger, as the offspring of gods and goddesses and the skills that they learn at Camp Half Blood will aid them their entire life. So I do consider it a school of sorts. I would imagine that a demigod would learn more at Camp Half Blood during the summers than they do in full school years in regular schools. Despite all the danger, and all that, I think I’d much like to be a child of a god or goddess. Think of the stuff that comes from that. Think of Jason’s power with lightning and Percy’s power over water, Annabeth’s incredibly warrior skills and intelligence, Piper’s ability to charm people, Leo’s ability to tinker with just about anything and so forth. Its all so subtle but awesome. I think I’d love to go to Half Blood to learn all the things that they learn and ride a Pegasus and play Capture the Flag and have gods for teachers and centaurs for mentors. I would love to go on quests and learn to fight with a sword and live in one of the cabins. Camp Half Blood sounds like a great place to learn.

2. Jedi Academy from Star Wars 

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I want to be a Jedi. I think a Jedi is one of the things I want to be most in this life, other than a wizard (see below!) or a Shadowhunter. I have been watching Star Wars since I was a kid, and I have been a fan of it for so long. Princess Leia was always my absolute favorite character, but I was always kind of sad that she never got a lightsaber, because she wasn’t a Jedi. I love that in several of the books that have been written that take place after the movies, she does Jedi training and wields a lightsaber. I’m just saying, lightsabers are some of the best weapons that have existed in fictional world. I liked that the Jedis are trained for so much of their life because they are so disciplined and so committed to the life that they are born to live. They are there to protect the galaxy and keep the balance of the Force, and they commit their entire life for it. I like that they start off in an academy as children, where you learn with Master Yoda, before you become a Padawan to a Jedi Knight or a Jedi Master. I like that you have several teachers on the road to becoming a Jedi Knight, with the abilities to learn so much from different people. I also like that its not always a classroom type of experience, but you are taken out with your master to learn on an experience base, in the field, while you try to do your job. Its like an apprentice sort of thing, which is what the masters call them. I want to be a Jedi. If only to get a pink lightsaber. I’ll make it happen.

1. Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry from Harry Potter Series 

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I guess it would be no surprise that this would be the first one on my list. I think this is one of the first places that existed in a book that I thought, I want to go there. This is a place that I wish actually existed, and it never can, which only makes me want to go there more. JK Rowling created a place where you go to learn, you go to love and hate, you go to grow up, you go to have adventures and to get in trouble and learn, and so much more. When she quoted at the final Harry Potter premiere, “Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home”, I cried. I’m getting teary eyed just thinking about it. Because its HOME to Harry Potter; its where it all takes place in all seven works. It is the beginning, the middle and the end. It is where Harry Potter grew up and I would die to go there, to have adventures and to be a part of that world, a world that I have loved through the pages. Plus, I would love to take classes like that instead of the classes I take. I would love Charms and Transfiguration and Potions and Care of Magical Creatures. Hell, I think I’d even like History of Magic and Divination :) I would NOT complain like those guys! Hogwarts. The Ultimate best school ever.

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I hope you all enjoyed this edition of the Tuesday Top Ten. This one was an enjoyable one to write!

Don’t forget that you can always check out past lists here!

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What are some of your fictional schools? What would be some of your favorite fictional classes? As always, share in the comments!

Tuesday Top Ten-Fictional Places to Live

Hello everyone! How’s it going? I hope you are all fantastic and happy and all that.

I’m pretty happy. Things have been…just really good lately. I’ve been really working my butt off to do things that I want to do. I am almost done with this semester of school and I feel that I did well in both of my classes. I am working on this blog harder than ever, store working on getting it out there, ed getting my hands on ARCs and getting interviews with authors, doctor and making it as awesome as possible for you guys that read it. I’m also working hard on my third novel, the novel that I really want to be good and successful, because I want to look for an agent this summer and maybe get my book sold :)

Its also going to be my blog’s one year birthday on Thursday, which is SO exciting and I can’t wait to share the super AWESOME giveaway that will be coming your way in celebration of it all.

I also have a really cool interview with Unremembered author, Jessica Brody, coming VERY soon :)

So things are doing good.

But now on to the purpose of this blog post: The Tuesday Top Ten!

One thing that is really great about books is the worlds that they create. Authors have a way of creating worlds that are so real and so believable and you can’t help but just want to be a part of them. You wish these worlds were real because in your mind, they are real. You can pick up a book and escape into these fantastic worlds and these fantastic places and its just awesome.

So here are some of the fictional places that I wish were real!

10. Westeros-Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire

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Okay, I realize that so far, Westeros isn’t exactly the most fun place to live. You have all these people dying and political strife and this crazy weather thing where you have years of summer and years of winter. But I love the world the George R.R. Martin creates in his Song of Ice and Fire series. Because we get such a realistic world but with such fantastical things as well. We have political strife, and castles, and holdings and a kingdom and knights and all those sort of things but we also hive these gigantic wolves and the white walkers and dragons and its just a world that is so dark and sexy and desirable, despite all the bad shit that is going down in these books. Its that knights and castles and kings and queens world that you loved when you were a kid but better because it recognizes the adult world, and that there was famine and diseases and whore houses. I don’t know, I like it a lot because of both the fantasy and realistic nature of it. I’d be super down to live there…except the whole winter thing. I’m not a big fan of winter.

9. The Shire-The Hobbit/The Lord of the Rings

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If anyone makes a comment on my height, I’ll punch them in the face. Especially since I wouldn’t doubt that most hobbits are actually taller than me. How tall are hobbits anyway? I’d probably fit in so well there. I think I want to live in the Shire of all places in Middle Earth because it has such a homey feel to it. I love Rivendell, and how absolutely gorgeous it is but its very…intimidating, I think is the word I’m looking for. Its too much for me to handle. But there’s something comfortable and homey and familiar about the Shire. And the houses are so cute. I would love to live in a little hobbit hole. In the Shire, its all about food and happiness and reading and relaxing and who wouldn’t be into that, especially since I do love reading and I do love food :) It just seems like a very pretty and pleasant place to live. And who knows, maybe I could become best friends with Bilbo or Frodo and go on epic adventures…though I think I’d rather go on adventures with Bilbo and not Frodo. Bilbo had the less scary adventure. And I really want to have a pet rabbit named Bilbo Bunny…okay, I’m getting off topic…

8. Narnia-The Chronicles of Narnia

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I really like Narnia because even when things are going down, its still a pretty and gorgeous world with talking mice and centaurs and beavers and badgers and all that. I’ve already kind of made it clear that I’m not the biggest fan of the books; I understand it was the times but C.S. Lewis had some serious issues with girl characters, especially Susan. And its a little too religious for my tastes. But I do really enjoy the movies and I think they picked some gorgeous locations to shoot the movie. I remember when I watched The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe for the first time and the Pevensie children leave Narnia when they’re older and I’m like “WHERE ARE YOU GOING?!?!” I was so mad. I think Narnia is appealing because its such a magical world. It gives me the same kind of feeling that Disneyland does, that feeling of magic and imagination and that feeling of being a kid again and feeling like anything is possible, like children leaders or talking animals and centaurs and good overcoming evil and that sort of thing. Its nice to disappear into such a wholesome and wonderful world for a little bit.

7. Camp Half-Blood-Percy Jackson and the Olympians

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I want to go to Camp Half-Blood so badly! I want to be a demigoddess so badly! I’ve always been fairly obsessed with Greek myths; there’s just something so fascinating about them. I wish I had been born in those times, those were the kind of gods and goddesses that I could really get behind. But I really enjoy the stories especially when you learn how they are the root of some of the words we use or the myths and superstitions that we know now and things like that. They’re really fun stories, especially since these gods and goddesses…they aren’t these perfect beings, they make mistakes too. But anyway, I’d be pretty stoked to have a god/goddess as a parent and have these super cool powers and go on adventures and live in this super cool camp with all these other children who have god parents too. I mean, sit around at home, watching TV and basically do nothing on summer vacation or go to this cool camp where you learn to fight and harness your powers and play a badass version of Capture the Flag and all that? I think you know which one I would pick. I would really like to be Artemis‘s daughter too. I know, not possible, since she swore to be a maiden, and to abstain from men and she would never have a child but…Artemis is such a badass. I remember wanting to name a pet “Artemis” once and my mom was just like “Seriously?” Yes, seriously. Greek myths are awesome and Camp Half-Blood would be a super cool place to live.

6. Enchanted Forest-Once Upon a Time

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I LOVE fairy tales and I would love to live in the Enchanted Forest, where all the fairy tale characters come together and basically live in one spot, especially since Once Upon a Time makes all the girl characters super awesome and kickass. I mean, Snow White? I love her and all but in the Disney movie, she’s SO annoying and she’s SO incredibly dumb in the original story. Ginnifer Goodwin‘s Snow White is super awesome and battle ready and just as strong as the Prince Charming she comes to love. Belle is whip smart, and ready to do what she needs to do to help her father and her kingdom. Red Riding Hood is a werewolf, who learns how to harness her transformation and use it as a tool of survival and battle. Ella (Cinderella) is a whole lot stronger in the show, and is ready to do anything to preserve her family. All of the characters are so different in this show than any other adaptation we see of them. And I’d love to live in this place where magic and fairy tales are real but in a way that I can enjoy them and in a way where I can learn from these seriously amazing and strong female characters. Even though Regina, the Evil Queen, is an evil character, you can still even empathize with her and you can still see her as a strong character. Again, its one of those magical worlds that you’d love to live in.

5. The Queendom of the Fells-Seven Realms Series
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I think a big reason why I would love to live in Cinda William Chima‘s Queendom of Fells is because…well its called the Queendom! The lineage passes through the women of the royal family, not the men, which I find to be VERY interesting and something that we don’t see often. I love that the reason behind is because they worship the first woman of the line, Hanalea, who was their savior. Throughout the year, they hold steadfast confidence in Hanalea and her line of successors and even when things start to get rocky, there are still so many people who are by Raisa‘s side and helping her and supporting her, even though she is only a sixteen year old royal. I also like the diversity that Cinda creates in her kingdoms especially between the people of the capital and then the wizards and the clans. We don’t get this straight across the board sort of country but a country that is full of diverse people. She creates kind of your typical white kingdom with royals and nobles and balls and that sort of thing but she throws the clans in there, and I love the clans because they have such different feels to them. I feel like they have some Native American to them, maybe some African, even some of the Asian cultures as well. I’d be really interested in exploring the very corners of this realm.

4. Tortall-Song of the Lioness, The Immortals, Protector of the Small, Trickster series, Beka Cooper series

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I would absolutely positively die to live in the Tortall realm. Tamora Pierce has written five series that take place in the realm of Tortall (although, admittedly, one mostly takes place in the Copper Isles but the main character is FROM Tortall), and she has created five extremely strong female main protagonists. You have Alanna who disguises herself as a boy for eight years in order to earn her shield and become a knight, the first female knight in a hundred years. You have Daine who has an incredible magical ability to communicate with animals, heal them and to shape shift into any animal of her choice and who is incredibly brave and intelligent and uses it to defend the country she loves. You have Keladry who is the first female to openly try out for her shield to become her knight and to earn her place rightfully. You have Aly, who earns her place as a rebellion spymaster to restore a country’s rightful owners back in place and overthrown the tyrant rulers. Then you have the prequel stories of Beka, who is a soldier of the Provost Dogs, who is fantastically intelligent and brave and able to solve crimes and bring the bad guys down in a time, long before Alanna and Daine, and the rest were even alive. Add in magic, fair and just king and queens, knights and dragons and griffins, fancy dresses, adventures, horses and all sorts of awesome stuff and who on earth wouldn’t want to live in a place like this?

3. Idris-The Mortal Instruments/The Infernal Devices

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Idris. Alicante. The City of Glass. The home country for Shadowhunters, their Jerusalem. A small country nestled in Europe, unnoticed by all us mundanes, its a place of beauty and of a world that holds on to the past in looks, while the bustling world goes on around them. In a world where we have square, boring builds, traffic and smog, there’s Idris, a small beautiful country where the Shadowhunters can be themselves and hold a little bit of Mother Earth’s beauty to themselves. And there’s something so appealing and magical about a place that is called the City of Glass. It is very old school. It reminds me of an old French town or Venice, Italy. I imagine canals and little houses and shops and this beautiful private community of extraordinary people. I want to be a Shadowhunter only less than I want to be a wizard or a Jedi and I think the fact that they have this small hidden away country is so awesome. I would love to grow up there, have a country home where I could have a horse to get around and I could learn what it took to be a Shadowhunter and go to dances in Alicante and feel safe and at home. It just seems like a wonderful place to live.

2. The Universe-Star Wars/Doctor Who/Star Trek/Etc. 

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I know, Sara, way to narrow it down there. I mean the universe, the galaxy, as in Doctor Who or Star Wars or even the new Star Trek. There is something really amazing about the fact that there is SO much out there, so many planets and stars and galaxies and there could be absolutely anything out there. There’s so much out there to explore. I wish I lived in a world like Doctor Who or Star Trek where they can explore these worlds and learn new things and see what else is out there besides just us. We are so centered on this planet, we think of ourselves as so important and big but we are so tiny in the grand scheme of things. There is so much out there that we don’t know about and I think it would be an amazing thing to have a TARDIS or a Millennium Falcon or an Enterprise to take us around to see these new worlds and to go on adventures and see the other beauties of the universe. I’m not going to lie, I think I’d be pretty scared at the idea of open space but also incredibly excited as well. The possibilities of the universe are absolutely endless. And when you’re with the Doctor or the Rebel Alliance, you really have the chance to make a difference, to save lives and have incredible adventures.

1. Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry-Harry Potter series

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There is literally no other place in the world, both real and fiction, that I would rather be than this school. When you’re 9/10 years old and you’ve just moved from a roomy house to a house with your grandparents where you are sharing a room with your five brothers and sisters and your parents are fighting all the time, and you go to school and you’re teased all the time because, let’s face it, you’re not very girlie and aren’t really sure how to dress yourself properly and you have your nose in a book all the time and reading just isn’t cool, and life just seems to SUCK all the time…and you pick up this book and you find this incredible, amazing world…who wouldn’t fall in love? I would love to go to Hogwarts. I would love to learn magic and explore this ancient and fantastic castle and learn about hippogriffs and unicorns and make crazy potions and all of those things. These books have taught me more than anything else has and Hogwarts was the home that I would go to when reality just seemed to suck too bad, and its where I continue to go when life sucks and I’ve had a bad day. There’s a line in Deathly Hallows where Harry is looking up at Hogwarts castle and recognizing it as his home, as the home of Voldemort and Snape, the abandoned boys. That part gets to me every single time. Its a home for all of us, JKR created a home for us all. “Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home” is what she said at the Deathly Hallows Part 2 premiere and she is so right. There is no place I’d rather be than at Hogwarts :)

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I hope you all enjoyed this week’s Top Ten! What fictional places would you like to live or hang out at? Let me know in the comments!

Don’t forget to check out the previous Top Ten Lists I have made!

Check back in the next couple of days for exciting things, like an interview with Jessica Brody and a HUGE giveaway for my blog’s first birthday!

Book of The Week: City of Bones

So…I haven’t read anything new this week. I’ve been really busy, help honestly! I have a big exam in my art history class coming up…I just had a big exam in children’s literature…my best friend is getting married…all sorts of things!

So I’ve started some new books, dosage I’m currently reading The Eyre Affair by Jaspar Fforde, Anne of Green Gables and a book called The Demon King by Cinda WIlliams Chima. I literally will have a TON of books to review and share with you guys very very soon, and I know Jackie will too. This week…we got a little lazy…and that’s okay! Sometimes that happens.

And today, today is a VERY big day. Its Harry Potter Bowling Night! If you live in Southern Californa, you need to be at this event tonight! Its going to be epic and see if you can spot me, I’ll be a Helper Elf all night :D

So because of all this busyness and whatnot, I’m doing one of my absolute favorite books today. I’m sure those of you who read this blog know my absolute obsession with Cassandra Clare and her two series, The Mortal Instruments and the Infernal Devices. However, some of you may little to nothing about these books at all and are wondering what the heck I’m talking about all the time!

Plus I’m getting my MI tattoo on Monday, so I’m really really excited about this!

So this week’s book of the week is:

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

 This book is the first book in the Mortal Instruments series, which up to now, has 5 books, the 6th one slated to be released sometime in 2014. Now I went to the bookstore, I needed something new to read and this book caught my eye. The premise sounded interesting, it had Holly Black’s recommendation on it (I adore Holly Black!) and to top it off, it was fairly inexpensive (10 dollars for a fat paperback? I’m sold…) so I decided to try it.

I finished City of Bones that day. I went out and bought the second book, City of Ashes the next day and finished it that day. I went out and bought the third book, City of Glass the day after that and finished it that day. I spent 30 bucks in 3 days because it was so good! I had to wait about five months for the next one, City of Fallen Angels to come out but it was okay. I was hooked.

The basic premise of City of Bones is this: Clary Fray is a normal, every day girl living with her mom, Jocelyn, in New York City, hanging out with her best friend, Simon. That is, until one day, Clary sees people that no one else can see: Jace, Isabelle and Alec. She learns that they are called Shadowhunters, a group of humans who have a spark of angel blood and are trained to fight demons. When her mother is kidnapped and she is attacked by a demon, she gets wrapped up in this world. She soon finds her that her mom is a former Shadowhunter, and was kidnapped by her father, Valentine, a very rebellious and evil Shadowhunter. She has to figure out a way to save her mom, and help Jace, Alec and Isabelle figure out what Valentine is up to…and try and discover who she really is.

The Good or The Bad: 

Obviously this book has a ton of good. Its one of my favorite books, and I’m obsessed with the MI series so yeah, definitely a lot of good going on here.

I love the urban fantasy of it. I love true and high fantasy, don’t get me wrong. Just put the word fantasy there and I’m going to read it. I really like, however, with this one that it takes place in modern day, in modern New York City but it brings that fantasy element of demons and fae and vampires and werewolves and warlocks to the front. It seems so real and believable. Who knows what could be going on around us? Like Muggles, mundanes don’t notice whats going on most the time. So Cassandra spins a world in our world that’s just awesome.

I want to be a Shadowhunter. I want to be one. I know the life is dangerous and the life expectancy isn’t great but I want to be one. Cassandra Clare makes you want to be a Shadowhunter. I want seraph blades and a whip to fight demons. I want Runes on my skin to make me faster or stronger or fearless. I want to be part of that world. It sounds so magical. I’m getting close enough as I can, getting a fearless tattoo and putting together a cosplay outfit of Isabelle Lightwood.

The characters are great. I love Clary. Clary has been getting a lot of comparison to Bella Swan lately but I’d say Clary takes the cake there easily. Clary has no idea anything about her life, really, or her mother and father’s. She is suddenly thrust into this world, learning she is of Shadowhunter blood, but I feel like she takes it in stride. Sure, she’s surprised as hell. But she is so concerned for her mom and the safety of Simon that she runs headlong into everything.

The supporting characters are so great as well; I love them all. Isabelle, Simon, Alec, Hodge Starkweather, Luke, Magnus, even Church the cat. You just have to love them all. They are such dynamic characters in that…they’re all struggling with something and they all change through out the series. They don’t stay the same, not one of them. That is a sign of well-written characters. They are all so different as well. I also like that Alec is gay, and he and Magnus eventually have a relationship. It is awesome to see a gay couple in a novel, so openly, and having them deal with that. I like seeing it again with Aline in the later books.

Oh, but Jace. Jace Wayland. We all know my crush on Jace Wayland. He’s such a pain in the ass but he’s sexy as hell, as Isabelle puts it. He’s got this wry and sarcastic charm, and he’s physically good looking and he’s funny and quick and clever and a badass Shadowhunter. His dynamic, his attitude, everything about him drives you insane. But damn, do you want him and Clary to get together. I’m usually not a big rooter for relationships, I am more like STAB THAT GUY! But I wanted that one badly.

Which leads to me to the villain, Valentine. Valentine isn’t in your face evil like a lot of villains that you read. He’s slick, he’s cunning, he’s conniving. He’s sick. He hurts because he enjoys it. The further along in the books, the better you see this. I will say this, SPOILER ALERT: But he tells Jace and Clary at the end of City of Bones that they are brother and sister, and by this point, both of them are hooked, gone, in love. You learn later in City of Glass, that this is a lie, a complete lie. He tells this lie simply for the enjoyment of watching them suffer. He’s a damn good villain. Ugh, Valentine.

The only little problem that I had was the love triangle. We alllll know how I feel about the love triangle. I’m just not a fan of it. I feel like it takes a lot away from the plotline. Like, ugh, stop worrying about the two boys and go fight these people or go save this person and whatnot. So the whole love triangle thing between Simon, Clary and Jace was like AGGHHH. But I will say, its not as bad as most books go. While Clary is like, Simon or Jace?, she doesn’t focus on it all the time. Honestly, her main goal through all the books, what she does everything for, is to save her mother. So there’s that.

I could go on and on and on and on and on about this series for days. I love it that much. But I won’t do that to you. It’s not nice. But seriously, I recommend you picking up these books and enjoying them! I have, I love them and they’re great. They come from a super awesome author, who I had the chance to meet a few years ago, right after City of Fallen Ashes came out.

She was the nicest lady, and a serious inspiration for a budding writer like myself. She signed each and every book that her fans brought to the signing (I have CIty of Bones signed as well, but I lent it out to a very trustworthy friend). Since then, I’ve become pretty obsessed with her companion series, The Infernal Devices, following Shadowhunters in the Victorian Age. She also has a series, the Dark Artifices, planned to take place in modern day Los Angeles, which I am so excited for because I’m a Southern California girl and that is AWESOME.

Also, the movie adaptation, starring Lily Collins as Clary Fray and Jamie Campbell Bower as Jace Wayland is hitting theaters this summer, August 23rd 2013 so definitely check that out.

So click the link above, it’ll take you straight to the book on Amazon and enjoy! See you next week for the Book of the Week.

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Cassandra Clare’s Books

The Mortal Instruments Series
City of Bones
City of Ashes
City of Glass
City of Fallen Angels
City of Lost Souls
City of Heavenly Fire (due out September 2014)

The Infernal Devices
Clockwork Angel
Clockwork Prince
Clockwork Princess (due out March 2013)

Top Twelve Fictional Places (Oh Why Can’t They Exist?!)

Some of the best things about all these fandoms I’m obsessed with are the awesome worlds that come along with them. I think that’s partly what makes some of these fandoms so damn awesome: the fact that they’re taking place in some mystical, fictional place where amazing things happen. There are so many fictional worlds out there that I wish really existed and there are definitely places that I wish existed. So, of course, I created a list. I had to. I love lists :D and what a better list than one describing all of my favorite fictional places!

WhataNerdGirlSays’ Top 12 Fictional Places 

12. Pokemon World (Kanto, Johto, Etc). 

Pokemon Blue, Yellow and Red are my favorite video games of all time. They were really the first video games that I got into. I adored the show, I collected the cards, I played the game. Of course I did. To this day, I still love watching the show and playing the game (not so much the cards, I just never could understand it haha). I love the world of Kanto. For one thing, you’re ten years old and you’re ready to leave home and go on an awesome adventure. I don’t think I was old enough to walk home from school when I was ten years old! Then there’s all the awesome people, the pokemon, the training, the cool places to go, the battles, and so on. I wish this place was real! I could totally train pokemon! That or I’d just catch them all and stare at them all day because they’re so damn cute.

11. The Kingdom in Howl’s Moving Castle

“In the land of Ingary where such things as seven-league boots and cloaks of invisibility really exist…”

This mostly comes from Hayao Miyazaki and the Studio Ghibli team. They do an amazing job in all of their movies; their animation is stunning and the artwork is beautiful. This is what makes me want to live in Howl and Sophie’s world, known as Ingary in the books. I don’t know that they ever call it by anything in the movies but its called Ingary in the books. Yeah, the kingdoms are a little screwed up in their pointless war, but once that’s all done, I feel like it’d be an awesome place to live. The city where the palace is located is bustling and busy and so fantastically metropolitan. Then there’s the beach front town where Howl’s other shop is located where there’s the vast ocean and street market. Plus there’s magic and fancy clothes and it’d be so fun to do all of that. Oh yeah, and I want a fire demon named Calcifer, voiced by Billy Crystal.

10. Hundred Acre Wood

“Wherever they go, and whatever happens to them on the way, in that enchanted place on the top of the forest, a little boy and his Bear will always be playing.”

 I have a completely unhealthy obsession with Winnie the Pooh for a fangirl of twenty-four. I ADORE Winnie the Pooh. I love the old A.A. Milne stories and I can’t get enough of the Disney adaptations. I will sit on that ride over and over again at DisneyLand and you can catch me singing various songs from the movies at any point in time. Is it no wonder that I think it would absolutely and totally brilliant to live in the Hundred Acre Wood. When I think of the Hundred Acre Wood, I think of childhood. It represents childhood so much; think of the last original Disney movie where Christopher Robin leaves the forest to grow up and go to school. And who doesn’t want to revisit their childhood when it involves adventures with a silly ‘ol bear and a nervous little piglet and a gloomy donkey and a bouncy tigger? I know this girl does.

8. Rivendell/the Shire

“Do you remember the Shire, Mr. Frodo? It’ll be spring soon. And the orchards will be in blossom. And the birds will be nesting in the hazel thicket. And they’ll be sowing the summer barley in the lower fields… and eating the first of the strawberries with cream. Do you remember the taste of strawberries?”

I’d like to say that I would love to just live in Middle Earth, but besides Rivendell and the Shire, Middle Earth kind of scares me, even after its saved. It’s so vast and unknown and there are so many creatures of unknown out there and it seems so dangerous. I like to stick close to home. Hobbits don’t stray to far from home, and some people may not like that much, but I don’t think there’s much harm in that. Of course, I want adventures and fun, but in the end, I love coming home. And the Shire is a quaint little countryside home that is perfect for those Hobbits. Besides, I would fit in sooooo well with Hobbits. And there’s Rivendell, where the lure is just the beauty and mysteriousness of it. Elves are such a mystery, even after all the encounters you have with them. They’re gorgeous (hello, Orlando Bloom in a wig. Hubba hubba). There is something very magical about Rivendell.

8. The Burrow

 

“It’s not much, but its home.”

I am part of a big family. I so know what its like to be a Weasley. There are seven kids in the Weasley family and there are six in my family. I think this is partly why Ron is one of my favorite characters; I can totally relate on the whole big family thing. That being said, the Burrow just sounds like everything I could’ve ever wanted in a home. It has the family together in once place, being a family together. It doesn’t have a forced feeling. It’s a real home, with messes in the rooms and the gardens, and homemade blankets and sweaters all over the place and a homemade dinner every night. Even though the Weasleys are poor, they have the Burrow and the Burrow is their home. It feels like a home. Its where their family gathers to be TOGETHER. Its where Harry gets his real, first experience on what its like to have a home and a family. And that fact that it’s a hodgepodge of rooms and additions makes it that much better. Like everything else Weasley, it’s a little crooked, a little out of place, but perfect in every way.

7. Narnia

“I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now…Come further up, come further in!”

Now I’ve probably said it about a million times already, but I mean MOVIE Narnia, not book Narnia. My quote is from the books, and don’t get me wrong, I do like the books but well that’s a whole ‘nother blog post. I like the idea of Narnia, as this secret place that the Pevensies escape to and its where they belong and where they are able to become themselves. If the Hundred Acre Wood was childhood, Narnia is that middle ground, where a child becomes an adult. All the sons of Adam and daughters of Eve that pass into Narnia give to Narnia…but Narnia gives them just as much back. I like the idea of being able to find a secret, magical land in the back of a wardrobe where I’m going to have adventures and learn more about myself and the world.

6. Tortall

 

“Does anyone in this land act like they’re supposed to?”

The quote itself explains it. Tortall is a land of its own, where things happen that seem so out of the ordinary. The King’s Champion is a woman, one of the most powerful mages in all the world is a woman, there’s woman fighting, there’s schools for the lower classes, there’s so much. Tortall has everything a fangirl could need with knights and mages and fantastic creatures and all of that, but it’s so revolutionary at the same time. It shows equality and tolerance. It promotes the idea of educating your population, all of it. It has a king and queen, who get to know their people, who act like normal people. Girls are amazing in Tortall; they’re clever and ambitious and powerful, just as they are in the real world. I would live in Tortall, easily. I could become a female knight or a mage (if I had the Gift) or a scholar or a Queen’s Riders or join the King’s Own. Tortall represents a sort of crazy wishful world, an example of what we should be. It’s not perfect but its near enough and King Jonathan and Queen Thayet work their butts off to make it so.

5. Time and Space in The Tardis

 

“Think you’ve seen it all? Think again. Outside those doors, we might see anything. We could find new worlds, terrifying monsters, impossible things. And if you come with me… nothing will ever be the same again!”

The Doctor has a way of pulling you, making you want to go with him, even though its dangerous. And it IS dangerous. The Doctor gets himself into crazy, insane, dangerous situations where your life, his life, a species life, the universe is at stake. And yet, you see amazing things as well. There’s a reason that his companions are so enamored with him; there’s a reason they’re so attached and they find it nearly impossible to leave. The Doctor gives you the entire universe, a life that is amazing and unique and different every single time. You literally have the entire universe in the palm of your hand. Anywhere in time and space.You can go anywhere you’d want to go. I couldn’t even begin to make a list of the places I wished to see. I wish that the Doctor’s world existed. I wish he existed and he’d take me along with him.

4. Camp Half-Blood

“Keeping Young Heroes Safe from Harm (Mostly) For Over Three Millennia”

I’ve been absolutely obsessed with Greek mythology for a good chunk of my life. It’s fun and it’s interesting. It was the religion of these people; these tales were what they used to explain everything, whether it was to do with the body, or the nature or anything. I remember wanting to name my cat “Artemis” once and everyone made fun of me. It took me awhile before reading the Percy Jackson series because I thought of it as a little kids’ series. Mistake one. Harry Potter is a kids series and I ADORE it. And I adore Percy as well. How cool to be a demigod, with a god or goddess as a parent (though in the book, they all seem pissed at their parents) and to have cool powers and save the world. Camp Half-Blood sounds so COOL. I wish I could live there. Its like all my obsession with Greek mythology come to life! Obviously I couldn’t be a daughter of Artemis, even though she was always my favorite, but I’d imagine being a daughter of Athena. Athena seems like a good Ravenclaw counterpart.

3. The Galaxy

“For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the Force around you; here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere, yes”

I want to be a Jedi. I want to live in the Star Wars universe. I want a lightsaber and a blaster. I want to be Princess Leia. I want to rip Han Solo’s clothes off. I want to fly an X-wing or the Millenium Falcon. I want to race pod-racers. I want to save the galaxy. I want to live by the Force and battle the Dark side. I want to be part of the Rebel Alliance. George Lucas created a wonderful, vast, epic world and who wouldn’t want to be a part of it? The fact that the first movie came out in 1977, over thirty years ago, and still enjoys a crazy popularity just shows how captivating this world is. It has those classic elements of a typical fantasy, with the princess and the “knight in shining armor” with the swords (lightsabers) and the evil empire taking over. It has a magical component, it has the wide old man and the loyal retainers. And yet it is set in this badass science fiction world. Its the best of both.

2. Idris 

“To a Shadowhunter, Idris is always home.” 

Shadowhunters are humans who have angel blood and spend their lives fighting demons, and keeping the earth safe from demons. There are Shadowhunters stationed all across the world to keep it safe but their home is the country of Idris, and its capital city, the glass city, Alicante. It is described in the books as the sort of Jerusalem for Shadowhunters. I want to be part of this world and live in Alicante because I want to be a Shadowhunter and marry Jace Lightwood. I’m half-way kidding with that.There’s something intriguing about a glass city where the world’s most powerful warriors and protectors live.

1. Hogwarts

“Whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.”

“Hogwarts was the first and best home he had known. He and Voldemort and Snape, the abandoned boys, had all found home here. ” 

How much do I really have to explain about this? Hogwarts is my home just as much as it was to Harry and Snape and Tom Riddle. It was the first time I ever felt like I was a part of something. I learned the meaning of good and evil, right and wrong, the meaning of friendship, of love, of bravery, of tolerance, of courage, of happiness and sadness, of gain and loss. I get teared up just thinking about it, just reading those quotes by Queen Rowling. There is nothing in this world that has touched me or changed me like these books have. How could I not want to go to Hogwarts? Its enchanting, and mysterious, and fun and wonderful. It’s every good word that is out there. There is no fictional place in the world of movies and books that I wish was real like Hogwarts. Its real for us. It will always be real for us. Always.

So that’s my list of favorite fictional places. I’m sure there’s about a hundred more that you all are thinking of so share them in the comments! You know I always love hearing from you :D

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