A Defense of Tauriel: Fan Reaction

So yesterday I posted an opinion piece on Evangeline Lilly’s character, viagra Tauriel, in the Hobbit movie. To say that I got a visceral response would be an absolute understatement.

But I love that. Look, I tend to have unpopular opinions and I’m used to that. Just the other day, I pointed out that while I think John Green is a fantastic writer, I do think that he gets overrated a lot, and that there are tons of authors that are way better than him.

That didn’t go over too well.

So because of that, I feel like I’m more open to differing opinions than most because I’m usually the one with the different opinion. A dear friend of mine (one of my BEST friends though we’ve never met in person) and follower of this blog, Chloe, wrote her own response to what I wrote (which you can read here). She was so worried I’d be offended but honestly, I loved it. I could see the points she made, and while I still stick to my own opinion, I do love hearing others opinions, mostly when they back it up.

I’m posting Chloe’s response to my post today, because its fun, and its a different opinion than mine and I think that’s awesome. So enjoy!

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THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG (2013)EVANGELINE LILLY

Ahh this is one of my favourite topics for discussion – females in fantasy, the concept of female hero versus heroine. I have no real firm opinion on the matter, but I do enjoy discussing it. I do see your point Sara, but I think there’s more to it than that.  Tauriel as a created character, yes. One could easily see her as being a purely commercial creation, since she is involved in a love triangle and happens to be amazing eye-candy. However…

However, I find it equally annoying to have female characters who are basically men with long hair and female names. Captain of the Guard would usually be a male role – making the role female for no reason is not really doing anything for feminism, in my opinion. It’s just creating a token female to make a lazy attempt at avoiding being labelled sexist.

I’m not saying that female characters should not be able to have martial skills, but I think real feminist characters are ones that still have ‘feminine’ qualities that are represented as strengths, rather than weaknesses. Everyone knows women can be as physically skilled as men. That’s nothing new. But not every woman is physically strong, and that does not make her any less of a worthwhile human being than a strong man. I think what we need now are more female characters who use classically feminine qualities and traits as strengths.

For example Luthien, an Elvish woman featured in the Lay of Leithian (and mentioned in Lord of the Rings) escapes from a prison by weaving her long hair into a rope. Long hair and weaving are both female traits, but are here used as strengths. Bam! Awesome character.

If this was an original movie not based on a book then I would have no issue with it being populated with more female warriors. But it is a book, and Tauriel is a deviation from the original. Creating a character like this is a significant dramaturgical choice, and I am certain that the writers and Peter Jackson, being the wonderful storytellers that they are, were well aware of the fact. There has to be a reason for making this character a female other than commercial interests. Take away Tauriel’s love interest and she’s basically a male. She would add nothing to the story but a female who can kick-ass. Good, but it’s not enough. Tauriel is a warrior, but she is also a woman.  She is a woman who allows herself to love (female trait) , and allows her love to overtake her pride (usually a male, warrior trait). Her femininity is a strength, as I will explain.

You said that Tauriel “knew what the right thing to do was, whatever her king said.”

 Is letting giant spiders go off to multiply in other lands when Tauriel and her fighters have the skills to protect these other people really the ‘right’ thing?

Is letting a dwarf go off to die when Tauriel has the skills to save him really the ‘right’ think to do?

In this day and age people resist the idea that a monarch is absolutely correct in everything, and that anyone who does anything apart from displaying unquestioning, blind loyalty is a traitor. Thranduil is not a perfect king. That is made quite clear. He is calculating, cruel and interested only in protecting his own, yet feels happy to allow the dwarves to go off and risk waking a dragon if he can take a share in the treasure.

Tauriel uses her love – a trait usually presented as female and often as a weakness – to allow her to see and do (what I would consider to be ) the right thing.

I think it’s worth noting that Legolas goes through much the same thing as Tauriel. He only follows Tauriel because of his fondness for her, much as Tauriel follows the dwarves for her fondness for Kili. Is it a weakness in him? I would rather argue that Legolas’s love for Taurie and Tauriel’s love for Kili is what allows them both to see what the ‘right’ thing. Previously both Legolas and Tauriel had used their loyalty to their king as an excuse to hide away from the world that they could help, to take the coward’s way out. Here, love is presented as a positive quality. Legolas is given love, a female trait, and it makes him a better person.

This is also explored when Fili and Oin stay behind from their mission to try to help Kili. The love their share makes them forget their pride and their lust for wealth. They will gain nothing by staying behind, but they do because they love Kili.

Are these men’s actions, which are the product of love, weakness? Or is it nobility? Why then is a female allowing romantic love to drive her – as opposed to a male being driven by familial or romantic love – a weakness?

Selfishness is a large theme in this film – selfishness and a lust for wealth. The love-triangle is not an isolated, tacked on addition to the film. I see it as another aspect of the exploration of these themes.

Is Tauriel necessary to the story? Is her romance necessary to the story? No, not really. But then again since when have movies ever been about economic storytelling? This film is much more than a simple narrative, and Tauriel’s charcter, her sub-plot and her influence on other characters are all part of what makes it so rich and beautiful.

I’m sure some people with have issues with this discussion. I am NOT saying that love is feminine and pride is masculine, for one thing. I would just argue that this is often how they are presented in literature, especially sword and sorcery fantasy. I am also not saying that there is no other way that Tauriel could be an awesome strong character without having a love interest. I am simply saying that this is how I see her as working within the plot to provide a strong, female character, and that having a love interest is not intrinsically anti-feminist. I also hope that this post will make people realise that there is more to being a feminist and being a worthwhile woman than possessing physical strength.

Thanks for reading my discussion, and I’d love to hear some responses!

A Reaction to The Hobbit’s Tauriel: Strong but Still Not as Strong as a Man

So the Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug has been out for a couple weeks now, decease and yes, it took me this long to get to a point where I had the free time to write this. Starting TWO new jobs, around Christmas time (which is also boyfriend and dad birthday times), just kept me busy. I swear, I’m going to try and get back to posting often, like usual.

Moving on though.

Warning: the following has major spoilers for The Desolation of Smaug. Proceed with caution.

I was going to write an actual review for the movie but…I think I need to reread the book before I can do a fair review. I felt…well, I just am not sure how I feel about the movie yet. But I do feel very strongly about the character of Tauriel, and that needed to be said.

When I first heard they were adding a character, a brand new made-up character to The Hobbit movies, I was extremely skeptical. I knew they were adding Legolas in. Now, while Legolas does not actually make an appearance in The Hobbit, his father does, and he is a pivotal character in the Middle Earth world. So that didn’t bother me. But a whole brand new character? That was weird to me.

THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG (2013) EVANGELINE LILLY

But then I learned about Tauriel, and why she was created, and it made a lot of sense to me. The fact is, nerd is cool now. And while that irritates the hell out of my sixteen-year-old self (seriously…the teasing, the bullying…), I appreciate that girls, especially, are being introduced to fantasy and science fiction and all that. It makes me incredibly happy. And with that has come a plethora of strong, badass female characters.

Now Tolkien wrote DECADES ago, and so he only has a handful of female characters in his novels: Arwen, Eowyn, Galadriel. Galadriel has a tiny baby part in The Hobbit Part 1, but other than that…its a meat factory. Its all men. In this day and age, and with the fans that The Hobbit has garnered, it just made sense to make a female character. Tauriel, an elf living in the Mirkwood kingdom, was created.

And I’ll say this: Evangeline Lilly rocked this part. She’s a beautiful woman, seriously. I had a major crush on her while she was on Lost. So they definitely had that going for the character of Tauriel.

But they also made Tauriel SUPER badass. Seriously, I was blown away from the beginning at how awesome they made her. Like Legolas, she wields a bow and arrow and two short swords, and she rocks them. She’s quick, clever and brave as hell. She’s a perfect elf warrior, and I would find her completely intimidating in person. She’s a fighter, and an incredibly clever and loyal one, and honestly, Tauriel could have easily become a favorite for me, until…until they introduced her storyline and I felt disappointed, and cheated.

I really liked Tauriel, and the introduction of her character, especially when I learned why they did it. But when I actually watched the movie, and got her storyline…I felt incredibly cheated. Like “here you go…sort of”. I don’t understand how its possible that the directors, producers, writers, whomever, said they created Tauriel in the hopes of creating a strong female character for the female audience in a story that didn’t have one, and then give her a love story.

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Yeah, a love story. Because god forbid a female not have a love story.

They couldn’t just let Tauriel be super badass, wielding her weapons, and being a great fighter, who knew what the right thing to do was, whatever her king said. I don’t know why they felt it was necessary to introduce a love story to the movie, in the first place. The Hobbit is a full story already, and with adding the back story to the leading up to the LOTR, with the extra stories from The Silmarillion and the various appendices, there was just NO need to introduce a love story. It was unnecessary and incredibly stupid. And the fact that they gave it to the female character within five minutes of her being introduced just angered me to no end.

And okay, I love love stories. Fine. I really do. I ship pairs together, and I have my OTPs, and I have yet to write a novel that didn’t have romance in it. Hell, my novel A Little Less than Famous, is all completely a love story. I do love a good love story.

But I don’t feel like a love story was necessary in this movie. It just wasn’t. It detracted and was annoying and unnecessary. It just didn’t fit.

And here’s my thing: if you really wanted to argue for a love story, fine. If they felt like it was so “absolutely, totally, positively necessary” (so much sarcasm in my voice right there) to give Tauriel a love story, all right. Maybe I could have handled that.

But they didn’t just give her a love story. They gave her the most annoying and frustrating of love stories in the whole wide world, one that has been driven into the ground and makes me want to throw things: a love triangle. I mean, seriously? You HAD to make it so both Legolas and Kili were attracted to her, and vice versa. Why? Why?

It just makes me so incredibly frustrated and mad. I felt incredibly cheated. I felt like the filmmakers dangled this seriously badass, strong female character in my face but then were like “mmm, just kidding, she’s not THAT strong”. Because again, how dare we create a female character who is strong on her own, without any outside influences of romantic love, but just because she knows its the right thing to do. They should have made it so Tauriel chases down the Orcs because it was the right thing to do…and not alluded that she was doing it for Kili and his safety too. It just made me gag.

I feel like…Hollywood creates these strong female characters but they can’t seem to do it 100%. There is always a little bit of anti-feminism going on, just enough to show that the females are strong, but are not as strong as the males, and just enough that it won’t be noticed by most people.

Its like Carol Marcus in Star Trek Into Darkness. She is incredibly intelligent, and sneaks aboard the Enterprise because she knows something is amiss and she’s determined to figure it out. She is integral to some crazy moments in the movie. She gets the missiles open, she is an extremely strong character.

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And yet, they felt the need to undress her in the movie. Why? Seriously, it was completely pointless. Why couldn’t she just be the incredibly intelligent, beautiful and strong female character WITHOUT taking her clothes off?

Or Uhura, Zoe Saldana’s character in the Star Trek movies. She is also another incredibly strong female character, who is a great fighter, and is fiercely intelligent as well. And yet, while her, Spock and Kirk are heading down to the Klingon planet (an incredible danger that likely would have resulted in death had they not been saved), she feels the need to pull the whole “I’m-fine-but-not-really” stereotypical female reaction when she’s mad at her boyfriend. Seriously? Uhura is NOT like that at all; she is strong and dedicated to her job, and she’s going to do her job, whether she’s mad at Spock or not. And yet, they have her having this pissy, “female” reaction.

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Don’t get me wrong: I do think Tauriel is a very strong female character, and I liked her a lot. I liked her a lot as a character. I think she’s a great warrior and incredibly intelligent. I think we sometimes equate actual strength and fighting for strength in a female character but I also attribute strength to intelligence as well. An intelligent female character is also something that makes me happy.

 But I was incredibly disappointed in her storyline. I thought they sort of negated her purpose of being the strong female character that the movie needed by giving her a soft storyline. I know that even Evangeline Lilly was not into the idea of Tauriel having a love story, and they gave her a love triangle. Its incredibly disappointing to me.

Now, you don’t have to agree with me. I think there are plenty of people who won’t agree with me, but I do think that you should pay a little more attention to the portrayal of women in movies. Because even if you don’t necessarily agree with me, you have to admit it a little bit. Hollywood IS starting to make stronger female characters (like Katniss Everdeen…but really, we have to thank Suzanne Collins for that more than Hollywood), but if you look hard enough, you’ll see that its like “Here’s your strong character…but just not as strong as the boys”.

I hope in the last Hobbit movie that Tauriel will make a return, and in a warrior capacity more than the object of two male’s affections. She has so much potential to be an amazing character, and like I said, I honestly liked her a lot. I thought she had some incredible fight scenes and I think she could have a big impact in the third movie, as a fighter, and as the loyal, caring elf that she is.

But I really hope they phase out that love story nonsense, especially the triangle part of it. It was unnecessary, and frankly, insulting to me. I wanted to watch Evangeline kick ass, and while I did get that, I got an added storyline that had me leaving the movie theater with a sour taste in my mouth.

Take note, Hobbit filmmakers, you have a year to fix this. Don’t continue this baffling love story, especially if you’re doing it just to fill time. I want to see Smaug, and Bard, and the dwarves and Bilbo. I want to see the epic battle. That’s what matters to me.

What about you? What did you think of Tauriel? Share in the comments!  

Things to Look Forward to in 2013

The year is halfway over. Its July and its full on summer mode here in Southern California. The 4th of July is that turning point of the year; its half way over.

And I’m sitting here, viagra approved enjoying my summer vacation before I start my last two years of college, thinking about all the awesome things that have already come out and happened this year. Clockwork Princess. WonderCon. Meeting SO many authors. Star Trek premiere. So many cool things.

But then I was thinking about it, and I was like, there is still SO MUCH MORE to look forward to with the rest of the year. So much more.

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

Premiere Date: August 12, 2013

Release Date: August 21, 2013

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I am SOOOO insanely excited for this. The Mortal Instruments series is one of my absolute favorite book series and I cannot wait to see it on the big screen. When they first started making it, I admit I was extremely wary. I was afraid of them making another Twilight, and while this series keeps getting compared to Twilight, its nothing like it and it looks amazing! I was also super wary of some of the casting, especially the casting of Jamie Campbell Bower as Jace Wayland but I ended up being proven so wrong, at least of what I’ve seen so far. So far, the directors, producers and movie studio have gone out of there to stay connected to the fans, to see what we’d like to see and what we like about we’ve seen so far and they’ve responded in kind. And the trailer shows me a seriously badass movie. I am looking forward to this movie adaptation because its looking like the best that I’ve seen in awhile.

Doctor Who 50th Anniversary and 12th Doctor Announcement

Release Date: November 23, 2013

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I LOVE DOCTOR WHO, and my love for Doctor Who only increased when I went to Gallifrey One, the Doctor Who convention in February. I enjoyed Series 7, though it wasn’t my favorite, and I have been eagerly anticipating the GREAT 50th anniversary special that is sure to come this year. That is when they announced that David Tennant (the 10th Doctor) and Billie Piper (Rose Tyler) would be joining Matt Smith (the 11th Doctor) and Jenna-Louise Coleman (Clara Oswin Oswald) for the 50th. I literally squealed with fangirl excitement. David Tennant is amazing, and his rendition of the Doctor is just…its the best and I ADORE Rose and I can’t wait to see the shenanigans that these four get up to. Then Matt Smith announced that he would be retiring as the 11th Doctor and all eyes and ears in the DW fandom are anxiously awaiting the announcement of the 12th Doctor. So much amazing DW coming our way :)

Tammara Webber’s Here With You

Ebook Release: August 6, 2013

Paperback Release: August 27, 2013

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I wasn’t even aware that there would be a fourth book in this series but I am so excited that there will be, especially since Reid Alexander is a main player in this book again. If Reid Alexander were a real celebrity, I’d: A, want him to play Jace Wayland in City of Bones and B, I’d be WAY obsessed with him that way girls are obsessed with Justin Bieber. I have a feeling a lot is going to be going on with this book, and I think the past that Reid has with his ex, Brooke, is going to come up big time with this book. I think we’re finally going to see more of that then we’ve ever seen before.

Sarah J. Maas’ Crown of Midnight

Release August 27, 2013

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The first of these books, Throne of Glass, is an absolute masterpiece and its no wonder, as it took Sarah nearly 10 years to write. Its an epic fantasy, with a badass character in Celaena, who is literally a legendary, almost mythical assassin. She can fight, and kill and she has a wicked sense of humor and she likes to curl up with a book. And she has two very different men falling in love with her, and she’s too busy trying to get her freedom. And…even though I absolutely loathe love triangles, I can’t decide which man I like better: Dorian or Chaol. But what a wonderful world that Sarah has created and I can’t wait to see this story continue and to see what other wicked adventures Celaena gets herself into.

Jennifer L Armentrout’s Origin 

Release Date: August 27, 2013

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I can’t WAIT for this book (did I mention that this book and the previous two mentioned ALL COME OUT THE SAME DAY!). If you’ve read the end of Opal, the third book in the Lux series, you’ll understand. MAJOR cliffhanger, and you just know that Daemon is PISSED and he’s ready to take on the world to get Katy back and its going to be amazing. Just the differences in covers alone shows that this is going to be a VERY different novel from the previous. I hope it’ll be more action packed and it’ll take the story in completely new directions. I am SO excited for this book; I’m counting down the days.

Veronica Roth’s Allegiant

Release Date: October 22, 2013

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I read Divergent TWO days before the release of Insurgent and stayed up til 3 a.m. reading Insurgent on its release day. It was released on May 1st, 2012 and I’ve already been waiting for over a year for this book. I know plenty of other Divergent fans who haven’t waited nearly as long as I have, so trust me haha, I’m dying for this book to come out, especially with the damn cliffhanger this book leaves you with! I remember reading this SO late at night and thinking, “No…no way. No, Veronica Roth, you don’t do this to me.” This is one of the most anticipated releases of the year in the YA genre, and with the movie wrapping up filming this month, its sure to be a best-seller within minutes. I canNOT wait to see the conclusion of this epic dystopian series.

Rick Riordan’s The House of Hades

Release Date: October 8, 2013

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Again with the cliffhangers. The Mark of Athena, the book right before this one, leaves off with an EPIC cliffhanger. Sorry I’m about to spoil it so if you haven’t read the previous books, I would move on to the next time on the list. I’m warning you. Okay, we leave off with Percy and Annabeth (one of my OTP!) literally FALLING INTO TARTARUS, the deep depths of the Underworld and the Romans of Camp Jupiter charging toward Camp Half Blood, with attack the only objective on their minds. What a way to leave off. Only a year in between books but it is SO hard to wait. And this cover, with an extremely beat up Percy and Annabeth, running from…something, just gets me wriggling with anticipation. Rick Riordan has never failed to disappoint me so this is definitely a book to count down on.

Catching Fire Release

Release Date: November 22, 2013

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I can’t wait for this movie for three reasons. One, I loved the first one but I wasn’t incredibly impressed with it. I’m hoping CF is better :) Two, Finnick Odair. Do I need to say anything else? And three, my friends all went to the Hunger Games premiere last year and had an awesome time and now we are going to the CF premiere and its sure to be a FANTASTIC time. This is a great book series, and the movie is chock full of great actors like Jennifer Lawrence, Woody Haralson, Donald Sutherland, Jenna Malone and so much more. I am excited to see how they accomplish the build up that Catching Fire is. I also am really curious to see how well they pull of the Quarter Quell and the ridiculous arena that is the 75th Hunger Games. I remember reading it and thinking it was crazy, and its going to be epic on the big screen.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Release

Release Date: December 13, 2013

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Okay, I don’t care what any of those so-called fancy Hollywood movie “critics” say. They aren’t fans of the Tolkien universe and they just don’t know. This movie wasn’t made for the critics; it was made for the fans and all the fans that I know…LOVED the first movie. I know I did. I was incredibly impressed and I wanted it to go on forever and I loved the extra stories they added from The Silmarillion and the appendices. This movie is bound to be epic because we get to see more elves (including Thandruil and Legolas) and Benedict Cumberbatch’s sexy dragon voice and so much more. I just know that the movie will continue to be as epic as the first one was. My super cool friend, Kathleen, from New Zealand got me some epic Hobbit shirts and I can’t wait to wear them when seeing this movie for the first time.

Cinda Williams Chima’s The Enchanter Heir 

Release Date: October 1, 2013

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I am so incredibly…okay I’ve said it like a hundred times now…excited for this book because Cinda Williams Chima is a fantasy GENIUS. Seriously. I will push her on you until the day I die because she is an absolutely brilliant and talented writer and I don’t think its fair that she doesn’t get the credit that she deserves when there are extremely popular YA authors out there, with huge fandoms, that aren’t even good. Okay, moving on, this is the 4th book in the Heir Chronicles, though it can be read without reading the first three. Its an urban fantasy, a brilliantly crafted fantasy world wrapped up in modern day worlds. I read all seven of Cinda’s previously released books in a matter of about a month and so now I am dying to have my socks knocked off again by this amazing writer.

Anniversary Edition Harry Potter Books

Release Date: August 27, 2013

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I hate change. I really do. I would rather things just be left alone and kept the way they originally were meant to be. Like the original Star Wars trilogy. Why George Lucas, why, did you add all that unnecessary CRAP  to that movie? Ugh. So when they announced that each book in the Harry Potter series would be getting updated covers for the 15th anniversary of the Sorcerer’s Stone’s publication in the US, I wasn’t really thrilled. Until the covers started to be revealed and I was thoroughly impressed. As much as I believe that Mary Grandpre’s covers are the best and will always remain my favorite, these covers (so far, five have been released) are just so beautiful done and are so incredibly impressive and full of artistic talent. I went from shaking my head, to looking at these with eyes wide and immediately rushing to Amazon to place my pre-order. And of course, this box set comes out the EXACT SAME DAY as Origin and Crown of Midnight and Here Without You…

Marie Lu’s Champion 

Release Date: November 5, 2013 

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This is going to be the most epic finale to the BEST dystopian series that I have ever read. Yes, better than The Hunger Games, and yes, better than Divergent. Marie Lu creates a one of a kind dystopian universe (she actually talks about countries besides the US!) and she creates two conflicting, yet in love characters, and her back and forth point of views just leave us with a breath taking, addicting story. I adore both June and Day and the cliffhanger she leaves us with (SPOILER: Day is dying…and he didn’t tell June) is just too much for me to handle. Luckily, after reading Prodigy on its release day in January, I didn’t have to wait long for Champion’s release, which is in November! Not even a year. That, my friends, is possibly the best news a reader can get.

Percy Jackson: The Sea of Monsters

Release Date: August 7, 2013

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I was incredibly disappointed in the first movie. I don’t think its as TERRIBLE as everyone makes it out to be but it definitely isn’t a good movie. Its kind of one of those guilty pleasure movies; plus, Logan Lerman is so adorable, I just want to eat him up. But it wasn’t great, and it failed in the box office, so it surprised me immensely when they announced that the second book, Sea of Monsters, was being filmed. Pleasantly surprised but also wary. Now, I’ve seen stills and trailers and I’m not completely sold yet but I do like this book a lot and I am hoping that they are able to revamp this movie series and we can get to Titan’s Curse, which is my FAVE of the Olympians series. I hope, I hope!

Meg Cabot’s The Bride Wore Size 12

Release Date: September 24, 2013

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Heather Wells is one of my idol characters to look up to because she makes me feel better about myself, both inside and out. Heather is a bigger girl, and she used to be a smaller, famous pop star who basically lost everything but as the books go on, she gains more and more confidence, and becomes so happy in the skin that she’s in and I love that. I love that the more I gain confidence in the size that I wear (which is, a size 12), the more I feel like this badass heroine. Now, after all these books, I am so happy that she is finally getting married and to the person that she’s always wanted to be married to, and I can’t wait to see what adventures she is bound to get into because its Heather and someone is bound to die and Heather is bound to catch them.

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I am also looking forward to the return of Once Upon a Time in the fall for season 3, the new series, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, as well. I am excited for Vampire Diaries and the new series, The Originals. I am also anticipating the return of Sherlock, season 3, though I believe that may be in 2014. So much is coming!

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So that was a really long, epic post but I hope you all enjoyed it! There are just SO many cool things left to look forward to in 2013!

What are you most looking forward to in the next six months of 2013? Book releases, movie releases, TV shows returning? As always, share in the comments!

Tuesday Top Ten-Favorite Fictional Bromances

I was reading one of my favorite blogs to follow, sickness over at The Urge to Write (which, incidentally, you should all check out. She’s a great writer and her blogs always keep me interested) and she recently did a list of top ten fictional bromances and I loved her list, which you can see here.
But anway, I really liked her list so I decided to make it one of my Tuesday Top Tens. I’m starting to write and plan my top tens before its even Tuesday because I can get SO busy. Like, I haven’t done a Book of the Week in a couple weeks and I meant to write a post about my experiences at Gallifrey One (which I finally did yesterday!) and I just went to a Conan taping on Wednesday for my birthday and I just haven’t done it. I’ve just been busy and when I’ve had a free moment, I just want to do NOTHING. Or read. I am SO far behind on my 200 books this year goal…I think six books behind. I gotta catch up.
And now that I’ve gotten sufficiently off topic…here is this week’s Tuesday Top Ten, my favorite bromances.

10. Damon and Stefan Salvatore 

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Okay besides the fact that these two are insanely hot and look absolutely nothing alike…well okay a big factor is the fact that they’re hot. But what I like about this pair of vampire brothers is that they are actually legitimately brothers. They were close before they were turned and even though their relationship grew tumultuous afterwards, you can tell they would still do anything for each other and they both do. When Elena chooses Stefan, Damon concedes even though you know it has to hurt. Stefan makes a terrible deal with Klaus, an evil Original vampire, in order to save Damon’s life. They’re obviously important to one another and they accomplish so much more when they work together. And they fight like normal brothers do, which gives them some humanity. And they are so pretty to look at.

9. Grover and Percy

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Percy’s fatal flaw, according to the series, is his deep and unwavering loyalty to his friends. We see that in his love for Annabeth and we see it in his love for his Cyclops brother, Tyson. But we also see it in his friendship with Grover. He firsts friends Grover at their school because he is handicapped, shy and nervous. He sticks by his side no matter what, and when he finds out that he is a demigod and that Grover is a satyr and his protector, he continues to stick by his side. These two are basically inseparable and are even connected at one point. I was sad to not really see Grover in the Heroes of Olympus, even though he doesn’t really need to be. Percy just seems kind of empty without his best friend. Grover and Percy are an awesome bromance because they stick together no matter what and have crazy, dangerous adventures together.

8. Will and Jem 

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Will and Jem have an epic bromance because I swear at times, I think they’re going to just ditch Tessa and start making out with each other. Actually, sometimes, I kind of wish that would happen. Ha! What kind of ship name is that? Willem? Jemill? Anyway, I like the bromance of Will and Jem from the Infernal Devices because of their epic loyalty to each other. Will loves Jem, would do anything for him. He never stops believing there could be a cure for Jem’s illness and he is the one who gets the drug for him. Even though Will thinks he is cursed so that everyone he loves will die, he lets himself love Jem, as his greatest sin, because he can’t help loving him. They are parabatai, warriors closer than brothers and you can see that. Jem loves Will, no matter the horrible things he does and says to push people away. That’s brotherhood and love right there. Will also is the same way back, even though he can’t show it for most of the first and second books. Even though he is madly in love with Tessa, he toasts in happiness her engagement to Jem.

7. Buzz and Woody

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Is there a better pair of best friends than Buzz and Woody? I honestly don’t think so. Sure, they’re toys. Not only are they fictional characters, but they aren’t even people or beings of a sort, they are TOYS. And yet they have one of the most real and beautiful friendships that we see in fictional worlds. The friendship starts off rocky, with neither one willing to become friends with the other, both of them thinking they are better than the other. But through out the trials and tribulations of making their way back to Andy’s house before they move, they realize they are more similar than they know and become the best of friends. Throughout the two following sequels, they fight, bicker, both trust and distrust each other and say goodbye to each other. They make fun of one another and help one another and they have a great, great friendship. Its what I would imagine a friendship between two guys to be and you kind want to be their friend too.

6. Legolas and Gimli 

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Haha I picked this picture because its SO funny. I love the dynamic of Legolas and Gimli only because I kind of feel like its similar to that of C3PO and R2D2 (who, incidentally, do not make the list…if only because sometimes my patience wears thin on C3PO haha). Middle Earth is literally going to HELL and there are some serious things going down here: death, starvation, annhilation, sacrifice…this are some epic, epic stories. But you have the friendship of Legolas and Gimli, which is both completely endearing and touching, but also hilarious as hell. They are the comedic relief in the epic battles. While everything is going to shit, they are laughing and counting how many enemies they are taking down, in a contest. I can imagine that Gimli and Legolas stayed friends for years after the war. I can imagine both of them helping to create a less hostile relationship between the elves and the dwarves. They’re both so funny, and they remind us of the heart of the story. I do believe that the hobbits show a lot of the heart but I also think that of Legolas and Gimli. While they are obviously taking things so seriously and fighting hard, they remind us what it is that they are fighting for.

5. Sirius and Lupin

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For some reason, I actually kind of like this as a ship. Like…I totally ship Remus and Sirius. Wolfstar. That’s so weird haha. I mean, let’s make this clear, I love how everything turned out in the novels, and who ended up with who. I know all you Neville and Luna shippers were disappointed but I was okay with it. That being said, I totally ship Remus and Sirius outside of canon. But moving on, I think that these two make a great twosome, a great pair of friends. These two have lost so much, have been through so much. They’ve lost two of their best friends to death, James and Lily, and they lost a best friend to cowardice, Peter. Sirius has spend his entire life in prison for a crime that he never committed…right after hearing of the deaths of his friends. Remus has spent his entire life being judged for being a werewolf. And yet these are two of the strongest men in the book, some of the best teachers for Harry, and even though they’ve lost so much, they have each other, and it shows when they reunite. They are whats left of the Marauders and when they die too, they complete the circle.

4. Jace and Alec 

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I like the friendship between Jace and Alec for several reasons. One reason is that they are parabatai, just like Jem and Will, which makes them closer than brothers. But I also think they have such a great brother dynamic. Alec is the first child that Jace as ever seen in his life, when he comes to live with the Lightwoods, and they become best friends. Jace would do anything for Alec and vice versa but I also think they need each other. Alec is shy, sometimes lacking of courage. He is afraid of his own sexuality and he’s even afraid of killing demons, because he is so busy protecting Jace and Isabelle. But Alec is loving and caring and passionate. He is so true and pure, even if he doesn’t even believe in himself all the time. Jace, on the other hand, is so avoidant of emotions, of love, that he is overly confident and overly outgoing. He pushes people away, even those who just wish to be his family. Without each other, maybe Alec would have never had the courage to come out, accept his love for Magnus and tell the world. Maybe Jace wouldn’t have let his guard down and become brave instead of just reckless. I have them this high up because they are best friends, brothers, parabatai and they need each other.

3. Sherlock and Watson

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Okay, I’m just going to say one thing first: when searching for a picture of John and Sherlock for this post, I had a hard time finding something that’s appropriate and that’s because people ship Johnlock like no other. I must admit, I kind of do too. For anyone who has never watched the show Sherlock, you need to. The first two seasons (which are 3 episodes each) are available on Netflix and the third season probably won’t be out for awhile. But its fantastic; and much, much better than the US version, Elementary. Trust me on this. Its so good and Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman have excellent on screen chemistry. They need each other. John Watson is content to wallow in self pity, living a half life. Sherlock doesn’t have a whole lot of humanity in him, because he’s so busy showing off his intelligence all the time, using it to figure out impossible puzzles. Together, they make a great time. John gives Sherlock some humanity, though Sherlock still is kind a jerk. Sherlock gives John an exciting life, as part of their crime solving duo. They’re equals in a way; even though Sherlock can spout off some crazy information about a person or a situation, John can often times see a humanity behind, a reason behind it. I am dying for the third season to come so I can have some Johnlock again.

2. Han and Chewbacca

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What would Han Solo be without his Chewbacca, huh? Nothing, I tell you. Han Solo is a badass smuggler but he wouldn’t be half as intimidating if he didn’t have a 7 foot 3 wookiee by his side. If you know anything about their relationship, basially Han saved Chewbacca’s life and so Chewbacca owes him what you would call a life debt, and will serve him for his life. But I think its much more than that. I think that Chewbacca and Han Solo have a serious friendship. They copilot the Millenium Falcon together and go on crazy, dangerous smuggling runs together. Chewbacca is beyond upset when Han is frozen in carbonite and does some serious work (along with others, of course) to get him back from Jabba the Hutt. I think they make a good pair because they are an unlikely pair but it just works for them…especially since I’m pretty sure Han Solo is the only person who actually understands what the hell a wookiee is saying. “You said it, Chewie”. I’ve always wondered what exactly Chewbacca says when Han responds. I guess we’ll never know and that’s the beauty of the friendship.
 

1. Harry and Ron 

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Is there a better friendship between two guys than Harry and Ron? Don’t answer that; you all have strong opinions and I don’t want to hear it haha. I love the Potter universe above any and all other fandoms and that makes the bromance between Harry and Ron my absolute favorite. They need each other, just as much of the pairs before. Harry is THE Harry Potter and his entire life is laid out before him, and he has to be so serious at times. All the pressure is on him. Its opposite for Ron, he’s one of seven children, the youngest of the boys, and he’s more apt to make jokes than anything else. Ron is there to usher Harry into the wizarding world and to help loosen up, and be happy, even when it feels like it can’t be happy. Harry is there to help Ron believe in himself, to help him because the badass wizard that he can be. Even when they are pissing each other off, they always end up friends again: The Triwizard Tournament debacle, the Half Blood Prince drama, the separation in Deathly Hallows.
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What do you think? Do I realllly want to ask? You guys are so opinionated! Haha! But I really do want to know so tell me your favorite bromances below!

Tuesday Top Ten-Weapons of Choice

Ahhhh it feels good to be back, prescription writing for the blog. I spent most of last week on an editing bender, trying to get A Little Less than Famous done. I procrastinated in the worst way and left it to the last possible moments. Luckily I had asked to help from others earlier on and well I work better under pressure anyway.
But it is done now and available for Kindle and Nook and their corresponding apps. You can find out how to buy it in this blog post.
Then immediately after finishing LLTF, my boyfriend and I took a weekend trip to San Francisco. Which was amazingly fun because I haven’t been there since I was a kid.
But anyway I’m back and we are back to a regular schedule. Today I will be doing the Tuesday Top Ten, and the Book of the Week will be back on Thursday and so on.
Now, this week’s top ten is all about those weapons of choice, the ones that our favorite fictional characters wield that we totally wish we could have. Here it is.
10. Trident 
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There’s something kind of badass about a trident. I’m not talking about the one Ariel’s father uses in Little Mermaid. I’m talking Poseidon from Percy Jackson and the delicious Finnick Odair from the Hunger Games. You put a trident in their hands and they become warriors. Finnick just looks like a pretty face and a hot body (which, I mean, he is) but he becomes pretty badass with a trident in his hand. I wouldn’t mind taking lessons on how to wield one from him. The best part is that you don’t NEED anything. You don’t need a bow AND an arrow or ammunition. You just need a trident in each hand and some badass skills.
9. Whip 
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There are two people who use a whip that make it one of the coolest weapons around: Indiana Jones and Isabelle Lightwood from the Mortal Instruments series. I mean, where would Indiana be without his trusty whip in his adventures? Nowhere, I tell you. And Isabelle? She uses her flashy gold and silver whip to chop up demons! There is something very sexy about that, which makes it even more awesome. I mean, Isabelle walks into a room, looking sexy as hell, dressed in all black, red lipstick, stilettos…and then pulls out that whip. And come on, the first thing that you’re thinking is WHOA! Then she uses it to chop demons into pieces…and she’s damn good at it. That’s awesome.
8. Stele 
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I don’t know that this is a weapon, but more a tool to assist a Shadowhunter. It’s wand like and pen like, and it’s used Mark Shadowhunters with runes. Runes are tattoos that help them right better: they give them stealth and swiftness, silence, strength, healing and fearlessness. I would love to draw these tattoos on me. One, I just love tattoos (I think I’m a little addicted). And two, they give you powers. They give you the ability to be stealthy or fearless or they help you to be invisible to mundanes (regular humans). Plus you just look damn cool.
7. Blaster 
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I know, they aren’t exactly the most civilized weapons in the galaxy and that Obi Wan Kenobi looks down on them with distaste but come on, the war couldn’t have been won without some good blaster power. Luke was the only with a lightsaber and he couldn’t take down the whole Evil Galatic Empire on his own now, could he? So we need a good blaster to help take down the enemy and we need the best man to handle it, Han Solo. Han Solo, the scoundrel with his loud and messy weapon, and his wild partner in crime, Chewie. I’m not talking guns here; I’m talking blasters. Because blasters are better, for their sound effects alone. Who doesn’t go around, saying “pew pew” after seeing Star Wars.
6. Sword
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There’s nothing like a good ‘ol sword to make you feel pretty powerful. Look at everyone in the Game of Thrones. Once Upon a Time. Alanna, Keladry and Aly of Tortall. Every fairy tale ever. The Heir Trilogy. The Seven Realms novels. Lord of the Rings. Percy Jackson and his sword, Riptide. And on and on and on. There is a beauty and powerfulness to the idea of have skills in swordsmanship. Even just the idea of having a sword hang on my belt makes me feel more powerful. I want to walk casually into a room, my hand resting on my sword hilt, letting everyone know that I am not someone to toy with. And think about it, I’m a tiny person. I’m not someone you see and think “OH NO, SHE’S INTIMIDATING!” No way. But one of my favorite fictional swordswomen is Alanna of Trebond from the Song of the Lioness series and she’s the tiniest and fiercest heroine with a sword in her hand. If she can do it, I definitely can do it.
5. Bow and arrow
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This is probably the most popular weapon right now. Between Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games, Hawkeye in the Avengers, Oliver Queen a.k.a. Green Arrow in Arrow, and even Kili in The Hobbit. Legolas in the Lord of the Rings. Daryl in the Walking Dead. Merida in Brave. Even little Arya in Game of Thrones.  And on and on and on. Especially with Katniss Everdeen. Archery is the hip thing right now. And I’m right on board with that. The fact is, archery just looks SO COOL. Its kind of an old school weapon, you know? You don’t really see the Army or the Navy busting out bows and arrows and shooting them in Afghanistan and Iraq. But old school is awesome, and it just feels like…you have to have more talent to wield a bow and arrow. Sure, you need a good eye and some aim to shoot a gun but to use a bow properly is that much harder which is why its one that I wish I had.
Update: As I was writing this post, a commercial for the new Tomb Raider came on…and wouldn’t you know it, Ms Lara Croft herself seems to be using a bow and arrow nowadays…and that doesn’t surprise me a bit!)
4. Sonic screwdriver
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Okay, this isn’t exactly a weapon. Okay, it isn’t a weapon at all. But its soooooooo cool and where the hell would the Doctor be without it? Stuck behind locked doors, confused about things he had never seen before, completely incapable of overriding something on a computer or a terminal or a ship or whatever. The fact is, the Doctor isn’t the Doctor without the sonic screwdriver (and the TARDIS but that’s a WHOLE ‘nother blog post). The sonic is just kind of this little magical device that can do pretty much anything, except when it comes to wood, and its a PRACTICAL weapon. It may not actually win you any battles but its a clever little tool and I definitely want one. Plus every single time the Doctor uses the sonic on something, he has some sort of intelligent nonsense to say and everyone believes him because they don’t know any better and he’s the Doctor so he has to be right. I’d like to just walk up to something random, sonic it and then spout off some eloquent bullsh*t. I’m sure I could do it.
3. Seraph blade
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For those of you who don’t know what a seraph blade is, its from the Mortal Instruments series (and maybe other series that deal with Nephilim, I don’t know). TMI is about a group of people called Nephilim or Shadowhunters, who have a sole purpose of keeping the earth safe from demons. They used their stele in order to draw Marks on their bodies to give them various strengths and powers. But the actual weapon that they use is called a seraph blade, a blade that looks like its made of ice, until you name it. A Shadowhunter gives a seraph blade its name, a name of an Angel because, of course, they are half angel/half human, and the blade begins to glow, and its the perfect weapon to take down a nasty demon. It just sounds so AWESOME. Its not a sword, its not a dagger; its something inbetween and its created for the single purpose of taking down a demon. AND IT GLOWS. I want it, because, let’s face it, besides being a wizard or a Jedi, I want to be a Shadowhunter most in the world.
2. A wand
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I know, I know, its not number one. People are probably having a hissy fit right now but just pay attention for a moment okay? I want a wand because it basically can do ANYTHING. I mean, it can’t create food as we learned from Ron and Hermione in Deathly Hallows but it can duplicate it. You can hover things and you can summon things and banish them. You can change your appearance and enlarge things. You can turn off lights and open doors and you can make flowers bloom and so many things. You need seven years of schooling to master the purpose of using a wand and even then, I’m sure you don’t know it all. It is the ultimate weapon. You may ask, well, Sara, you’re a Potterhead, why isn’t it your number one? Well for two reasons: one, its not very big, which means I’m likely to lose it. I’m horrible at keeping track of things and I could totally see myself constantly losing my wand the way I lose my cell phone or my keys. And two, its SMALL. This wand is basically my lifeline as a wizard and its so small and insignificant. I’m so terrified it would be snapped in half and then where I be? Even so, its definitely a weapon I’d like to have.
1. Lightsaber 
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Ah, yes, the classiest weapon in all the galaxy. A weapon for a more civilized age. And seriously, what every little kid wishes they could have. Hell, what every ADULT wishes they could have. And if they don’t want one, well, my opinion is that they are straight up crazy. Its even BETTER than a traditional sword because it glows, in different colors of red, blue, green and purple and it can be deactivated so, you know, you don’t sit on it or something. (What? I can totally imagine stabbing myself in the butt with my sword when I go to sit down…). I don’t care who you are; lightsabers are super cool. The noise they make when they activate, the noise they make when you use them, the noise they make when they collide with each other. The gorgeous arc they make as you swing them at your opponent. How could you not want this? Its all the beauty and class of a sword but in a more badass format.
Hope you all enjoyed this edition of the Tuesday Top Ten (on a Wednesday but who’s paying attention) and I hope you all tune in tomorrow for the Book of the Week. I’ve read so many books the past few weeks (The ENTIRE Heir Trilogy, The Girl of Fire and Thorns, Matched, The Maze Runner, Beautiful Creatures, and so on) so I need to decide which one to actually review. I guess we’ll see tomorrow.
Until then, what are your favorite weapons (or fictional objects) of choice? Let me know in the comments!
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