Tuesday Top Ten-Books I’d Like to See as a TV Show/Movie

One thing that I have noticed in the past few years, stuff especially in the last year, pill is that so many of the books that I enjoy to read have either been made into the movie or TV show, advice especially in the young adult genre. Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Twilight, Hunger Games and Beautiful Creatures have already been made into movies. The Vampire Diaries is a very successful TV show. CIty of Bones, Divergent, Catching Fire, Ender’s Game and more are coming out in the coming months, and even more movies are being filmed and being written for the big screen.

Now, I was thinking, even though most movie and book adaptations aren’t perfect and they don’t turn out the way you wish they would, its still fun to see the characters and worlds you’ve come to love come to life on screen.

So I made a list of the top ten books I’d like to see as a TV show or movie. Some of these have been signed on, but we haven’t seen much more than that. So some are “Oh, I wish it would happen” and some are “please I hope this happens some day SOON!”

Here we go!

10. A Little Less than Famous

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Yeah, yeah I’m seriously talking about my own book right now and I know that this is super selfish and a little bit conceited but I do think it would make a really good…hmm, I think TV show rather movie but either way. I was going through the process of editing and adding and all that sort of things when I was like, this would make a great movie. I created this book as sort of a glimpse into a celebrity life and what a better way to adapt that then to show it on a big screen. McKinley Evans is just a regular girl, who starts dating superstar, Jake Kennedy, and gets wrapped up in that celebrity world. I started to self cast people for McKinley and Jake, like people fan cast. The biggest one that I really liked was Chase Crawford, of Gossip Girl fame, as Jake Kennedy…but with black hair. I just think a book that is wrapped up in the life of movies and TV shows would translate well into the actual real world of movies and TV shows.

9. Legend

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This movie is actually already been picked up for a movie, by CBS Films, but its a really slow process, or so I am learning now that I actually pay attention to things like this. Its been a long process to create a script, and now that the script is written, its time to find a director. But I hold out hope that it will eventually hit the big screen. Though I love both Hunger Games and Divergent, I really think that Legend is so much more both and can attract both a female and male audience. In the books, there is a back and forth point of view between June and Day, and both characters are so real. The thing that really brings you in is the fact that they are two completely different point of views but the same story. June and Day are literally living the same story but they come from two different worlds so they see it so different and to see those two stories coinciding on screen, to crash together towards the end would be absolutely amazing, and I hope very much that CBS Films will be able to make this happen.

8. Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour

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This is one of my favorite books of all time, and Morgan Matson has created such a beautiful, memorable story. I think a lot of the YA adaptations (besides The Fault in Our Stars) has really been in that sort of fantasy/paranormal/dystopian genre, and while I am way into that, I do think there are a lot of contemporary novels that would do well in a movie translation as well. Amy and Roger embark on a road trip across country, Amy to Connecticut and Roger to Philadelphia, both to confront fears that they’ve been avoiding for so long. Its a real and raw novel, a novel that takes on what it is like to be a young adult, faced with the kind of things that both Amy and Roger have faced, and puts it in a fun, and addicting adventure, such as crossing the country and experiencing new things and meeting new people. I think it would be an absolutely wonderful movie to make, and to watch.

7. A Great and Terrible Beauty

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As far as I’m aware, this movie WAS signed on, but it fell apart and it never actually happened, which isn’t surprising because not every book that gets optioned to be a movie actually makes it to the big screen and that’s okay. However, I do really think this would make a great movie. Its a fun, and dark and the sort of issues that the girls tackle are incredible. I think Libba makes a ton of good points in this movie that would translate amazingly into a movie. The girls in this book struggle with the idea of power and how powerless they are in the Victorian age where everything is decided for them before they can even open their mouth. In a time like now, when things should be better and different, and they aren’t, I think it would really connect with a lot of girls. I would have been very excited to see a series that focuses more on the four main characters and their struggles, especially with finding out who they are and less on love stories, and I’m sad that this never came to be.

6. Before I Fall

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This is another book that has definitely also been optioned for a movie, and back in March, when I met Lauren Oliver, she assured me that its still in the works and hopefully will be one that actually happens. Her Delirium series filmed a pilot for FOX and didn’t picked up for a fall season, but I wasn’t a huge fan of the Delirium series so I’m not surprised. Before I Fall, however, is a brilliant novel and I really think Lauren Oliver hits her mark here. I think it would make a great movie because you don’t often have a main character that you honestly hate from the beginning of the book, which is exactly the way I felt about Samantha. But after Samantha dies and she’s forced to relive the last day of her life seven times, you slowly sort of fall in love with her as a character and its such an addicting and fast moving, emotional story, and I think it would make an absolutely beautiful movie, if done right. I know that Lauren Oliver said its a work in progress and I so hope she means that.

5. The Lost Hero

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So far, we have seen The Lightning Thief on the big screen, and we’ll see The Sea of Monsters in about a week but I would really like to see The Heroes of Olympus come to life. I am excited for Monsters next week but the changes they made, especially when concerning the age difference between the actors and the characters in the novel. I think if you took Logan Lerman, Alexandra Daddario and the rest, and then cast Piper, Jason, Hazel, Leo, etc. for The Lost Hero, you would create a perfect movie. The characters in these books are hitting their late teens and its more fitting to the story, and the actors would make SO much more sense than they do in the ones they are making now when they are supposed to be, like, eleven years old. I super love Percy Jackson and the Olympians but I really have this addicted to The Heroes of Olympus and I really do think they would make the best movies of the entire saga that Rick Riordan has created.

Literally was watching a Sea of Monsters trailer while writing this. So awesome.

4. The Demon King

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Okay, so I am totally biased when it comes to this. I honestly think Cinda Williams Chima has created an absolutely wonderful fantasy saga and I think there should be more pure fantasy novels being adapted into tv shows and movies, at least in the YA genre. We have Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit and Game of Thrones but we really don’t see that much in the YA. I can understand it, mostly because creating fantasy on film is really hard and really expensive. But I think doing a fantasy, a pure epic fantasy movie with a girl as the main character, one who becomes the ruler and has to rule a country in chaos at such a young age. Its a beautiful story, and it has magic and hot guys, and political strife, and racial clashes. Cinda creates such real stories, that you can mirror them to things you see in every day and Raisa, the main character, is someone you can really relate to, even if you’re not a teen girl thrust into an authority position you are not ready for. I think if you put this in the hands of the right director, in people willing to really make a beautiful fantasy film, and not go cheap on it, you could see this as an awesome movie.

3. Wicked

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Make no mistake here, I think this book is absolutely wonderful but its way too dark and gritty to be a movie. Its…its very dark, and I always kind of laugh when people see the musical first and then read the book, unaware of how very, very different they are. I read the book first so I was surprised, though pleasantly so, when I saw the music. I like both of them a lot, but just in different ways, and as different entities. What I would really like to see is the musical, either recorded the way they recorded Cats all those years ago, or doing a movie version of it, like with Hairspray and Rent, etc. I think its an amazing musical, and even my anti-musical boyfriend enjoyed it when we saw it together nearly six years ago. Its so funny, and the music is just so…emotional and amazing, and even the happy songs of that musical make me cry. I would love to see this as movie, simply so I could buy a Blu-Ray copy of it and watch it ALLLLLLLLL the time.

2. Clockwork Angel

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This is also currently being worked as a movie as well, probably with the success that City of Bones has already enjoyed and the movie doesn’t even come out for about a month. I just see all the awesomeness of City of Bones (again, I know, only through trailers so I don’t really know yet) and I think, oh my god, let’s do all of that, but in the Victorian age! Which would be beautiful, and then I start fan casting (Sarah Bolger for Tessa Gray!) and I just think it would be amazing. I would love to see book loving, shape shifting Tessa Gray battling automatons and the evil Mortmain alongside the mysterious and cruel but so hot Will Herondale and the beautiful, fragile Jem Carstairs. I would love to see Godfrey Gao as Magnus Bane but in Victorian times. I really would love to see that. Its just more Shadowhunter kickass-ness but in a time where the girls were wearing corsets so its only THAT much better. Please make this happen. I’m just saying.

1. Trickster’s Choice

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This is one of my absolute favorite books of all time, tied up with Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (which was a horrible movie adaptation, but meh, to each their own). To go along with the things I said about The Demon King, I think we need more fantasy in the YA books-to-movies. So many of the books that are being adapted are dystopian and while I seriously love dystopian, I’m ready for some super awesome fantasy adaptations. I am so excited for The Hobbit, but that book isn’t as accessible to teens as this book is, and Aly is a brilliant character. I also think that Tammy uses a lot of real world parallels in this novel, the idea of the dark skinned raka, living under the tyranny of the white skinned luarin, war, rebellion, growing up, losing your virginity, slavery, self-identity and so much more. Plus the dynamic character of Aly. I really think we could use some more strong female characters, but equally awesome and strong male characters and this novel has both, and it’d make a great, great movie.

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Hope you enjoyed this week’s edition of the Tuesday Top Ten, and don’t forget to check out last week’s, where I counted down my Top Ten Favorite Romantic Scenes!

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What are some of the books that you’ve read that you’d like to see become movies or TV shows? Share in the comments!

Unfavorable Characters-And Why I Like Them

So I was talking with some of my friends the other night about books, hospital of course, hospital because that’s seriously what we do ALL the time (I’m looking at you, Tatiana, Sylvia, Paulina, Megan and Gabby) and we started talking about City of Bones because Paulina is reading it for the first time. (I know, right? Sigh, at least she’s reading it now! Haha) She had already kind of started liking different characters and we were talking about that and I mentioned that my favorite TMI character, besides Jace Wayland (because we all know how I get about Jace Wayland) is Alec Lightwood.

And that started a discussion on the likability of Alec. I seemed to be the only person that really actually liked him. For the most part, there were negative comments about Alec. Its not that they didn’t like him; they just weren’t particularly fond of him. They said he was pompous, and mean and things like that. And they aren’t really wrong. But…I love Alec, and probably for those reasons. And I usually get a sort of incredulous reaction when I express how much I really love Alec.

That’s not really the first time that’s happened either. I tend to like characters that aren’t always the most favorable of characters. I love Alec Lightwood. My favorite HP character is Ron Weasley. I like James Potter, as well. Jessamine Lovelace from TID? Yeah, I liked her too. I liked Pippa Cross in A Great and Terrible Beauty and I actually really like Cersei Lannister from Game of Thrones (from what I know so far…). I also really like Draco Malfoy as well.

I also tend to get a lot of gasps and surprised looks when I say I don’t like a particular character, or that I’m not as obsessed with them as most people are. Like Severus Snape…I don’t like him, sorry. I don’t like him the way the fandom does. I think Alan Rickman is awesome but I’m just not a huge fan. Same with Dobby; that guy is SOOOO annoying, I can’t even handle it. I like Simon Lewis in TMI but I felt he was kind of a stereotypical character and I am not obsessed with him like most of the TMI fandom is. And so on.

So I started to think, why is it that I tend to like the characters that most people don’t pick as their favorite? Why do I tend to be very apathetic toward characters that people go insane over? I really started to think this over. And I came up with some reasons.

They are more realistic. 

Don’t get me wrong. I love Harry Potter. I love Hermione Granger and Jace Wayland and all of these characters but a lot of times, they aren’t the most realistic of characters. Now, don’t jump down my throat just yet. What I’m saying is, they are realistic, but they aren’t the MOST realistic characters of the novel. I prefer characters like Ron, Alec, Draco, James, Jessamine because I believe they tend to represent human nature a lot more than maybe we are aware of or what we want to admit.

Take Ron Weasley as an example.

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I think people like him for the most part, as part of the trio, but I don’t think people are overly fond of him. I know a ton of people who will bad mouth him to the end of time, and they usually bring up the way he acted with Harry in Goblet of Fire when his name is chosen, and then also in Deathly Hallows, when he leaves Hermione and Harry. And I can understand where they are coming from. You can sort of be frustrated and angry with Ron and the way he acts.

However, I think the way he reacts is the most realistic reaction of all of them. Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley are all extraordinary characters, and they’re all wonderful, brave, fantastic characters. But come on, let’s be real. How many of us, actual seventeen/eighteen year olds would make the kind of sacrifices that they did? I mean, I’m sure there would be a good amount. I know that you tend to surprise yourself when put under extreme circumstances, but let’s face it, teenagers aren’t always prepared for these kind of situations. I think the fact that Ron is tired and hungry and irritable and frustrated is completely normal and expected. I would be. I don’t know how I would be if I was put in the kind of situations that they are. And when it comes to Goblet of Fire? We are all victims to the green monster of envy and jealousy and I think that Ron being angry at Harry is normal. I think its realistic. I think that its the most realistic and genuine reaction, in both of those situations.

They are more relatable. 

Again, don’t all start attacking me. Its not that I don’t think that these other characters aren’t relatable because they are! They totally are. There’s a reason they are the main characters and the ones that people remember. They are completely relatable. But I tend to find those disliked characters a little more relatable.

Let’s talk about Alec Lightwood for a moment.

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What I’ve seemed to notice about those who tend not to like Alec is that he’s pompous, proud, he’s irrational and emotional, and he can be mean, and he does something INCREDIBLY stupid in City of Lost Souls.  I’m not denying that; definitely not. But I can relate to Alec Lightwood so much, more so than probably any of the characters in that book because he is so REAL. He’s eighteen years old, and he’s gay, and he can’t really bring himself to admit that. Its hard enough for someone to come out as a normal teenager and even harder in a conservative, tight knit society that the Shadowhunters have created. Then he has Magnus and I think a lot of his growth in his self-esteem is hanging on that relationship. I think he feels more confident when he has Magnus‘s love.

And yes, obviously Magnus is an immortal being and has previous relationships and love in the past. We do know that, and I know that it is possible for you to love more than one person in your life. But again, Alec is not a very self-confident person and I’m sure hearing about Magnus’s previous loves, and coming face to face with one as manipulative as Camille has to be SO hard on him and his self-esteem. It doesn’t help that Magnus is very close-mouthed about his past. I know he thinks he’s doing Alec a favor by sparing him from details of a past that isn’t important anymore but I think it makes Alec feel worse, and it makes him have crazy, insecure thoughts because he’s insecure. I also think that he comes across as pompous and mean because of his insecurities, to cover up how he’s really feeling.

I know exactly how that feels. I know how scary it can be to come out to people; I know it was for me. I know what it is like to be so unbelievably insecure and lacking of confidence in yourself that you sabotage your relationship because again, I’ve been there. I’ve had the sort of insecurities that Alec does and if you’re already an emotional person, the way Alec is, you’re going to do things that are irrational. I think Alec is a very real and relatable character. I feel like people try to pretend that we don’t have insecurities like that, the ones that make us do those kinds of things, that make us do BAD, mean, or hurtful things. I think its realistic to have a character like Alec who is emotional and irrational and impulsive and making the wrong decisions and making mistakes and messing things up because we all do these sort of things. We all do the wrong things all the time, because we’re human and Alec is a very human character, which is why I love him so much.

They’re a lot like me?

Okay, I don’t mean this in a way to feel sorry for myself or any of that but I’m a book worm. And sure, that’s super cool now. Everyone seems to be reading now but for most of my life, especially through middle school and high school, I was teased hugely for spending most of my time with my nose in a book. And I’m kind of an intense person. I am emotional, impulsive, sometimes irrational and I just FEEL so much, you know? I’ve always been like that. And I’m a person that has never had a ton of friends all at one time. I’ve been unpopular.

So maybe I understand and connect with these characters more than the others because of their unpopularity? I understand their motives, I understand that their loneliness can sometimes make them do stupid things, or come across stupid.

Take Jessamine for instance, from The Infernal Devices. She’s lonely; she doesn’t fit in with the Shadowhunters and doesn’t feel that same pull, the same calling as the rest of them do. She wants to be normal, wants to have a normal life, to marry and have children and escape the life that she doesn’t belong to, not really. And yeah, she betrays people and she’s not a very nice person. But I can understand her motivations and I can understand why she did the things she did. I understand wanting something so badly that she was willing to do anything for that.

This also makes me think of Pippa Cross in A Great and Terrible Beauty, who is often called annoying, spoiled, impulsive, irrational, etc. I completely understand Pippa. She’s powerless, in ever way that she can be powerless. She is absolutely beautiful (okay, so that one isn’t exactly relatable haha) and she’s a tool her parents are using to get out of their debt. She isn’t valued for her mind, for the things she thinks, for her dreams and her wishes. She’s insecure and that makes her biting, mean, a bully. They say bullies tend to be incredibly insecure people. I think Pippa is afraid of not being heard, of being looked over and not feeling important. I know how that feels. I think she also feels like, even though she’s beautiful, she’s constantly in the shadow of Felicity because Felicity is clever and charming and dynamic. I DEFINITELY can understand that because I tend to find friends who are more outgoing and dynamic and more well-liked than I am. Which brings me to my last point.

I understand these characters.

When you really come and put all of these characters, it boils down to I understand them, and understanding them makes them more real, more natural and more genuine. I understand their motives and their emotions and why they make the decisions the do.

I understand Alec. I understand that he is insecure and that he’s impulsive and he’s a teenager with raging emotions and it makes him irrational. I understand the mistakes one can make when they have that kind of personality and those kind of insecure thoughts. Like I said, been there, done that. I’ve made incredibly stupid decisions like Alec, sabotaged my friendships and relationships.

I understand Jessamine, wanting something so badly that you would do anything for it, even hurt those who have only your best interests at heart because you are so focused on that goal that its so hard to pay attention to something else.

I understand Ron Weasley, because I know what its like to be in others’ shadows and to feel like you’re constantly second best to someone else. I know that I could probably not handle a situation like being on the run, trying to take on the biggest villain of all time as well as Hermione and Harry. I would probably be like Ron, I would feel discouraged and hungry and angry and frustrated and hopeless. I would.

I understand Draco Malfoy, who I believe is a product of his environment, a kid who only knows what his father has taught him and I believe that he eventually realizes what he has done is wrong. I believe he is a kid that makes the wrong decisions but changes things before he and his conscience and his soul can be lost forever to evil. I feel sorry for him, and I have fantasies that he became a better and happier person after the war, after he comes to terms with the mistakes that he made and learned from them.

I also understand Cersei Lannister. Okay, not the whole, I’m in love with my brother thing because that’s kind of gross. But I understand that she was basically forced to marry someone that she didn’t love and that she was used, abused and disrespected and that would make any self-respecting woman angry. And all she wants to do is protect her children. Sure, she doesn’t quite go about it in the BEST way possible but I do understand. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Cersei was scorned BIG time and I can understand her anger, her need for…revenge and to get what she feels she has earned.

Lastly, I also like James Potter, and besides just the fact that he’s Harry’s dad and without him, we wouldn’t have Harry. I think he was a great man and a great person. I think he had a big head, and was pompous and spoiled and a bully when he was a child because of the environment he grew up in, where he was spoiled and adored by his parents. But I don’t think he was a terrible person and I think he grew up to be a great man, who learned from his mistakes and changed who he was, and became the man that everyone talked about to  Harry.

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So okay, maybe you don’t agree with me. Maybe you still think I’m crazy and I like the weirdest characters and what is wrong with you and all of that and that’s okay! I have read blog posts and articles about those characters that I don’t like, like Snape, and I’ve understood but I haven’t agreed and I’m sure you have done the same.

But that’s just the way I feel. I like those secondary characters that not as many people like. I like those underdog characters that don’t always make the right decisions or say the right things because they are the most real to me, and they are the characters that jump off the page to me.

I am not a perfect person, and I’m okay with that. I come to terms with myself and my personality more and more each day but I’ve been insecure and emotional and impulsive and stupid and annoying and I’ve been mean and I’ve been prideful. So I understand these characters and I understand that sometimes you do the wrong things and say the wrong things and you’re not liked and you lose friends and boyfriends and loved ones and you’re not popular and you’re alone. I recognize that.

I think that so many of these popular characters go through the same things. I do believe that, but I do believe that they tend to do these things in a way that can be admired, or make them to be a struggling hero or a martyr or that sort of thing. I think they often times end up making the right decisions and that they have these redeeming qualities that are more obvious than their flaws. I think these other characters, their flaws are more obvious than their good qualities because their flaws cause problems in the stories.

But I see these characters for their good and their bad and I saw their genuineness and I love them for that. So I’ll stick to liking those characters that may not be as popular as the others. Even if I have to continually defend them, because I like them for a reason, for many reasons, and that’s all that matters right? These characters are real to me, and therefore feel like real friends to me, real people that I know.

So what do you think? What are some characters that you like that some people don’t really agree with? As always, share in the comments. I love to hear from you guys!

Tuesday Top Ten-Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy Book Series

Well, medicine that was quite a mouthful of a title. I did try to slim it down a bit but I’m afraid it just wasn’t going to happen. So I am afraid we are stuck with this extremely long title. Sigh. Oh well. Sometimes, pharm you know, buy information pills things just happen.

So I’m actually writing this on Monday night, so its ready to post for tomorrow, because tomorrow is a BIG, BIG day, in the words of one Effie Trinket. Tomorrow, me and my iFandoms Collide girls are heading down to the Star Trek Into Darkness premiere tomorrow and I’m going to be a busy girl all day.

So I had to be responsible and do all my homework first. And now I’m being doubly responsible and finishing this so I don’t get behind!

Because there’s so many awesome posts coming! I’ll probably do a post on my first movie premiere experience tomorrow, and I have my interview with Eoin Colfer to post and there’s an interview with Jessica Brody coming VERY soon, and the Book of the Week and I have a super cool blog that was a story writing project with me and a few other bloggers and…yeah, a lot of SUPER awesome stuff coming to WhatANerdGirlSays.

In the meantime though, enjoy this week’s Tuesday Top Ten!

Favorite Science Fiction/Paranormal/Fantasy/Dystopian Series

11. Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

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The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, The Return of the King

Some people will not understand why this is so low on the list. They also are probably wondering why this is number eleven. Well to answer the second question, well its my blog and I can do whatever I want and I love this genre and so I couldn’t narrow it down. And for the second, I’ll explain. I love LoTR, I adore those books. They are fantastic books and I enjoy reading them. J.R.R. Tolkien created an incredible world, using old mythologies and biblical references and all kinds of really cool stuff. He created some memorable characters, and an epic story. I do think that he should have created stronger female characters but that wasn’t exactly the time and Eowyn is still a super badass character. But these aren’t books that I gravitate to and read over and over again. Mostly because they are really hard to get through; there’s a lot that goes on, where you’re sitting there going, what does this have to do with anything?! I also think there’s an abnormal amount of singing and dancing and eating and partying going on in all of those books and I’m sitting here, going, “Uh impending doom? Why are we feasting?” But maybe thats just me. But that being said, JRR Tolkien is a fantasy god, and created a series that opened the doors for so many other series. I don’t think the fantasy genre would become what it is without this epic trilogy.

10. Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins

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The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, Mockingjay

It took me FOREVER to read these books. I don’t know why, but I just had no desire to read them. I don’t know if it was the covers or what, but I just didn’t want to read them. I had no idea what they were about but I just didn’t turn to them for new reading material. However, my sister kept pushing me to and eventually I gave in…and sped through the first two books in a matter of maybe 36 hours. Luckily enough for me, Mockingjay was to be released about a week later so I didn’t even have to wait a long time to find out what happened next. And even though Mockingjay is my least favorite of all the books, I seriously enjoy this series and I am so glad I finally sat down to read these. I know that a lot of people give Suzanne Collins crap because of Battle Royale but I’ve said this once, twice, three times and I’ll continue to say it: we tell the same stories over and over again, but when we tell them in different voices, we create completely different stories. And I believe Suzanne did that. I love Katniss, and I love her strength and her humanity. We are put in a world where children are forced to kill each other, and where immense violence occurs. Then we are shown this world from our beloved Katniss’s point of view, and even though she is surviving and killing just like every one else in the games, she has a real humanity about her and you can’t help but love her and root her on.

9. Divergent series by Veronica Roth

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Divergent, Insurgent and Allegiant 

Oh Divergent. Thank you to my dear friend Caitlin who introduced me to this book. Another book that I got into after it had been released for a bit. I read Divergent the DAY that Insurgent released. In fact, I finished Insurgent at about 2 or 3 am and immediately purchased Insurgent on my Kindle because I just had to find out what happened next. I had to. And I love the world Veronica Roth created because it is both extremely familiar but very different at the same time. I also feel a very strong attachment to Tris Prior. Tris is not like other heroines. So many of the heroines that we read are yes, strong, and powerful and all that but they’re always pretty! And come on, not all of us are pretty! We’re not all supermodels! And it works great in this book because it shows Four‘s gradual attraction to her, he falls for her because of her strength, her selflessness, her intelligence, all of that. And it gives her a better opportunities to prove her strength. Because we are less focused on her physical appearance, except maybe for the fact that she is very small (which, as a short person, I love!), we are able to focus on her physical and mental journey to become the real person that she can be. I love the psychology of the books too. A friend of mine is a psychology professor (I think, she’s got a degree in psychology, she’s really smart when it comes to psychology…) and we were able to have some deep discussions on the serums and fear landscapes and all that stuff and its so super interesting!

8. Legend trilogy by Marie Lu

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Legend, Prodigy and Champion 

This is another series that was recommended to me by someone and was one that I actually jumped on pretty quickly. My friend Erin gives me really good recommendations and I tend to take her advice haha. I read Legend two days before Prodigy came out (how does this keep happening to me…) and I was addicted. I was hesitant to read this book because it was another dystopian. And don’t get me wrong, I LOVE dystopian. It kind of takes all the worst qualities about the societies we live in today and amplifies them. I almost feel like these books are made to scare us a bit, like, could the world really become this way? But I was getting tired of it and it was getting comparisons to Hunger Games and I was like, meh. But I am so glad I decided to dive in. Marie Lu is a fantastically talented writer and she creates such a real world. This could be the world we eventually live in. Its Los Angeles in the Republic of America where you have to take an aptitude test to determine whether you’ll be trained as a soldier, which is elite, or you have to do grunt work. Day is a criminal, after getting the lowest score possible, trying to save his family and June is a prodigy, with the highest score, a perfect score, going after Day after he is accused of her brother’s murder. Alternating viewpoints gives us a look into both of their heads and both of their stories and Marie spins a twisting story where you just don’t know who to look at it or who to root for. Fantastic books. I canNOT wait until Champion, the final book, is released this fall.

7. Infernal Devices Trilogy by Cassandra Clare

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Clockwork Angel, Clockwork Prince, Clockwork Princess

I think this one is almost self-explanatory because I talk about Cassandra Clare so often but I have to talk about it so much. The Mortal Instruments is near and dear to my heart because they are the first ones I read of Cassie and they have Jace Lightwood, who I’m pretty much in love with and all that. And yeah, TMI gets a lot of “crap” because of stolen ideas and all that stuff. But what I like about the Infernal Devices is that Cassie became an even better writer when she tackled these books. She knew New York, and she was comfortable there but diving into these Victorian London novels took time, effort and a ton of research, while also creating a believable, exciting and relatable story and she accomplished all of the above. Tessa, Will, Jem and the rest of the characters are so easy to love and so easy to follow and the story keeps us absolutely breathless to the very end. These books are funny and exciting and absolutely heartbreaking. I challenge you to read Clockwork Princess without bursting into tears. I dare you. You can’t do it. You can see the differences in the times between Clary‘s Shadowhunter story of TMI and Tessa‘s in this series but you can also see the similarities between them too. And even though you aren’t wearing a corset and wondering what is proper and what is not, you can feel such a kinship and immediate connection to Tessa Gray. And you anxiously wait the entire series to find out who she is and what strengths she has and you learn that out of all the characters in the series, she’s the strongest. Such a beautiful series. And look at those covers, gorgeous!

6. Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima

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The Demon King, The Exiled Queen, The Gray Wolf Throne, The Crimson Crown

I will talk about this series until I am blue in the face because I feel like no one I know has read this series and it is an absolute travesty. I was talking to my friend about it today and Leigh Bardugo (author of the Grisha trilogy) saw it and chimed in, saying she agreed with me on this series. Its good to know that I am not the only one who not only appreciates what an amazing series this is, but also loves it as well. Cinda reminds me a lot of Tamora Pierce who was the first author that really brought me into YA fantasy. If Meg Cabot and Sarah Dessen were my gateways into YA contemporary, Tamora was the gateway to my fantasy love. And I have read some amazing series since then, I really have, all the series that are on this list basically. But none of them have brought me back full circle like this one. Its such brilliant, pure fantasy, that is creating this wonderful, different world but is written so it is familiar to us all and makes it a relatable read. I love Cinda’s Heir series but this one, Seven Realms…its just brilliant. I can’t even articulate how fantastic this book is. You get two alternating points of view, in third person, between Princess Raisa and the former crime lord, Han Alister (who you may have seen on my fave fictional crushes). Both are trying to find their niche in the world until mysterious things start happening to them, and to the world around them and then suddenly their worlds are intertwined. Spread out over four books, you stay glued to each page, anxiously waiting to see what happens next. I read all four in about five days. I inhaled them. More people need to be talking about and reading these books.

5. Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan

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The Lost Hero, The Son of Neptune, The Mark of Athena (and two more coming in 2013 and 2014!)

I love Percy Jackson and the Olympians. They are absolutely great books. I saw my sister and brother reading them, saw that they were kids books and kind of left it at that. But then I saw the movie, and the movie…wasn’t that good and it made me curious about the books and I read that series pretty quickly. Then I latched onto this one, of course. And Heroes of Olympus takes the world that you love in Percy Jackson and amplifies it by a million. Even though these books are sold in the children’s section and are aimed at children, they have a very YA feel and remind of Harry Potter, how they can reach out to any age. The writing becomes more sophisticated, the stories more complex and the relationships are becoming more fun. And the stories and conflicts that the characters go through are getting harder than they were in Percy Jackson. We get to see the characters we love evolve into older teens, we’re seeing them growing older and falling in love and trying to save the world from things even worse than before. Then we also get to meet new characters, who, even though we haven’t known them as long, we fall in love with just as hard. The idea of intermixing the Roman and Greek mythologies and two camps and all of that is just brilliant and I really think this series is Rick Riordan‘s masterpiece. He took this brilliant, awesome world he created off of all these myths that we’re all pretty familiar with and just made it that much better. I’ll admit it too: I love this series because of all the Percabeth. I love me some Percy Jackson and Annabeth Chase. They are too cute.

4. Gemma Doyle Trilogy by Libba Bray

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A Great and Terrible Beauty, Rebel Angels, A Sweet Far Thing 

So I messed up this series a little bit. I saw the cover of Rebel Angels when I was at Borders one day and thought it was absolutely gorgeous and it really intrigued me. I think it had just recently been released because it was on display. I read the description, thought it sounded great, bought it and read it. And then realized it was the sequel to A Great and Terrible Beauty. Oops. My bad. So I went back and read the first one, knowing who died at the end already. But honestly, even though I did that…it didn’t kill that for me. Instead I just enjoyed watching Gemma come into her own. I love books that take place in Victorian England (though, of course, I read this way before the Infernal Devices) especially when the main characters are female. It was such a difficult time for girls. They had no rights, their entire lives were focused on finding a husband and they couldn’t even enjoy sex. “Just lie back and think of England.” (Which I found funny when Jace said it in City of Ashes haha). And then you throw in the fact that Gemma, the main character, has these magical powers, very strong ones, in a world where she has no power. The temptation, the hardships of learning how to deal with these powers and to use them responsibly…that has to be hard. Watching Gemma discover who she is, both as a member of the Order and as a person living her life, is one of the best stories I’ve ever read. These stories hold such a strong place in my heart because I appreciate the strength that Libba Bray gives to all her characters: Gemma, Felicity, Ann and Pippa in a time where women weren’t supposed to have strength. I also give her major major props for including a lesbian character in the book, because there are still so many people who think being gay is “bad”, but think of what it would have meant to be a lesbian in Victorian England, but she does it so beautiful and I am so in love with that character.

3. Tricksters series by Tamora Pierce

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Trickster’s Choice and Trickster’s Queen 

Oh Tamora Pierce. What would I have ever done without you in my life? She was my gateway to fantasy and science fiction and dystopian and paranormal. I had read Harry Potter, I adored Harry Potter (read below) but I always thought that fantasy wasn’t for me, that I couldn’t understand it and I couldn’t relate to the characters. It wasn’t until I picked up Trickster’s Choice that I realized how insanely wrong I was. I was 15 when I picked this book up and I honestly picked it up because it mentioned pirates very briefly in the inside flap and I had a really unhealthy obsession with pirates at the time (Thanks Johnny Depp). Turns out the pirates were mentioned for maybe 2 and 1/2 pages and it didn’t matter because it was an absolutely brilliant book. Its pure, amazing fantasy and Tamora creates these beautiful fantasy worlds that are both completely new and yet completely real to us and familiar. In this particular series, it is a class war between the dark skinned raka and the light skinned luarin nobility and the parallels between racism and class wars and slavery in our own histories is fantastic. Tammy is one smart cookie and she is able to weave these fun and beautiful adventures with amazingly strong female characters with these issues that are still so very relevant today is absolutely brilliant. I have read these books so many times that I can almost quote them by part. My copy of Trickster’s Choice is falling apart with how much I love it. And I met one of my absolute best friends, Chloe, my pen pal from Australia that I’ve been writing to for 9 years because of her books. She has changed my life. I’m still trying to figure out a symbol that I can get of these books on my body in a tattoo because it so deserves a spot on my body.

2. Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare 

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City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass, City of Fallen Angels, City of Lost Souls and City of Heavenly Fire (releasing Spring 2014)

I’m pretty sure any person who has even glanced at my blog knows that I have much love and much obsession for this series. What this series has done for me, in so many different ways, is never ending and what it continues to do for me. It saved me when I thought I was just going to curl up in bed and forget the world, after two really sad things happened to me. It helped me to realize that it was okay to believe, or in my case, not believe in things and that was okay. It taught me that it was okay to be who I am. Alec and Aline and Magnus are all characters I look up to so much as gay, lesbian and bisexual characters. As someone who is bisexual, it was amazing to have these characters in such a fantastic, dark, sexy, fun world and to see them overcome their fears of being who they are, giving me the courage to overcome my own fears. They gave me Jace Lightwood, my fictional boyfriend. They gave me confidence in myself to become a writer. They taught me so much. And they make me laugh, cry, anxiously turn the pages and want to become a Shadowhunter. I have met Cassandra Clare four times, I have every book that is currently published signed by her, I’ve had the amazing opportunity to interview her and I have a Fearless rune tattoo on my shoulder. These books hold a very very special place in my heart and I continue to read them over and over again to laugh and have a good time and be excited and watch as Clary and Jace and Alec and Magnus and Isabelle and Simon fight demons and Valentine and have adventures. I am eagerly awaiting the final book, City of Heavenly Fire, in 2014 and I’m INSANELY excited about the City of Bones movie this summer.

1. Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling 

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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, the Chamber of Secrets, the Prisoner of Azkaban, the Goblet of Fire, the Order of the Phoenix, the Half-Blood Prince, and the Deathly Hallows. 

What would I be without these books in my life? I get teary-eyed just thinking about these books and what they have done for me, as a person, as a reader, as a writer. I first read Sorcerer’s Stone when I was ten years old, the year it was released here in the United States. I am 25 and I can’t imagine ever not loving these books. I read each and every one with a fervor that I have never had for any other book series. I fell in love with characters more than any other, laughed when they laughed, celebrated with they celebrated, worked hard with them and cried when they died. These books took me from an avid reader to a passionate reader, to a reader whose very escape from everything in life that ever goes bad is a book, and especially these books. From the time I was 10 until a few years ago, nothing was going right. Of course it wasn’t, I was a teenager. But between my parents’ separation, switching schools, being responsible for things that no normal pre-teen is, falling in love, getting pregnant, and so many things…these books were there through it all. I was always a big reader but these books turned me into the passionate reader, the book addict that I am today. They taught me more than I have ever learned in any bible or textbook. I have gotten so many morals and beliefs and lessons from these books. They have taught me about love and friendship and family and death and sacrifice and forgiveness and tolerance and acceptance and on and on and on. There will never be a book series that means as much to me as this one does. There will never be a series like this. These books are so beautifully written and they have given me every emotion I could possibly feel. There is a reason that I have permanently marked myself with four Harry Potter tattoos.

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I hope you all enjoyed this week’s Tuesday Top Ten! Remember, click the author’s name to check out their website and click the book titles to purchase them on Amazon! I really hope that you guys are able to check out some new series today, every single one of these are very near and dear to my heart.

Stay tuned for some PRETTY awesome stuff coming to the blog this week!

And for past Tuesday Top Ten lists, click here!

Hollingsworth v Perry and United States v. Winsor…and Books

Now, check my blog is about being a nerd…and mainly focuses on my love of books, and especially my big support for young adult literature. I keep most of my opinions and beliefs that are separate from books away from my blog, in order to maintain a balance, and not alienate any of my readers.

But there’s one point that I have to bring up.

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In the next couple days, the Supreme Court of the United States will be addressing two very important case: the case of Prop 8, and the case of DOMA (the Defense of Marriage Act).

For those of you who don’t know, Prop 8 was a proposition passed in California, the state in which I live, in 2008, that prevents same-sex marriages from being legal. This proposition barely passed, and was a proposition that I was severely against.

The Defense of Marriage Act, also known as DOMA, as passed into law in September of 1996, stating that a legal marriage is a binding between one man and one woman, therefore ruling out the legality of same-sex marriage.

Both of these are being fought on the basis that they are unconstitutional and will be the subjects of the two cases presented to the Supreme in the next two days (March 26th and 27th).

Before I get into personal feelings, let’s talk about this for a moment.

 These are so important. You know all those court cases that we talk about in history classes, the ones you don’t pay attention to because you just don’t realize how important they are? This is it. So many of these cases have affected our lives today, even if we don’t take the time to realize it. And the next two days, the next two cases, they are going to define us once again.

And I hope and I wish, and I hope that we can make the right decision on this. This isn’t about personal beliefs. This isn’t about religion. This is about what the Bible says. For one thing, the constitution has always said: separation of church and state. Freedom of religion. We cannot deny a group of people the right to marry because our beliefs and because our bibles or religions tell us this is so, because religion doesn’t belong in the government, and it never has. If you believe that same-sex marriages are immoral, fine. I think you’re completely wrong, but that’s your opinion. However, this opinion is NOT a valid reason for restricting someone’s rights.

Let’s also recall the 14th amendment, and the Equal Protection Clause…that one cannot be denied the right that someone else has. Again, no matter what your personal beliefs are, you cannot deny the RIGHT of same-sex couples to marry if opposite sex couples can. Its against this very amendment that is written into our Constitution, our highest law.

Now, I’m not trying to really present an argument here for you; that’ll be the job to be done tomorrow in court. I’m just presenting you with TWO different pieces of concrete evidence of the illegitimacy of both Prop 8 and DOMA, and how they back my belief in marriage equality.

Thats the technical aspect of it, the academic and evidence backed version of it.

But I also am very passionate about marriage equality.

Partly because, I am bisexual. And maybe you don’t like that, or maybe you think I’m making it up for attention (which, by the way, I’m not). And let me make this perfectly clear: My boyfriend Jon and I have been together for five years…and I’m 115% in love with him, and perfectly happy with him and one day, we’ll get married and have babies who love music like him and books like me. But I am attracted to girls, as much as I am attracted to boys and if for some crazy, impossible reason, it didn’t work out with Jon, I could see myself dating a girl. And the fact that my right to marry a girl is being denied…well it pisses me off.

And I have a ton of friends who are gay or lesbian, a TON of them…absolutely wonderful people. So many of them are in loving and healthy relationships, relationships just like you or me. And the fact that they can’t get married…yeah it pisses me off.

And, lets remember, this blog is about books and about my nerd things. I’m obsessed with my books, I’m obsessed with literature, especially of the young adult genre.

Alec Lightwood and Magnus Bane from the Mortal Instruments.

Aline Penhallow and Helen Blackthorn from the Mortal Instruments

Will Grayson and Tiny Cooper from Will Grayson, Will Grayson.

Pippa Cross and Felicity Worthington from A Great and Terrible Beauty.

Albus Dumbledore from Harry Potter.

Patrick and Brad from The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

Kurt Hummel and Blaine Anderson from Glee.

Santana Lopez and Britney Pierce from Glee.

Canton Everett Delaware III from Doctor Who, Series 6.

Honestly I could go on and on. There are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender characters everywhere. And they’ve all had to go through the difficulties of accepting who they are. Alec Lightwood can’t come to terms with the fact that he is gay, and it takes him three whole books to even admit that he has a relationship with Magnus. Aline is unsure of the way she feels, and kisses Jace to see if she’s attracted to boys. Will Grayson and Tiny Cooper both deal with coming out as gay, in two different ways. Pippa and Felicity, especially Felicity since Pippa is technically dead, have to deal with the fact that they are in love with each other, in a Victorian age when that was DEFINITELY not accepted. Patrick, in Perks, has to hide his relationship with Brad, because Brad is afraid to come out. Kurt, Blaine, Santana, and Britney all have a hard time dealing with their relationships in Glee. Even short time companion, Canton, in Doctor Who, deals with the fact that he isn’t allowed to be in the FBI and have a male companion.

Authors, especially young adult authors, are including LGBT characters in their novels because this is a very important issue of our generation. Marriage equality, equality no matter what sexual orientation you are…this is a huge matter of this age. And kids, teens, young adults…we’re not stupid, we are aware of this and many of us are fighting for this. And authors are creating characters that are like us, or like people we know, characters that we can relate to .

All of these characters, and more, have not only furthered my belief in the equality of all people, no matter their gender or sexual orientation, but has given me the courage to be who I AM. If my friends can be open and honest and proud of who they are, if my favorite characters (who are like my friends to me) can eventually be open and honest about who they are and people love and accept them, then so can I.

And sure, we’re never going to be able to change everyone’s minds. We just can’t. Its been nearly 50 years since the Civil Rights Act was passed and we still have racism. Of course we do. And its wrong, wrong, wrong but there’s that. People are allowed to have opinions even if its wrong. And people are always going to have their opinions on same-sex marriage. But it boils down to this.

It doesn’t matter your personal moral or religious beliefs. It doesn’t matter if you think same sex marriage is morally wrong or not. It doesn’t matter if same sex marriage is against your religion. Because religion doesn’t dictate law, not in this country, not ever. This is the very foundation of which this country was founded upon. There is a separation of church and state in the laws, and we have laws requiring us to extend the same rights to every single person, no matter what. And no, these laws won’t FORCE churches to marry same sex couples, and it won’t FORCE schools to teach of it school. That is ignorant babble from misinformed people who are bent on keeping same sex couples from marriage.

Equal rights for everyone. I believe it. Alec and Magnus, Santana and Brittany, Blaine and Kurt, Will and Tiny, Felicity and Pippa, Canton, Dumbledore, Aline and Helen, we all believe it.

The process may take time, especially when it comes to Prop 8, but I know I will be waiting anxiously and hopeful for the right decision to be made.

And like I said, I know this isn’t normally the kind of thing that I post. I normally keep my political and religious (or lack thereof, in my case) out of my posts but I feel like this has an importance, especially in my passion for books and my belief in its life saving qualities.

If there’s one thing that I can honestly say that I’ve learned from books (and there’s a whole novel larger than War and Peace that could describe what I’ve learned from books), is the idea of acceptance, tolerance and equality. I would say…I would go out on a limb and say 100% of the books that I have read have had some measure of preaching equality, some more than others. Harry Potter showed us it hugely, Mortal Instruments, Hunger Games, Percy Jackson, Jane Austen, Star Wars, and on and on.

And I have taken this to heart. These books have taught me so much about life: how to love, how to be a friend, how to trust, how to respect, how to be responsible, how to be a GOOD person, and how to accept everyone, even if you don’t particularly like them. Books have taught me that everyone deserves to be treated equally, and I have extended this into my life.

So…in conclusion to this super long blog post…WhatANerdGirlSays is about being a nerd…and a big chunk of my nerd life comes from books. Books are my life, my love, my passion and my dreams. And books have taught me the firm, firm belief I have in equality, in all things in life, and that makes WhatANerdGirlSays an equality zone. And we’ll be waiting, in anticipation and complete hope, for the right decision to be made.

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