Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters Movie Review

Percy Jackson: The Sea of Monster

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Rated:

Rated PG for fantasy action violence, help some scary images and mild language

Directed By:

Thor Freudanthal

Cast:

Logan Lerman, more about Alexandra Daddario, Brandon T. Jackson, Douglas Smith, Levin Rambin, Nathan Fillion, Jake Abel, Stanley Tucci, Anthony Head.

Find the rest on IMDB here.

My Review:

I’m really sad to say this. I’m breaking down to say this, because I had such a great time at the red carpet premiere/meet and greet yesterday. The five actors (Logan, Alexandra, Brandon, Douglas and Levin) that I met were super nice, and awesome, and took the time to talk to each person, even though the line was SUPER rushed, and they didn’t really have time to talk to everyone. I had such an amazing time.

We got to see the movie for free as part of the meet and greet, and the red carpet premiere. It was a small premiere but they had the five main kids, and a couple others and the director and it was a seriously fun time.

Unfortunately the movie didn’t deliver, and I was fairly disappointed.

Here’s the thing: the movie itself wasn’t bad. It was actually pretty good. The acting skills of the kids have gotten a lot better since the first movie, which hit theaters in 2010, three years ago. They’ve all done movies since then, movies that have done pretty well and you can tell the acting skills have just gotten so much better.

The movie itself was really great too. The effects were much better than the first one, there were well timed jokes, and I really liked the hippocampus, Rainbow, and I liked the cyclops, and the sort of stunts that they all pulled. I loved Douglas Smith as Tyson. Granted Tyson was a bit smarter in the movie than he is in the book, but I think he still captured the sweetness and innocence that is Tyson. I was really impressed with him, and Levin as Clarisse. She wasn’t at all what I pictured for Clarisse because she’s SOOO insanely beautiful and Clarisse is supposed to be huge, and ugly and MEAN. But I still liked her.

Also, Logan was super adorable and way attractive. It feels a lot less creepy to have a crush on Percy Jackson as 21 year old Logan Lerman than 12 year old Percy in the books haha. Also, Jake Abel makes an extremely sexy villain.

But here’s the thing: the movie was good if you’ve never read the book, or have absolutely no attachments to the beautiful story that is the books. There was so much that was changed, I couldn’t handle it. I know its been awhile since the last time I read it but I’ve read it several times and I didn’t remember a lot of the stuff that was happening in the movie, and I remember feeling really confused. I remember thinking, okay, maybe I’m wrong and I don’t remember the book. But then I talked to my friend, Deb, who was at the movie with me and is a bigger PJ fan than me and she was devastated, disappointed and pissed off, and I knew that I wasn’t the only person who wasn’t remembering things differently.

There was also the end. I don’t really want to get into it too much, because the movie doesn’t come out til Wednesday and I don’t want to give away spoilers or anything. But honestly, I thought, with the way the ending was going, that they were never going to make another movie, and this was how it was going to end. They made assumptions about Percy’s Riptide that were NOT true. I was about to cry, I was so disappointed in the direction that they were taking the story at the end. The very end of the movie ended up being the most accurate ending to the movie, as it was the exact ending of the book, but it has made it clear that they are only going to make one more movie, if they make any more at all. Which makes me incredibly sad, because The Titan’s Curse and The Battle of Labyrinth are my two favorites, really, and I think they’ll skip straight to The Last Olympian.

I will say though: Nathan Fillion has a barely veiled joke about Firefly and it made me and a few others in the theater crack up and that was the highlight of the movie to me.

Rating:

3 out of 5 stars

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Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters Meet and Greet and Red Carpet Premiere

I’m pretty sure that was the longest title I’ve ever written as the beginning of a blog post.

So I’ve been really super busy this week and I’ve been trying to keep up with the blog and various related social media pages but I’ve had such a busy, cialis 40mg fun week so that didn’t totally work out the way that I wanted to. So I’m trying to make up for that now.

Wednesday, I journeyed down to the Americana at Brand, in Glendale, with my sister, Jessica, my friend Deb and my friend Sylvia (from FanGirlFeeels) to meet the cast of Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters at the Barnes and Noble there. We got in line fairly early (oh yes, 5:30 am) to ensure we’d get wristbands, and to try and get wristbands to the advance screening.

As we walked up, we saw ginormous posters of City of Bones and we had to take pictures with them, of course.

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The security on duty spotted us doing this, and was just like “no judging”, which was REALLY funny.

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We hung out in line, sleepy as heck, wrapped in our blankets, waiting for the doors to open to get our wristbands. We were able to get them, and we got a Sea of Monsters book, a poster, and guarantee into the advanced screening, which we discovered, while waiting for the signing to start at 2 pm, was a red carpet premiere!

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Meeting the cast was absolutely fantastic. Logan Lerman (Percy Jackson), Alexandra Daddrio (Annabeth Chase), Brandon T. Jackson (Grover Underwood), Douglas Smith (Tyson), and Levin Rambin (Clarisse la Rue) were all in attendance, and they were all SO nice, and such sweethearts. Brandon T. Jackson shook every single fan’s hand, and asked them their name, and they were all too pretty to look at it! They also were really cool and not judging about my serious freak out over the bug flying around in the book store. I really really really hate bugs. I’m just saying.

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We weren’t allowed to take pictures up front, in front of the table or with the cast or anything, we could only take them from the line. Well, my friend Deb had a great idea, to record on her phone, while putting it in a convenient side pocket in her purse. I didn’t have a side pocket on my purse so I pressed record on my own cell phone, and stuck it in my jeans pocket, and I got some decent shots. Here’s one of Logan and Alexandra signing a poster.

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We are so innovative. Deb got a TON of really good shots on her own camera, since hers wasn’t in her pocket, and you can check them out on her Twitter here.

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Then it was time for the screening of the Sea of Monsters. I figured we would be taken into the theater to watch the movie, but since we were toward the front of the line, we were ushered into a fan section, where we got to be right at the barricade, which was really cool. I was hoping to try and get pictures with most of the cast, but they eventually did corral us into the theater to watch the movie. We did get to see them again though, and I did manage to score a selfie picture with Douglas Smith, who is SUPER tall, absolutely adorable and did a great job of playing Tyson in the movie.

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All in all, it was an absolutely wonderful afternoon. I had a great time hanging out with my friends, waiting (since that was most of our day), eating Wetzel’s Pretzels and playing Bang! and getting excited for some exciting Percy Jackson fun. The cast was super nice and beautiful, I got a cool signed poster, and got to see the Percy Jackson movie early, and for free!

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There’s a movie review of Percy Jackson coming today or tomorrow so wait for it!

Happy Summer, Demigods :)

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!

Book of the Week: Legend

Its been a pretty awesome week for me. I’ve really realized how much AWESOME is coming this year. Cassandra Clare alone is bringing a ton of awesome this year, this web if you read my blog post yesterday. So many movies (City of Bones, order Sea of Monsters, drug Ironman 3, The Hobbit 2, Catching Fire, Monsters University, 42, and on and on) are coming out, and books. Fall Out Boy is back together; I get to see my music god, Andrew McMahon, back in concert.

So much awesome. Its also been awesome in my reading this week.

I’ve been looking forward to sharing this book with you guys ALL WEEK.

I’ve fallen really behind on my 200 books goal. It was my first week back at school, and I’m working extra hours at work this week so not a lot of time for casual reading. Kind of makes me sad, I was on a roll!

But anyway, the last book I finished was Prodigy by Marie Lu. Right before that, I read the first book, Legend. And I was pretty blown away. I knew immediately that I wanted it to be the Book of the Week.

In a world of dystopian novels, an absolute explosion of dystopian novels, this one stands out, most definitely.

So I give you, this week’s Book of the Week.

Legend by Marie Lu

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Genre:
dystopian, young adult, mild romance

You May Like if You Liked:
The Hunger Games, Matched series, The Maze Runner series

Plot Summary: 
Its the United States of the Future, after things have started falling apart. Global warming is more than just a thing to come, its here and its destroyed many countries. Whats left is a few countries here and there. One is the Republic of America, a militant country, keeping their citizens in line for survival of the fittest. Two young people of this nation are June and Day, living on completely opposite spectrums.

June is of the wealthiest class in Los Angeles, and of the most intelligent as well. She’s scored a perfect score on her Trials, which has never been done before, and is close to graduating college at 15 years old. She worships the Republic and what it stands for. She wants to follow in her older brother, Metias’ footsteps and become a soldier of the Republic. She has everything she could possibly want; a nice home, good food, a new vaccine every year for the growing plague, and a purpose in life. That is, until her brother Metias is murdered and she’s suddenly on a chase to find the notorious criminal, Day, and bring him to justice.

Enter Day. Day came from the poor neighborhoods of Los Angeles, and when he scores an impossibly low score on his Trials, he’s taken away to the labor camps. Five years, at 15 years old, he’s a criminal on the run, fighting to survive the streets and fighting to provide for the family who thinks he is dead. His escape from the Republic and his knowledge of what really happens at these “labor camps” has given Day a reason to be very, very mad at the Republic. When his brother contracts the plague and his family has no way of paying for the cure, he does everything he can, even running headfirst into Republic soldiers, to save his brother’s life.

The novel is told in two different points of views, June and Day, as their two stories intertwine and collide, providing two very different stories of their lives in the Republic of America.

The Bad:

To be 100% honest, there wasn’t a lot of bad to me. I mean, I can’t even think of anything bad. The only bad I could maybe find for those people really looking for a “bad”, is that its another dystopian romance. However, it stands out in the dystopian novel world, in my opinion at least, and the romance is very small and very subtle. Its not overwhelming, like most books seem to be nowadays.

The only bad in my opinion was that it was soo good, and the sequel was good and the third book probably won’t be out for another year, at least, and I’m not good with waiting.

The Good: 

Marie Lu tells her version of a dystopian society in a way that comes across at maybe not 100% original but is a breath of fresh air when compared to others. There’s a lot of United States history and backstory of this; instead of just hinting that the society used to be the democratic USA, they say it was, and the Republic saved them from the mess that it was. You have the Patriots, and the Colonies, two separate rebel forces, reminiscent of the old ways.

I also like the characters as well. Day is the bad guy for much of this novel, but because you get his side of the story as well as June’s, you don’t see him as a bad guy. When you learned what happened to him, what really happened to him after he failed his Trial, you’re glad that he has been stealing from the Republic and causing mayhem. You want him to find the plague medication to give to his younger brother, you want him to make money to help his family. When it comes out that Metias is dead at the hands of Day, I couldn’t believe it. I thought, its an accident. He threw that knife to stop him but he would never kill him.

Then you have June, who honestly I couldn’t stand, because you’re getting Day’s side of the story and you’re watching June hunt down Day, even though she’s wrong. She doesn’t know she’s wrong and as you watch her discover more and more things about the Republic, like the truth behind her brother’s death, and her parents’ deaths from when she was a child, the truth about Day’s Trial score and the reason his brother is so sick. You watch her see the truth, but unlike a lot of the heroines of other novels that just see the truth and immediately change their loyalties, you see some realness in June. She’s been raised her entire life for the love of the Republic and the loyalty to the Elector Primo. She has been bred to become a loyal soldier and she’s good it. She struggles with the truths. When she makes the decision to help Day, its because she can’t stand to have someone punished for a crime they didn’t commit. She doesn’t become a rebel against this dystopian society so quickly as Lena or Cassia do in their novels.

Plus its just a good story. The Republic of America, combined with the Colonies and the Patriots, are all so confusing and you can’t figure out who is bad and who is good. Because you’re getting two very different viewpoints of a similar story, you’re having a hard time deciding who is wrong and who is right. The mysteries build up. You see June mourn her brother, and you’re so sad because he was all she had and you want someone to pay for it, but you see Day, and his struggles and you obviously don’t want him executed. There’s so much going on here. Neither one of the characters is a rebel, even though the society isn’t what it is made off to be. Day is just struggling to survive and doesn’t care about the politics of it all; his family comes first. June reveals truths about the perfect society that she loved but she has a hard time grappling with them, and her loyalty.

Rating: 

I give it a 5 out of 5 stars. The book has fresh characters, a fresh story and it made me want to immediately go out and buy the very recently released sequel, Prodigy, which I did and finished in a day or two. Now I’m dying for the next one.

Recommended or Not?

Definitely. I recommend for those who like young adult, dystopian novels but are looking for something new to read. Its fresh and fun. It has enough action without sacrificing character development, enough romance without sacrificing the entire story, enough rebellion without sacrificing the reality of it. This is good for both GIRLS and BOYs as well, whereas a lot of dystopian novels nowadays are more fitting for girls. Definitely go out and pick up this book.

Happy New Year-The Best of 2012!

One of my fellow contributors sent me a picture a couple weeks ago, buy when I asked my contributors to write a Best Of list for me before the end of the year…this is what he sent me:

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And to that I say…what TERRIBLE spelling (who doesn’t know how to spell coming?) and also, HA!

I mean, I’m known for some lists of greatness, how could I not do a best of 2012 list?

Here’s the difference between most other lists though. This list is my own personal opinion. This is MY best of the year. There are going to be a lot of awesome things from this year that aren’t on this list…because, again, its my personal list. You can all argue with it as much as you like. Look at the top of this page, what does it say up there?

It says WhataNerdGirlSays..and that’s me, which equals MY opinion.

There have some seriously awesome things that came out of 2012: movies, books, shows, and on and on. I feel like I should call 2012 the Year of the Geek…if only because thats what it was for me.

Before this year I was geeky and nerdy for sure, but since 2012 was basically the year I discovered the Los Angeles Dumbledore’s Army, I’ve gotten even better since then. I discovered TV shows like Doctor Who, The Vampire Diaries, Firefly. I’ve started reading comic books and other authors I hadn’t read before. And on and on and on. This year was definitely a nerd year for me.

So to count off some of my FAVORITE things about this year:

Best YA Book of 2012-The Diviners

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Now, most people probably are not goign to agree with this. They’re going to say that The Fault in our Stars as the best young adult book of the year. Well, hold your horses because it’s below. I personally believe that The Diviners by Libba Bray was one of the best young adult novels released this year. A lot of the books that were released this year in the realm of YA were second books, third books, fourth books, etc in series already out there. Cassandra Clare put out a book, and so on. And while I like Cassandra Clare, City of Lost Souls didn’t impress me as much as the first installment of Libba Bray’s new series. Her character is fresh and fun, the story captivating and it reminds us that there still are truly fantastic authors out there. Its been awhile since I could pick up a paranormal YA novel, and I actually enjoy it and feel that it is original and Libba Bray did just that with The Diviners.

Best Ending to a Book Series 2012- The Crimson Crown

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Cinda Williams Chima is a breath of fresh air in the world of young adult fantasy literature. I know that I picked up the first three installments of her Seven Realms series the week that the Crimson Crown, the final book, hit book stores but it definitely wins as the best ending to a book series, hands down. Chima writes real, pure, GOOD fantasy. There’s no love triangle or fluff to fill these novels. It’s all just plain good, the politics and the fantasy and the emotions and all of that. Queen Raisa is dealing with so many things: a corrupted military, several border countries biting at her ankles, poverty, and so on and she works her ass off to fix all of it, with a band of amazing and well developed characters. Han Alister is still trying to escape his thief king past, and come to terms with being a wizard, and try to prove his worthiness of marrying the queen. I’ll be pushing Chima for years; its been so long since I read a fantasy that swept me up and made me fall in love as hard as this book series did.

Best Movie of 2012-The Hobbit

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Despite lackluster reviews of one of the most anticipated movies of the year, it has become my favorite movie of the year. This movie was not made for the critics, that much is for sure, if anyone of you has read even one review of the movie. It’s too long, and it doesn’t make sense and all that sort of criticism. But this movie was definitely made for the fans, because it tells more of the story than just the story of Bilbo Baggins and for fans that know these stories, it was awesome. Peter Jackson pulled off an amazing display of cinematography and there was such an all star cast with some fantastic performances (I’m looking at you, Martin Freeman). The movie built up enough suspense to make me super excited to see The Desolation of Smaug next December. Definitely, definitely was made for the fans and it was very enjoyable for the fans.

Best Movie of 2012 Part Two-The Avengers

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I remember when I heard that Disney had bought out Marvel…I didn’t think this was going to go off so well. This was around the time that the seriously horrible Spiderman 3 had come out and I was already feeling kind of bummed out when it came to Marvel. Obviously it didn’t hurt too much. The Ironman movies have been great, and the Captain America and Thor movies have been fairly enjoyable. Then Marvel/Disney hit us with the whopper this year: The Avengers. First off, could they get a more attractive group of people to put in a movie? I mean, seriously between Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Cobie Smulders, Scarlett Johanssen. There are so many hot people in that movie. But it was more than that (I swear, it is!). With Joss Whedon at the helm, it had a nice blend of action and drama and humor, with that sarcastic wit that Joss is so damn good at. Even if you weren’t really a superhero fan before this movie, I guarantee that you are now.

Best Animated Movie of 2012: The Secret World of Arrietty

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I love Hayao Miyazaki. The guy rocks, and I don’t think he’s put out a movie that I don’t enjoy. Paired with the fact that the Borrowers was one of my favorite books when I was a child and I absolutely adored this movie. I mean, sure there was also the fact that Brave was okay, but not fantastic Pixar caliber and none of the other animated movies of the year really jumped out at me. The Secret World of Arrietty had all the charms of a Miyazaki movie and still held on to the beauty of the book. I only own three Miyazaki movies at home: Ponyo, Howl’s Moving Castle…and Arrietty. That shows my attachment to this movie; I LOVED it. The movie has that kind of wholesomeness to it, paired with humor that so many of kids movies lack. And the art of a Miyazaki always brings a smile to my face…because I can spot it from a mile away.

Best Adult Book of 2012-The Casual Vacancy

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How is it even remotely possible that after writing seven amazing, unforgettable novels and creating a world beyond any of us, J.K. Rowling could write another amazing novel. Set in a small town in Britain, and spinning a political web, the Casual Vacancy is not what some people would expect from our dear queen. But her writing, no matter what it is that she’s writing, is always fantastic. J.K. Rowling tells a story with such ease and grace. This book doesn’t grab you as fast as the Harry Potter books do and there’s about a thousand characters to keep track of, but when you’ve finally figured out who belongs to who and you start to get the gist of what is going on, you just can’t put it down. Its near impossible. In Harry Potter, you’re dying to know what happens next but in the Casual Vacancy, you’re just dying to figure out what the hell is going on.

Best Children’s Book of 2012-Wonder

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Have you read Wonder by R.J. Palacio yet? If you haven’t, you are severely missing out. Yes, it is meant for children, probably about the middle grade age group but when has that ever stopped us from reading children’s books? I still enjoy reading Percy Jackson and the Heroes of Olympus series and those are shelved in the children’s section. I love reading The Giver and all those sorts of books. Wonder is a book that should be counted amongst the best of the best in children’s novels. As a debut novel, I am amazed at Palacio’s ability to captivate her audience, whether its a child or an adult. The story of Auggie, a kid with severe face deformities, who goes to middle school for the first time after a life of home schooling is sweet, funny, sad and uplifting. If there is a child out there that hasn’t had the chance to pick up this book, then they definitely should…and I feel the same no matter what age you are. Its an amazing book, and its beautifully written and if it doesn’t win the Caldecott this year, then…well then the people who vote for the Caldecott obviously missed what a great book this is.

Best Video Game of 2012-LittleBigPlanet Karting

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Obviously I am not a gamer. I enjoy the occasional video game, and I have a great liking to watching my boyfriend play them (especially when he plays the Uncharted games…god they’re like a movie!) but I’m not very good at them. It’ll take me several times to beat a certain level and sometimes I have to play a video game on “easy” mode to even think about coming close to beating it. But that’s exactly why I LOVE the LittleBigPlanet games. They are super fun to play, they have enough difficulty to not be a stupid little kid’s game but they’re easy enough that I’m not struggling. They’re so much FUN and Sackboy is badass, though extremely hard to play in the Playstation All Stars battle game. But LittleBigPlanet karting…it’s not something new, not in the slightest. It is very reminiscent of the most popular racing games, Mario Kart, but it has the fantastic LittleBigPlanet twist to it. The weapons are more fun, and when they’re used, the reactions are more over the top and enjoyable. The tracks are silly…I mean, come on, who doesn’t want to dodge cupcakes while racing? All in all, it was the game I most enjoyed playing this year. 

Best Event of 2012: Harry Potter Skate Night

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Now, you guys have heard of LADA, the Los Angeles Dumbledore’s Army, the group that literally changed my life in the last year. They have given me so much more than I had before, and I’ve done a million fun things with them that I cannot begin to remember them all. But one of the highlights of my year with them was our first epic giant event, Harry Potter Skate Night. We had over 600 people show up and the place was packed. Everyone there was dressed in various Harry Potter wear, from shirts to school robes to full on costumes…there was even a little girl dressed as Dobby. There was a mix of contemporary music and Harry Potter music playing, there was butterbeer to drink, and different handmade Potter fare to buy. I cannot WAIT until we have our second one in April, to bring back the most epic event in Harry Potter nerd history. The first one was awesome in its own right, and we seriously rocked it and had a fantastic time. Just think how much more fun its going to be when we do it again this year.

Best New TV Show of 2012: Once Upon a Time

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I adore Once Upon a Time. Now technically this show began in 2011, but majority of the first season was in 2012, along with the season finale and the beginning of second season. The point is, I consider it a 2012 show and what an awesome, awesome show it is. It has become one of my favorite shows and I cannot bear to miss an episode. I’ve always liked Disney princesses and fairy tale stories, especially alternative ones. One of my favorite books is Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory McGuire. I love the idea of fairy tales being told differently…like Snow White and Cinderella both getting pregnant with their prince charmings…so risque! Or Snow White being able to wield a weapon pretty well and the Evil Queen has way more to her than you would think. What about Rumplestiltskin’s love for his son or Red Riding Hood’s struggle with being the wolf herself? Its awesome and the creators of Once Upon a Time get me to watch every single week. I am so glad that this show has lasted as long as it has and that it continues to last :)

Best Discovery of 2012: Doctor Who

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February. 2012. This girl finally sits down, boots up her Netflix and sits down to watch six seasons of Doctor Who. And she was never so glad in her entire life to do so. I watched all six seasons of Doctor Who in about a month, maybe less. This is also with school and Valentine’s Day, and my anniversary and my birthday going on. I’d like to say that’s pretty impressive. Now, ask anyone who knows me now what’s one of my favorite things and they will definitely say Doctor Who. I cannot understand how anyone could watch even one or two episodes of the show and not completely fall in love. All of the Docotrs-9, 10 and 11-are all awesome and have their own individual charm and all the companions-Rose, Martha, Donna, Amy, Rory and now, Clara-are all so kickass. I cannot believe it took me as long as it did to discover this amazing, amazing show. I’ve only been a fan for about a year but already I cannot imagine what my life would be without Doctor Who. And the best part? My boyfriend came along right besides me, and that doesn’t happen…and I loved it.

Best Boy of 2012: Mike Trout

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All right, I admit it, Mike Trout literally has nothing to do with being a nerd whatsoever. Like…he’s a baseball player and doesn’t fit in with my blog at all…except for one thing: I’m a fangirl and a fangirl means obsession. I’m obsessed with Harry Potter and Doctor Who and Star Wars and Lord of the RIngs and all that fun stuff….and I’m obsessed with my Los Angeles Angels. And along with that comes my obsession with Mike Trout. Now, if you have even the smallest bit of interest in baseball, I’m sure you’ve heard of Mike Trout. The guy was amazing this year. As a rookie, and being only 20/21 years old, the guy broke a ton of records, made the All Star Game, became the AL Rookie of the Year and caused some serious debate for the AL MVP. And come on, he’s hot. He’s super hot. Like…girls who didn’t even like baseball before are starting to watch baseball because he is so hot. But straight up, he rocked this year in baseball and reminded me again why I love the sport so much. I’m counting down the days until baseball returns.  

Best Girl of 2012: Karen Gillan

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Karen Gillan is my girl…she was my biggest girl crush of the year. She’s had the longest run on Doctor Who as a companion as Amy Pond and she’s one of my absolute favorites, besides Rose and Donna. (God I don’t like Martha…ugh). I loved Rose because she was the Doctor’s love and I liked Donna because she was the 10th Doctor’s best mate. But I love Amy because she’s the Doctor’s best friend but she has her own love story in the form of Rory Williams. She was sarcastic and fun and she was able to keep the Doctor in line and safe, but she never fell in love with the Doctor the way that Martha did. She had her own adventures, and while no one can compare with the Doctor, she kept up with him. I have a thing for redheads too. She’s so pretty and her Scottish accent is adorable and I love her in Doctor Who, and she parted ways with the show with grace and much, much fan girl tears. I will so definitely miss her as the companion, her and Rory.

Best of 2012 Period: The Fault in Our Stars

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I have read a lot of books this year. No I cannot tell you how many that I have read because I have never kept track…until now. I started a list on November 1st to see how many books I really do read in a year. (So far, I’m up to about 30…not bad for two months). But one of the books that I’ve read a few times this year, that I cannot forget no matter how many books I’ve read since then,  John Green’s latest masterpiece, The Fault in Our Stars. John Green has a way of penning the voice of an adolescent and making it feel so real, no matter what the situation is. I have always believed in the authencity of his characters, even when he’s writing as a teenage girl, Hazel, with cancer when he’s a healthy thirty-something year old man. He is able to tell a story in ways that you don’t see a lot of authors doing. He grabs the audience by being contemporary and funny, and using language that adolescents use already but he creates such a universal story that can be hilarious or uplifting or heartbreaking and sometimes you forget that you’re here and not in his book. This book is one of the best books, not just of this year, but of all time. Its not often that you pick up a book like that.

So the year is basically over, and for some of you (I’m looking at you Eastern Hemisphere), the new year has already come. The best part of it is this: 2012 was great, full of great books and movies and TV shows, great times with my friends and my boyfriend and my family. But now we have 2013 and there are so many more things to come. I’m going to San Francisco next week, I have Anime Expo, Gallifrey One, WonderCon and Comikaze to look forward to. Clockwork Princess is coming out, and the City of Bones and Sea of Monsters movies are coming. So much more to look forward to and so much in the past that was awesome. Its a good time to be a nerd.

Happy New Year everyone, be safe, be happy, be nerdy :)

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Breaking Dawn Part 2: They Finally Got It

Now, more about look, decease I like Twilight. I do. It was one of my favorite books for awhile there. Even though its written terribly and lets face it, Bella Swan is NOT the best role model out there.

And the movies really really killed it for me for awhile there.

But I saw this series to the end as a book series (I picked up Breaking Dawn the book at midnight) so why not see the end of the series as a movie?

And they announced that the City of Bones trailer was going to be shown before the movie. That was a pretty nice incentive as well, even though they premiered it on MTV.com the day before and I’ve watched it…well, a bunch of times.

They didn’t show the preview for City of Bones at the movie theater I went to. Such a bummer. That’s okay though. Here’s the trailer for you to enjoy, if you’re a Mortal Instruments fan. If you’re not, you are seriously missing out.

Moving on though, to the actual Breaking Dawn movie.

I have never, not once, not ever, been able to say that I was impressed by a Twilight movie.

I was impressed.

Truly, actually impressed.

I’m going to warn you. There are spoilers ahead. If you have any plans to see this movie, I urge you not to read on. Even if you’ve already read the book, don’t read on.

THE GOOD: 

They actually stick pretty damn close to the story. They leave stuff out, tweak it a bit but they stick to the story. That is impressive to begin with because most movies from books do not do that. At all. So that was refreshing. However, one of the biggest beefs with Breaking Dawn is the fact that it ends too happily. There is no battle scene, no heartbreak, no nothing. It was fairly disappointing.

Oh, they change that. They cause one of the biggest WTF moments I’ve had in a movie theater in awhile.

Now, if you know the story, at the moment where Aro decides that true, the Cullens are not guilty of creating an immortal child but there is an uncertainty about Renesmee’s future, Alice appears and is able to prove to Aro that that the child is not a threat.

In the movie, however, Alice shows Aro and Aro refuses to accept it and Alice says “No matter what I show you, you will not believe, you won’t change your mind” (Keep in mind, I’m ad libbing here). Thus begins a CRAZY ridiculous battle. Jake takes off, with Renesmee on his back. Carlisle is killed, almost instantly. Then Jasper. Then Seth Clearwater and Leah Clearwater. And members of the Volturi and Jane and Alec. It was insane. The entire theater was in an uproar.

I mean, in all honesty, thats what should’ve happened in the book. I was crazy disappointed with the end of the series. I mean, I don’t LIKE when people die in books; it breaks my heart. But its realistic and it shows how attached you’ve come to characters. So when Carlisle dies and Jasper and SETH (I adore Seth), I’m heartbroken. But this is completely deviating from the storyline so the movie theater is an absolute uproar.

And then, the craziest WTF moment, when it pulls back and you realize that this is the vision that Alice is showing Aro and the entire theater literally goes “WHAT?!” One guy in our theater literally spewed out “What the F**K?” and we all laughed.

And I was really impressed by this part. One of the hugest criticisms of Breaking Dawn as a book was the ending. The ending…it just ended. They spend a good half of the book preparing for this big battle and nothing happens. I mean, I don’t like when people die but its necessary sometimes. Lupin, Tonks, Sirius, Fred…they all die and it breaks my heart but it made the book that much better.

So I thought this battle scene in the movie was a way to fix that huge criticism while still sticking to the book that she wrote and the one that we got. If that scene would’ve actually taken place, I would’ve been like WHOA, that is SO different from the book, as much as I would’ve liked it. But the fact that it was the vision that Alice showed Aro in the book that we didn’t get to see…that was awesome and perfect. Giving the audience what they desired without changing the actual story. Brilliant.

And I have to admit, the acting was much better in this movie. None of these kids are going to win Oscars or anything but impressive. Even Kristen Stewart seems to have learned some emotions. I was surprised at the difference she showed in this movie. It was noticeable.

I also liked that they stuck with most of the characters that they brought into this novel. That was my favorite part about this book: all the new vampires we get to see. I liked the vampire part of these books! The romance got to be too much but the vampire breakdown with the Volturi and the vampires all over the world? Thats interesting so I’m glad they kept all of those in there, with their special powers too.

THE BAD:

One, creepy Renesmee as a baby. Whoa. I know she’s supposed to grow fast and be strong and extremely smart and all that. I get that, I read the book. But whoa, as a baby, when Bella first meets her, she was a freaky alien baby. I was like, that baby is NOT beautiful. Whoa. When they show her growing up, and she becomes the little girl, then she’s gorgeous and I’m okay with it. But whoa, alien baby freaked me out a lot. I can’t even put up a picture of her, its just so creepy.

Aro? Also really creepy. I know he was creepy in the books. He was also creepy in New Moon as well. He’s a creepy creepy guy and I think that’s why he aspires so much fear. But it was too much in this movie. He had these weird facial expressions and unexpected reactions to things and seemed to laugh at the weirdest moments. I think Aro is supposed to be very smart, very powerful and very calculating. I don’t think they captured that about him at all in these movies. They made him just seem a little crazy.

Jamie Campbell Bower as Caius was very good though. Ten more points to my confidence in his portrayal as Jace Wayland.

I wish Renesmee would have talked more and we could’ve seen more of her power. We see it once when she shares her first memory of her mother with Bella. But we never see it again. She does it but we don’t actually see it and that kind of bummed me out because its the way she communicated. And she doesn’t talk much either so she just kind of was there to look pretty, I suppose. I was hoping she would display more of her amazing and impossible qualities that were described in the books.

The brief almost epilogue moment where Alice has a vision of a grown up Renesmee with Jake. Stupid. I hate those kind of flash-forward things. Unnecessary and dumb. That was weird. We already knew there was going to be a happy ending, that was implied, we didn’t need creepy photo-shopped Renesmee with Jake.

And there was a part where Bella says “Always”. I nearly lost my cool with that. When Peeta Mellark says it to Katniss in Mockingjay, I nearly lost my cool and I ADORE the Hunger Games series so I was pretty pissed when Bella says it in this movie. Oh my Rowling, I was not happy. I seem to be one of the only people unhappy about this but maybe that’s because I have “always” tattooed on my ankle…

All in all though, I left this movie theater impressed. I went into this with little to no expectations or hopes for it. I’ve been very disappointed by these movies in the past; they just haven’t been good at all. However, finally, in this last movie, they managed to finally produce a good one.

And honestly, it wasn’t the best movie ever. There are plenty of movies out there that are fantastic and WAY better than this. And what I’d say for this movie was that it was really good. Not amazing, not great, but good.

And I’d check it out. They should have done for the earlier movies what they did for this one. Maybe this franchise would’ve been better received from more than just the Twihards. But I digress.

For now, I think I’ll go watch that City of Bones trailer again and dream of August 2013 when some of my favorite books hits the big screen :) Like City of Bones and the Sea of Monsters. Can’t wait!

Stay tuned for a Book of the Week by our one and only Bazingirl!

What did you think of Breaking Dawn Part 2? And remember our one rule! RESPECT!

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Edit: Officially Twilight has NOT broken the midnight record release. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 continues to have the top spot, followed by The Dark Knight Rises. Breaking Dawn Part 2 doesn’t have an official spot quite yet.