Tuesday Top Ten – Underrated YA Book Series

So I was  browsing around Facebook yesterday when I came across a Buzzfeed article about the 29 Underrated YA Book Series. Of course I had to click on it.

And while I love several of the choices on that list, no rx I thought, try I should do my own list. There are GREAT series on there, but a lot of them aren’t what I would call underrated or unnoticed. Percy Jackson? Huge. HUGE. And they got two movies. Infernal Devices? Again. HUGE. All Souls? Incredibly popular and not YA right? I don’t know to be honest, I haven’t read them. I know they aren’t shelved with YA. The Chicken Soup series? Didn’t everyone have those when I was in middle school/high school? And so on.

So that brings us to today’s Tuesday Top Ten…my favorite YA series that just don’t get enough attention. Which is why I’m talking about them. So they get more attention. Because I’m just awesome that way.

Let’s do this.

Oh, I’ll add one more thing. All of these get GREAT reviews, and have received an abundance of praise and accolades and all the huge reviewers and all that love them. By “underrated” I mean, by the masses that tend to enjoy YA. The people that don’t much more than Hunger Games and Divergent and that sort of thing.

Moving on…

10. The Across the Universe Trilogy by Beth Revis

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I love love love this series. Beth Revis takes humanity, sticks them on a space ship and gets them lost for centuries. Humanity has basically all but disappeared on this ship until one of the humans who was supposed to be frozen until they arrive at this “new” earth awakes…and chaos and romance and all sorts of things erupt. Its fantastic. There is just SO much about this series that is so good. I have a hard time finding people who have read it and I get so excited when I do!

9. The Covenant Series by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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So JLA was on this BuzzFeed list, but with the Lux series. That series, the Wait for You series and the Dark Elements series…they’re all fairly popular. They are the ones that I feel like people talk about when it comes to JLA. But my absolute favorite of her series is hands down The Covenant series. SO freakin good! Alex and Aidan are hot as hell, they have a steamy and intense and fun romance, and their world is chaotic and full of action and drama and …more intensity. And its Greek mythology with a new twist and I love every single bit of it.

8. The Mediator Series by Meg Cabot

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Meg Cabot is not exactly underrated but she has so many series that often times some of them get lost underneath the ones she’s really known for like The Princess Diaries. This is one of my absolute favorites by her. It has ghosts! And a girl who likes to beat them up when they don’t want to cooperate. And a super hot Spanish ghost that’s a really great kisser. Its just awesome. The entire series is just SO flippin good. Meg manages to write this amazing paranormal romance that also makes you laugh again and again and again.

7. The Seven Realms Series by Cinda Williams Chima

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This series was actually on the list and it was one of the few that I really agreed should be on this list. I first picked up this list when my ex told me to pick out a book and I thought the cover was beautiful and then I proceeded to consume the entire series in a matter of days. Its so beautifully written and it has everything you could want in a book. It has romance and action and politics and action and humor and discovery and uncertainty and god…everything. I can’t speak highly enough of this series. Its legitimately one of my favorites ever.

6. The Gemma Doyle Trilogy by Libba Bray

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UGH. God. This series. I’m meeting Libba for the first time this weekend at YALL West, and I legit can’t handle that kind of pressure. I’m going to cry or something. I actually accidentally picked up the second book first (whoops) but rectified and continued on to enjoy this beautiful trilogy. It takes place in Victorian English countryside at a boarding school that is hiding all sorts of secrets. Its so dark but funny at the same time and its full of a new kind of magic and I love every bit of it. I need a re-read of this soon actually…

5. The Girl of Fire and Thorns Series by Rae Carson

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Let’s put it this way: I would not drive all the way to Vegas (about a 4 to 5 hour drive) just to meet her for one day if I didn’t think this series was that amazing. What makes this great is that its this sort of Chosen One story but the Chosen One is the last person you’d expect. Elisa is fat and uncertain and unsure and you kind sit there and think, her? Really? But its just so great. And the world building and the magic and the evolution of the main character throughout the three books…my little book loving heart just can’t handle the beauty of this trilogy.

4. The Song of the Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce

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There WAS a series by Tammy on the list but I chose this one for a huge reason: its the first series of the epicness of the Tortall world. The one they chose is the third one and kind of…spoils the first two series for sure. haha. Plus let’s face it…Tammy has a handle on this YA fantasy since the early 80s and just not enough people are reading her. She’s amazing. Her writing, the characters she creates, the way she manages to keep the world of Tortall alive after so many decades…its impossible not to absolutely love her. This series is about a girl who disguises her gender for YEARS in order to become a knight, and then basically does whatever the hell she wants once everyone finds out. YES. I want to shove all of her books down all of your throats. Sorry. Not really.

3. The Airhead Trilogy by Meg Cabot

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Why, yes, I did pick two Meg Cabot series. This is another one that kind of disappears when it comes to Meg. But its legitimately my favorite. Besides Princess Diaries. Because its just SO weird and bizarre and I love it. Em Watts dies…but not really. At the same time as her body dies, supermodel Nikki Howard as a brain aneurysm. Doctors save her life by implanting her brain into Nikki’s body, but she has to live her life as Nikki and no one can know that she was once Em. Its seriously the most bizarre thing ever, especially once you realize there’s so much more to it than meets the eye. And its just straight up hilarious.

2. The Unremembered Trilogy by Jessica Brody

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The finale of this trilogy just released less than two months ago and I’m still reeling from it. I can barely express my emotions about it. Sigh. Anyway. This is a series that’s absolutely incredible and seriously does NOT get enough credit. I want to see more of those purple books in people’s hands. Seriously. I can’t even explain how great this trilogy is. Its like…Bourne Identity but with a super badass girl instead of Matt Damon and it has superhumans called Ex-Gens and time travel and cool technology and romance and action and its just amazing. There are not nearly enough people reading it and you guys need to be reading it. Now. Go.

1. The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

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I love Leigh from the bottom of my heart to the tip top of my head all the way to my little toes. She’s AMAZING and her series just proves that. She has had SUCH success with it, but its nothing to the extend that a ton of people know about it and I want to change that. Her trilogy is perfection and its such a great example of how AMAZING YA fantasy…and YA in general…can be. She’s a terrific writer and a fabulous storyteller. This is another series that needs a re-read soon because now all I can think about is how much I love these books!

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Tuesday Top Ten-Belated Father’s Day Edition

Okay, visit so I logged into WordPress today to start writing the Tuesday Top Ten, sildenafil and whoa, its all different. Not hugely different, just vamped up a little bit. So I am momentarily distracted by the new prettiness that is my dashboard…its just so shiny and new…

Okay, sorry. 

Moving on, today’s Tuesday Top Ten is a little special. Last month, when it was Mother’s Day, my dear friend Gabby from iFandoms Collide went to an author event where Alyson Noel, Tahereh Mafi, Marie Lu, Kami Garcia, Ransom Riggs, and Margaret Stohl were and asked them who their favorite fictional mothers are. Of course, myself, Tatiana, Gabby, Megan and Sylvia had to jump in and say who our own fave fictional mothers were. 

This month was a little different, and we weren’t able to do that again, so I decided that we do a special Father’s Day edition of The Tuesday Top Ten, and I would tell you all my own favorite fictional fathers. 

So here we go :)

Oh, can I just say? Its actually really hard to pick fictional dads. Why is it most fictional dads are super evil, or dead? I don’t understand it…

Anyway.

MY FAVORITE FICTIONAL DADS!

10. Darth Vader from Star Wars

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I know, I know, this is kind of a weird father to pick because he wasn’t really a good father. He totally tortures Princess Leia in the first movie, and repeatedly tries to kill Luke, his son. I mean, he is NOT fatherly material in the slightest. But he’s kind of a badass, and in the end, he did what was right. Granted it was too late for him, and he wasn’t able to have an actual bonding relationship with either of his children but hey, he killed Emperor Palpatine and saved Luke’s life. So that, in itself, is enough for me. I just wouldn’t be buying him “Dad of the Year” mugs any time soon. 

9. Mufasa from The Lion King

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Mufasa! James Earl Jones, man. He plays some badass dads. Mufasa is an AWESOME dad. He’s the KING of Pride Rock. Mufasa runs around, saving Simba when he does stupid things and he’s brave and wise and he’s just freaking awesome. Its like, when the hyenas say “Mufasa” and shudder in excitement haha. That’s exactly what it is. Mufasa is the kind of dad, had he lived (and don’t lie, you cry every single time that he dies in the movie) would have been that awesome dad that made sure Simba grew up strong and proud and wise. He would have taught all the lessons that were necessary for Simba to be a great king. Which I believe he would have been anyway but Mufasa, man, Mufasa is awesome. 

8. Mr. Bennett from Pride and Prejudice

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Seriously, the reason Mr. Bennett is here is because anyone that can have FIVE daughters in that time period is a brave, brave, special man. Add in the fact that he is married to the kind of cuckoo (but lovable!) Mrs. Bennett and he’s just an amazing man. He’s a man of very modest means and has not much to offer a man in pursuit of his daughters. However, if he doesn’t marry them off, he faces their future, when he dies, because they cannot inherit his house. He takes everything in stride and does what he can to do well by his daughters and he supports them with every fiber of his being. And he’s so funny. He cracks me up, as he deals with his crazy wife and his five, very different daughters and their every day dramatics. What a brave, brave man. 

7. Luke Garroway from The Mortal Instruments 

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Okay, technically Luke isn’t a real dad, but he might as well be. He has been Clary’s stand-in dad her entire life, raising her while she thought her dad was dead (though all us TMI fans know the truth), and he loves her as if she were his own. Everything he does, in the entire series, is to protect her and he treats her as an adult, values her opinions and recognizes her abilities and does what he can to help her and to support her. He’s an amazing dad, and is the most honest he can possibly be with her. Once he saves her from Hodge and she demands answers from him, he sits her down and tells her everything, everything that is true as he knows it. He is one of those dads that steps up to be a dad, even though he doesn’t have to. Clary isn’t his daughter but he wants Clary to be and he does all the work that any dad would do. I LOVE Luke. He’s one of my favorite characters in that series. 

6. Philippe Renaldo from The Princess Diaries 

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Yeah, so in the book? Mia’s dad? He’s not dead haha. He’s not dead like he is in the movies. And in the books, he is absolutely, positively hilarious. He’s stricken with cancer, testicular cancer, and this leaves him unable to have anymore children, which is when Mia finds out she’s a princess, because she is now the heir to Genovia, albeit an illegitimate heir haha. This leaves Prince Philippe a little down in the dumps and he’s isn’t the most attractive man in the world haha. But he’s a prince and he loves finding beautiful weather reports or news reporters or Victoria’s Secret models to be his “friend” for a week or two. And he’s just one of those dads that is so good to their daughter, so support, and loving, but so absolutely clueless. Some of the conversations between Mia and her dad have literally made me laugh until I cry because they’re just so CLASSIC. But at the end of the day, Prince Philippe is a great dad and does a great job, co-raising Mia with her mother and turning her into a perfect princess. 

5. Marlin from Finding Nemo 

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I LOVE THIS MOVIE and I don’t get to watch it enough because my boyfriend isn’t the biggest fan in the world. But anyway, Marlin is a badass dad. He literally crosses oceans, battles sharks and deals with jellyfish and crazy deep water fish and turtles and all of that just to find his son, Nemo. He does EVERYTHING he possibly can to get his son back. And sure, in the beginning he’s a little too protective but he just loves his son and wants him to be as safe and happy as possible. And his journey across the oceans of Australia taught both him and Nemo lessons and they have even stronger bonds as father and son, and its a wonderful father/son story. This is a kid’s movie but you really see the development of Marlin’s character as he loosens his grip on his son and becomes a better dad because of it; able to protect his son and make him happy but able to let him go off on his own as well. 

4. George Cooper from The Tricksters Series 

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George Cooper is an awesome dad as well. We don’t get to see George Cooper as much as a dad in the series. We see him a ton as a companion of Alanna’s in The Song of the Lioness but we do get to see him somewhat in the Tricksters series. And what we do get to see, we see a very awesome and loving and caring dad. George doesn’t leave Aly to the simple life of a wife, though he does not excuse the skills necessary to run a household, because he does find that legit. But he teaches her amazing skills; the ability to wield a dagger, the abilities of hand to hand combat, the skills of a spy, and so much more. He gives Aly the chance to take her of herself, no matter the situation and she is definitely able to do that. He also trusts her decisions. He comes to retrieve her from the Copper Isles and she insists on staying, saying that she has more work to go, and he trusts her enough to make her way, on her own, even if it is in a foreign country. I think that’s admirable when a father teaches their child and then allows them use to that knowledge to carve their own path. 

3. Goofy from Disney

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I love this picture above and I freakin love this movie. Its possibly one of the BEST movies that Disney has put out. I have seen it multiple times and know majority of the songs by heart (thanks dad!). I constantly have to try and forget that someone totally had to have sex with Goofy in order for him to have Max…and then apparently she took off. Think about it! Goofy is a single dad, trying to raise a teenage boy who finds him incredibly embarrassing! And so he takes him on a road trip to bond with his son, and his son LIES to him and completely doesn’t enjoy most of the trip. But of course, its Disney and it works out in the end, and Goofy ends up getting Max to the concert that he promised all the kids back home that he was going to be at and they end up having a SERIOUS blast. Goofy is a pretty awesome dad…and he has the best dance moves ever!

2. Carl Frederickson from Up

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Carl isn’t a dad, but damn, he’s a good father figure to Russell in Up. Russell has an absent father, who seems to be a little busy with his new girlfriend/wife and he could really use a fatherly figure in his life. Carl still hasn’t quite recovered from his wife’s death and is pretty lonely. Put those two together, on a flying house with a talking dog and a brightly colored bird named Kevin and you get epic adventure. And along the way, you get a serious father/son type of relationship. I really love at the end when Carl is so determined to protect Russell and that he stands in for his father at his Wilderness Explorer ceremony. I also really like the end credits where they have the scrapbook/Adventure Book thing going on and it shows Carl and Russell doing all kinds of cool stuff together, the way a father and son would do together. Its SO BEAUTIFUL!!! Okay, I’m done…

1. Mr. Weasley from Harry Potter series 

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Mr. Weasley is the BEST dad in all of literature and fictional worlds. I don’t know, maybe its because he reminds me of my dad. Any dad that raises as many kids as Arthur Weasley does, is good in my book. I mean, the Weasleys only have one more kid than my family does so I totally know what their life is like. I wish we would have had a house like the Burrow. I think that Mr. Weasley is the epitome of what a dad can be (besides my own dad, of course, duh). He works his ass, and provides the best that he can, but he provides all the love and the right lessons and morals and values and he raises wonderful kids, even Percy. He’s brave and wonderful and silly and always there for his kids no matter what, even for those kids that aren’t his like Harry and Hermione. I can imagine that he’d be a great father-in-law and an even more awesome grandfather. 

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So there you go guys, this week’s Tuesday Top Ten!

Come back next week for a new one

And don’t forget to check out previous Tuesday Top Top lists!

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Who are some of YOUR favorite fictional dads? As always, share in the comments below! I LOVE hearing from you guys!

Book of the Week: Alanna, The First Adventure

I was thinking of what book to write this week’s Book of the Week post about and couldn’t really think of which to write about. I’ve read a couple new books in the last few weeks but I haven’t really cared enough to write about them. I started making new sections on my blogs. I put up a new “Writing Advice” section, treatment where you can go to get writing advice from authors that you enjoy. I’ve personally emailed, tumblr-ed, tweeted, Facebook messaged, etc. these authors and I’ve gotten a nice response from some really awesome authors, so you should definitely check it out.
Then I added two more sections, Recommended Books : Young Adult and Recommended Books: Adult, and I realized how many of the books that I have recommended to people just haven’t been reviewed on this blog. And I’m kind of aiming to fix that. So I decided to start with one of my absolute favorie authors, Tamora Pierce, and her very first Tortall books.
So for your enjoyment, here is this week’s Book of the Week:
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Genre:
young adult, fantasy
Part of a Series?:
yes, the first installment of the Song of the Lioness quartet
You May Like if You Liked:
Harry Potter, Cinda Williams Chima’s fantasy novels
Plot Summary:
Alanna of Trebond has reached the age of ten and it’s time to send her off to the convent to learn how to be a proper lady. Of course, she doesn’t want to go; she wants to go the palace to learn to be a knight. Her twin brother, Thom, wants to learn to be a powerful sorcerer and has no desire to become a knight. Of course they come up with a brilliant idea to switch places and Alanna heads to the palace disguised as Alan, ready to begin her training as a knight. But training to be a knight isn’t as easy as she thought it was, especially when she is trying to conceal her idea her identity as a girl. Soon though she makes friends with her fellow pages, Prince Jonathan, Gary, Raoul, Alex and the king of thieves, George Cooper. Then Jonathan’s uncle, Roger, returns to court and Alanna had a funny feeling about him that she just can’t shake.
The Bad: 
The first Tamora Pierce book I read was the series of Alanna’s daughter. Sorry, small spoiler. I won’t tell you who it’s with though! But that was stupid because there are THREE series before that one! Whoops!
So eventually I went back and read the original series. And honestly, there’s nothing bad about it in my head. I think one complaint someone might have is that its simpler, a child’s book. This doesn’t bother me, because of all the good reasons below, and because Tamora’s writing and stories get more complex as her books progress and I do believe they are very young adult books.
The Good: 
There is SO much good about this book. First off, the characters. Alanna is a wonderful character because she is SO determined and she’s such a strong female character. Alanna: The First Adventure was first published back in 1983, before the burst of young adult literature and strong heroines hit us all. I think Tamora Pierce was doing something before a lot of other authors were. Alanna disguises her gender in a place where it is NOT easy to do so to become a knight, which is a crazy challenge all in itself. She’s also really small, so she’s not even built like a normal page/squire would be built. But that’s what makes it even better. Alanna is trying to become a knight under extraordinary circumstances, and her size only makes the goal that much harder. But she works so hard, she practices over and over again, she even works as hard as possible to overcome a cruel bully. As the stories progress, she becomes stronger and smarter and she’s one of THE strongest female characters I have ever read in the many, many novels I’ve read.
There’s also the world of Tortall that Tamora Pierce has created. It is very reminiscent of those stories we read as children with princes and princesses, knights in shining armor but in a young adult setting with some serious issues going on, serious villians. You have villians fighting for the crown, and you have bullies picking on those who are different from them, you have a girl’s life in danger every day because of her hidden gender. And she creates such a REAL world; she knows the kingdom, she knows the neighboring kingdom well, and she knows the kingdoms across the sea, and she has histories for these kingdoms. She knows her myths and legends, she knows her history. Her worlds, the creatures, the people, the myths and legends and rules and laws…they all have backing to them. She isn’t pulling this out of nothing, she truly knows what she is talking about, which makes her world believable and makes her world a world that readers want to live in.
She also creates a wonderful story. You can’t help but root for Alanna as she tries to pull off this incredible and seemingly impossible task. She is trying to handle so much, and she’s so young in this book. It takes place over the course of…I’d say three or four years and its just so much for a 10 to 14 year old handle. She’s learning to be a knight, she’s learning to hone her magical skills, she’s making friends, dealing with a bully, and on and on. But even though its just a fantastical story, its so believable too. I think Tammy has so many fans, but I think sometimes there’s a lack of new fans in her case because of the overwhelming flux of teen paranormal romance and the popularity that it has. Her books are good, clean, fun fantasy novels with fantastic characters, strong female leads and enough romance without being too cheesy.
Rating: 
Five out of Five stars. Tamora Pierce is a goddess.
Recommended or Not? 
Definitely. I recommend this book highly because there is so much to read after this. There are three more books in this series,  then the four book Immortals series, the four book Protector of the Small series and then the two book series, Tricksters. Then there’s also the prequel series, Beka Cooper, series. And Tammy only gets better and better as the series go along and all of her books are pure golden fantasy with action, humor, romance, and on and on…and she always has kickass female characters. Pick up a Tammy book now.
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Tuesday Top Ten-People I Wish To Meet

Hello everyone! How’s everyone’s week going so far? I’m hoping its good and that everyone is healthy and all that. I only say that because I’m cooped up in bed with a major head cold. Like, click I’m pretty sure my face has swollen up to be the size of South America, online or so it feels like.

And my boyfriend and I celebrated our five year anniversary and in the next couple weeks I have Valentine’s Day, viagra 60mg Gallifrey One (the Doctor Who convention), my birthday and all that this entails, and LADA is putting on an event at the Pasadena Library and so much is going on. And I’m sick. So. Lame.

It so figures.

But the good thing is, being sick leaves me with a lot of free time to watch old episodes of Glee and Vampire Diaries and to write blog posts for you guys!

So enjoy this week’s Top Ten: the top ten people I wish I could meet right now.

10. Suzanne Collins

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Honestly, meeting her would just be really cool because she’s a really good author and I truly enjoyed the Hunger Games trilogy. I’d kind of like to meet every single author that I love because I want to ask them questions: what inspires them, how do they deal with writers block, etc etc. Suzanne Collins created three immensely successful books that are becoming equally successful movies and that’s inspiring. More and more over the years, women writers are becoming more successful and more prominent. Its fantastic that these insanely good and successful books that everybody is reading and enjoying are coming from women. Suzanne Collins is a great writer, creating an addicting world and people of all ages, races, genders, etc. are reading her books. That’s awesome.  

9. Cinda Williams Chima 

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This is a much under-appreciated woman, at least the way I see it. I picked up her books randomly at a bookstore one day and fell in love with her books and her writing. She’s a jewel in the heaps and heaps of books that are hitting shelves in the young adult literature section. Because young adult literature is at its prime, and everyone seems to be jumping on board, a lot of the good stuff gets lost in the shuffle and I think Cinda Williams Chima is one of the authors. Her work is amazing, but I haven’t met a lot of people who have read her. Which is sad because most of my friends are bibliophiles like me. I would love to meet this woman because she’s an absolutely fantastic writer, and she creates a unique fantasy world. A lot of fantasies nowadays seem to parallel or mimic Lord of the Rings, or Tamora Pierce, or Star Wars or Harry Potter, to the point of annoyance. Not Chima. Her worlds are so real, she’s put so much work and thought into them. Her characters are fun and you can’t help but love them, the way only a lover of books could. I would like to go up to her and say, hey, maybe the world isn’t falling at its knees at your feet and maybe you don’t have a movie to blow it up but this fan right here loves your work and can’t stop telling people how fantastic it is.

8. Gary Oldman 

GREAT British Film Reception To Honor The British Nominees Of The 84th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals

Okay, I mostly have superficial reasons for wanting to meet Gary Oldman. Plain and simple, I think he’s a great actor and he’s a very handsome, sexy man. I mean, look at this picture; he’s obviously a lot older than me, you can see the salt and pepper in his hair, but he is soooo insanely attractive to me. And I think a lot of that comes from the iconic roles he has played: Sirius Black (my favorite HP male character) in Harry Potter, Commissioner Gordon in the Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy, Sid in Sid and Nancy, and he plays like a hundred different bad guys. He makes a seriously sexy bad guy. He’s a great actor, and many young actors have been quoted, saying that they are inspired from Oldman, that he an aspiration for them. He’s one of those understated actors. He’s not in your face, you’re not seeing him on Entertainment Tonight or all over the papers, but he comes in, does his job and does it well and thats it. Classic.

7. Rick Riordan 

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I feel like Rick Riordan would be a seriously fun guy to meet, mostly because his books are seriously fun to read. I’d also like to meet him so I can go up to him and shake him really hard, yelling “WHY THE HELL DID YOU LET PERCY AND ANNABETH DROP INTO TARTARUS AND END THE BOOK THAT WAY? WHY WHY WHY?!?!?! I’d probably get escorted away very very quickly. But his books are very humorous. Sure, the world is usually in a disaster in his books and Percy or Jason or Annabeth or Piper or Leo or Hazel or whoever has to save it, but there’s always time for that humor and its just so hilarious. I feel like he would be a super fun person to hang out with, and I’d imagine he’d be a really awesome dad, and I think awesome dads are…awesome. Probably because I have one. But I think he’d be a fun person to bounce ideas off of, and I’d like to do that because he’s a good writer, but he isn’t complicated. Its the kind of writing I like to do. I like my stories to be fun, because I just don’t think that I am life changing. Rick Riordan is who I go to for fun and I’d like to learn how to write fun books like that.

6. Libba Bray

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I think I’d really like to meet Libba Bray so I can just tell her how absolutely amazing I think that her writing is. I know that A Great and Terrible Beauty once had been optioned for a movie and I am actually pretty okay with the fact that it just never came to be. Her books are just too precious to touch and I feel like the women empowerment that is in her novels would be lost to the big screen. I love that her novels have that feminist touch, in that the females have the power, but they’re aren’t so much so that Bray is beating down on men. Obviously she’s not; she’s married, has a son, and I’d imagine she’s in love. But she presents these stories in worlds where women don’t have power, especially in Victorian England, with her most popular series. I love that Gemma, Pippa, Felicity and Ann are in this world where they have no choices, that their lives are set up for them: debuts and husbands they don’t love for some of them and a life as governess for horrible children for others. But she gives them powers, gives them the link to the realms and gives the powers to make their own futures. Not only are they fun to read, and they have that fantasy element to them, but they’re empowering, they’re inspiring, they’re life changing.

5. Karen Gillan 

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This one is going to be kind of short. She’s hot. She is way super hot. I loved all the Doctor Who companions but she was the first one where I was like WHOA. I have a huge crush on this one. And yes, its more than just that. Amy is an awesome companion in that she is the Doctor’s equal at times, she keeps him in line and doesn’t listen to a word that he says. Her relationship with Rory is adorable and they make it look so real, while being alternately cheesy and not too cheesy. And she’s seriously gorgeous. I have a redhead thing going on when it comes to the girls (see: Christina Hendricks). So I would really like ot meet her so I could drool a bit in presence.

4. David Tennant 

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Best. Doctor. Ever. The first season of Doctor Who pulled me in, gave me enough curiosity to keep on watching but it was the second season, it was David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor that really grabbed me and made me an addict for this show. David Tennant was able to capture exactly what the Doctor is and should be. He has the youthfulness but also the intellect of someone who is old. He is excited at the little discoveries of his life but he has this worldly knowledge of how he believes things should be. He does his best to save everyone that he can and he does it so well. I love as you watch him go from unknowing to discovery, his process as he figures it out. I love when he gets angry because he shows his anger so well and you believe it, and you know why so many people fear him. When it was time for him to leave, for the Tenth doctor to regenerate, it was heartbreaking because he was SUCH a good Doctor.

3. Mike Trout 

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This guy totally stands out on this now doesn’t he? But seriously I would love love love to meet him. I would say about 50% of that is because the guy is seriously hot, like…wow, I haven’t seen a baseball player this hot in a very long time, and who cares that he’s three and a half years younger than me? But I also do want to meet him because he’s on my absolute favorite baseball team and I worship baseball and Mike Trout is a fantastic ball player. He came onto the scene last season and just blew up baseball. There isn’t a baseball fan out there that doesn’t know Mike Trout. Unanimous decision as Rookie of the Year, and while he had no chance at actually winning, he gave Cabrera some pause as a candidate. More young kids are watching baseball because of him, and he’s brought attention to his small New Jersey town, Millville, which has been struggling heavily in this downturn economy. If you watched the Little League series at all, you saw that most of the US kids said Mike Trout was their favorite player. He’s awesome, he’s hot and I want to be able to say that I met him.

2. Tamora Pierce

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I’ve written an entire blog post on how much I adore Tamora Pierce. I could go on and on and on and on and on….literally forever on reasons why I would like to meet this lady. Part of it is because I haven’t had the chance to meet her yet, and I’ve been greedily reading her books since I was 15 years old. Ten years, and she’s never made a trip to California that is either near me or that I am able to go to. I would just like to go up to her and tell her thank you, thank you for writing such wonderful books that continue to reach out to readers for over thirty years. Thank you for providing such perfect heroines. Thank you for being an author that I could look up to. Thank you for being something so different in this overflow of books. Thank you for bringing me my pen pal, one of my longest friends. Thank you for just being such a badass writer. That’s why I’d like to meet her.

1. J.K. Rowling 

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I think this is the one person in the world where I would fall apart at the seams if I met her. I would cry, and laugh, maybe even pee my pants a little if she was ever in front of me. Remember the way girls were when they used to see the Beatles? How they would cry and scream and faint and just look like they were going absolutely mad? Yeah, that would be me, in front of dear ol Jo Rowling. She has written my seven favorite books in the entire world. She has given me a world to escape to, values and morals to love, characters to love, a person to aspire to be. Harry Potter has done for me what nothing else has ever been able to do. I’m getting teary eyed just thinking about it. This woman and her stories literally changed my life. There is a reason, many reasons, that I have four Harry Potter symbols, words permanently tattooed on my skin. That is what she has given me. I would love to meet her so I could just tell her how much she has done for me, how much that she has changed me and my life. I would  like to thank her for her stories because without them, I don’t know who I would have been.

I’m pretty sure that this list will continue to change, day by day.

A couple people will point out that I didn’t include Andrew McMahon (from Something Corporate, my allll time favorite band), Cassandra Clare or Meg Cabot. Well I’ve met Andrew twice, I’ve met Cassie once and will be meeting her again in March and I’ve met Meg Cabot four or five times, I’ve lost cost.

Who would you like to meet?

Tuesday Top Ten-Weapons of Choice

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

Day 02-A book or series you wish more people were reading and talking about

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The Trickster Series by Tamora Pierce (Trickster’s Choice and Trickster’s Queen)

This is the fourth Tortall series by Tamora Pierce. She has been writing fantasy since the publication of her first novel: Alanna: The First Adventure in 1981. Her series are:

The Song of the Lioness (story of Alanna)

The Immortals (story of Daine)

The Protector of the Small (story of Keladry)

and this series. I do recommend reading them in order. I read them backwards and, viagra buy well, approved lets just say it ruins the surprises in other books haha.

The Basic Plot: Alianne, drug daughter of the Tortall King’s Champion, the first woman knight in a century, and the King’s spymaster, has many choices laid out in front of her for her future: a Queen’s Rider, a lady-in-waiting, a knight, a scholar at the best universities, etc. However, she doesn’t want any of that; she wants to be a spy. Of course, this is out of the question and not a suitable career for a well-bred noblewoman. After an argument with her mother goes awry, she decides to leave her home on a short trip to give her mother some time to calm down. However, she is kidnapped by pirates and sold into slavery at the nearby Copper Isles. It is there that she learns of the different people: the white luarin, who rule the country once ruled by the dark skinned raka. She gets swept up in a rebellion to restore the country to its rightful owners.

The Awesomeness: The basic awesomeness of these books is that they’re fantasy…of girls kicking ass. You have Alanna, the heroine of the first series, who disguises herself as a boy so she can become the first female knight in centuries. You have Daine, who has the immense power of Wild magic, and can speak to animals and heal them and uses this for good. Then there is Keladry, the first female to openly go for her knighthood. Then you have Aly, who is fiercely intelligent and clever and helps put together a spy network for the rebellion going on in the Copper Isles. Its fantastic because they are written so well and they are extremely believable and relatable. They read easily but keep you caught up. There’s humor and fighting and action and yes, a bit of romance, but its all intertwined so well.

Reasons Why it Fits this Category: Now these books aren’t exactly new. Like I said earlier, the Song of the Lioness was written in the 1980s, before I was even born. The Trickster series was published back in 2003 and 2004. Not the oldest of books but not exactly new either. And these books are very very overlooked. You can ask most young adult girls today and they probably haven’t read them. One, not one of her books has been made into a movie (which I just love!) and two, her books do have romance but its not a huge component of the storyline and usually the heroine chooses her dreams and her ambitions over the romance. This is completely not whats popular right now. We are in the days of Twilight, Fifty Shades of Grey, etc. Even some of my favorite books like Hunger Games and the Mortal Instruments have those elements of romance, true love, having to choose between two suitors, etc. But that is what makes Tamora Pierce’s books so good. They are giving us strong female characters that fight for what they want and what they believe in, and fall in love but never let it take them away from what they are doing. This is why I think more people should be reading these books.