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

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

Moving on though.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday Top Ten-Best of 2013…So Far

Well, cialis 40mg guys, medical its July 2nd. This year is half over, and I can’t believe there’s still six months of awesome left.

The way I see it…2013 has been MY year so far. I’ve had a great year and I’ve had the chance to do a TON of things, I’ve had the chance to meet SO many people and I’m feeling so good this year. I feel like I’m finally on the right track. And not just in WhatANerdGirlSays world either.

My boyfriend just graduated university and I finally got into university, which means I’m on the downhill slope of my degree. Its just been SO great and I’m so happy.

So this week’s Tuesday Top Ten is a little different, and some of you may be a little disappointed, but I just kind of wanted to recap the awesome that has happened to me this year.

SO here it is: Sara’s Tuesday Top Ten of Best Things About 2013…So Far

10. Published A Little Less than Famous

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I’m dying to publish my own novel. I’m dying to be a published author like all the ones that I get SO excited to meet. And I was able to finish and self-publish my novel, A Little Less than Famous. And its not perfect. It could use a lot of editing work on it but I am so insanely proud of it. I’m proud of myself for finishing it. I’m proud of myself for writing it. I’m proud of myself every time someone reads it and likes it. I am so proud of it being part of my writing journey. I hope I can find some time to sit down and really edit it (or pay someone to edit it) and share it in all its perfection. For now, it is what it is and I am still so VERY proud of it. Almost every author that I’ve ever talked to has told me to keep writing, and to just finish something and I was able to accomplish that and I am proud of myself for that. On a side note, the book is ON SALE for only 99 cents until July 5th so click here to check it out!

9. Star Trek Premiere-My First Ever!

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I had never been to a full movie premiere before! Last year, I went to the Grove with a few people from LADA and we saw an advanced screening of the Woman in Black and Daniel Radcliffe WAS a special guest and that was really super awesome but this right here was SUCH an amazing experience. I’m a fangirl, I’m a geek, and I seriously get so excited to see famous people. I can talk to them, no problem at all, but all that anxiousness and excitement is WAY too much to handle. But what a GREAT experience for me and the other girls of iFandoms Collide. We got free t-shirts, saw an advanced screening of the movie, and saw Chris Pine, Zoe Saldana, Zachary Quinto and SO MANY MORE cool people. And at the end of the night, we ended up on the channel 5 news. Which, let me tell you, probably had to do with the fact that we were flirting with the guy the whole time. But seriously, a COOL time, and now all I want to do is go to premieres all the time!

8. My First Ever Gallifrey One! 

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I am a new Doctor Who fan. I’ve only been watching for a little over a year now, probably right after they put up season 6 on Netflix. But as soon as I started watching it, I was hooked. This is my favorite TV show, period. And when I found out from a few friends of mine that there was an ENTIRE Doctor Who convention, I was like, “okay, I gotta be there.” Now, unfortunately this convention is a little pricey but its TOTALLY worth it and my super awesome friend, Ana, bought me my badge before they sold out and I paid her back. And I am SO grateful she did that because WHAT an experience. It is probably one of the BEST cons I have ever been. First off, its in a hotel, which means its limited to how many people can go, which is great, because you’re not crowded *too* much. Two, its SO intimate because its ALL Doctor Who. Doctor Who 24/7. Three, it was just a blast. Karaoke until 5 am, seeing all kinds of Doctor Who actors and actresses, buying WAY too much Doctor Who merch. It was amazing.

7. Clockwork Princess

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This is EASILY the best book that I’ve read so far this year. And there’s a ton of epic books coming soon and I still think this will remain the best book of the year. Easily. I waited for this book for so long and then it was supposed to come out in December of 2012 and they pushed it back to March 2013 and I was just dying for it. Then I was going to a Cassie Clare event three days after the release, where I would get my copy and I was like, no way. I can’t wait three days! So I ordered it on my Kindle, refreshed my Kindle allll night, and then at 10 pm (midnight for where it was being published), it downloaded to my Kindle and I stayed up ALL night reading, finishing it at about 3ish am. My eyes were all bloodshot and raw, and I was sobbing and it was just SO much to deal with and NO ONE had finished it, obviously, because I had stayed up all night on its release day, before the bookstores had even opened, to read it. Every single person I know who has read it, has talked about what it did to them, especially that epilogue. What a beautiful book.

6. Discovering New Books: Leigh Bardugo, Marie Lu, Tahereh Mafi, Jessica Brody and more..

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Seriously, I discover new authors all the time, mostly because I read so super fast and I have to find new things to read. But this year…seems to be a bit more and I attribute that to the combined factors that I know have a GoodReads that I am VERY active on, I have this blog, and I go to all these events now. I am discovering authors left and right, and they’re all so amazing, and I can’t keep up with my “to-read” list anymore. Before, I was just rereading the same books over and over again (which is okay, of course) but everyone would be like “You’re reading Goblet of Fire again!” or “You’re reading City of Bones again?!” and I was like, well, sure, because I don’t know what else to read. But NOW that I’ve made so many friends, especially all of YOU guys, I’m discovering new authors and new books and I’m loving it.  I am so excited for all the books that are now coming out in the second half of this year because I discovered their prequels in this half of the year.

5. City of Bones Meet and Greet at WonderCon 

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I am SO spoiled when it comes to City of Bones, at least so far. I mean, I’ve been SUPER bummed at missing out on the City of Bones panel at San Diego Comic Con because my best friend is getting married that day. And I realized, yeah, I do want to be there. But I’ve met them all already, the ones that are going to be there, AND I still have the TMI premiere coming up next month. So I’m still so lucky. I was able to be one of the five people that got to go to the VIP signing for City of Bones. I was planning on getting to WonderCon super early that day to try and get my hands on a wristband for the signing but it turns out, I didn’t even need to. Cassie did a contest through her Twitter, and I was picked and I got to go to the VIP signing where I got a book and a HUGE poster signed by Cassie, Jamie, Lily and Kevin. Cassie remembered me from the week before (see later), I told Jamie I was cooler than him (one of my finer moments haha), I could barely utter a word to the beautiful Lily, and I told Kevin that he was awesome in Gossip Girl. What a fantastic amazing experience.

4. Author Breakfast at Ontario Teen Book Fest


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Okay, so the whole reason I went to this fest was to meet Morgan Matson, Jessica Brody (again) and Marie Lu. I left that fest feeling like a million dollars, and meeting a TON of new authors that I now love and adore because I’ve read all their books and they are SO amazing. It was a seriously cool experience to sit down with these authors, and interview them for our first ever vlog post and to just sit and talk writing with them. I am an aspiring writer and being around all those published authors was TOO much for me to handle. I had a blast all day. All the panels were super awesome, Leigh Bardugo made me crack and has now become one of my favorite authors. Meeting Morgan after all this time of worshipping her book, Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour was an experience. But it was also great because the four of us from iFandoms Collide and my sister Jessica got to go to the author breakfast because we were bloggers and we really got an intimate time with all of the authors and that was just the best part. Especially since now, whenever we see any of these authors, they totally remember us. We made an impression!

3. Seeing the Arrested Development Banana Stand 

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Okay, some people may be like, seriously, Sara? A banana stand? But it really is one of the BEST things about this year and there’s a lot of reasons why. I mean, Arrested Development is a GREAT show so there’s that. Frozen bananas (FREE ones) are SO delicious. And it was something that I could do with my boyfriend. My boyfriend is so incredibly patient and good with me being a fangirl and going to all these events and freaking out over things that most people just don’t get. He’s SO good with me, I swear. There are NOT a lot of boys in this world that would be as awesome as he is with me. I’m an intense person. But he’s the big Arrested Development fan and he got me into it almost six years ago, before we were even dating and it was one of those things that we always did together, watch that show. We’ve done that several times since then, with TV shows, but that was the first one and so we have kind of a bond with that. And it was super fun, celebrating that it had come back for a long long awaited fourth season. And its fun to be able to extend my nerd fun with my boyfriend every once in awhile :)

2. iFandoms Collide

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Seriously, this would be number one if number one wasn’t so epicly epic. I am so grateful for meeting these four girls. I met Tatiana, Sylvia and Megan back in April, though we’ve known each other through Twitter for so much longer. We actually were all at WonderCon and didn’t even realize it. Megan was part of the normal autograph session for City of Bones but Sylvia and Tatiana were both at the VIP too, and we didn’t even realize it. Then, when the Festival of Books came around, we all realized that we lived within a few miles of each other, and decided to go together…and the rest, as they say, is history. The first day we ever spent together was April 20th, day one of the Festival of Books. That literally was ONLY two months ago. TWO months…and yet it feels like its been forever. We’ve bonded so fast, and we’ve created iFandoms Collide together and so many of the cool things that I’ve gotten to do this year is with them. So thanks Megan, Sylvia and Tatiana for coming into my life and making it fangirl awesome. I can’t wait to go on the road trip with you, stalk Robbie Sheehan, hit up the City of Bones, Catching Fire and Divergent premieres with you and just be friends forever :)

And Gabby and Paulina, I love you girls too! I wish I saw my other ifandoms girls just as much :D

1. Meeting and Interviewing Cassandra Clare

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I can’t believe this even happened. All these months later and I’m still like, I interviewed one of my absolute favorite authors. I got to INTERVIEW her. I got to sit across the table from her and interview her and she gave me a hug and she saw my tattoo and took pictures of it with her phone and gave me a cool epic Clockwork Princess poster that, like, no body else has and a Clockwork Princess pendant designed by Hebel and ohmygod. I couldn’t even handle it. I entered the contest, and just never thought about it until I got the email from Allison Tran at the Mission Viejo Library and just DIED. I was so excited, I started jumping up and down at school…and I’m in college, by the way. I was SO nervous to meet her and so nervous to interview but she was so cool, and she made me feel super relaxed and answered my questions and told funny stories and its an experience that I’ll NEVER ever forget, no way, as long as I live.

If you’re interested in watching the interview, here it is!

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I seriously have had SUCH a great year so far and I am so lucky in the things I’ve been able to do and all I can think of is…

If the first six months of 2013 were THIS cool, the last six months are going to be even MORE COOL!

I can’t wait, and I’ll be sharing it ALL with all of you awesome people.

Don’t forget to check out previous Tuesday Top Tens!

What has been the best part of 2013 for YOU? Is it a book or a movie? Did you get to meet someone cool or was it an accomplishment you reached? As always, share in the comments!

Blogger Spotlight: Megan from The Nerdy Girlie

One of the best parts about running this blog is having the ability to meet some really cool people, this and some of the coolest people that I have met have led me to really cool blogs. I’ve said it before, about it no one’s blog is 100% original but everyone’s voices are different so there are blogs that I love to read because I love the writer, and I love the passion that they show for what they are writing. They are fun and interesting to read and they inspire me to get better and better in my blog.

So I decided to do a feature (inspired by Megan at the Nerdy Girlie’s Geek Girls Gab), where I profile the bloggers that I love. Not only do I get to find out more about them, but I also get to share them with you guys! Most of the bloggers that I follow are like me, nerd girls, fan girls and they enjoy the same things as me, and you! Every blogger that I profile is one that is super important to me and I urge you to check them out!

If you are interested in being featured on the Blogger Spotlight, feel free to contact me, please! I would love to hear from you! 

Speaking of Megan at the Nerdy Girlie…I think that’s just who might be the featured blogger this week!

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 Megan Gotch at The Nerdy Girlie

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Her Twitter

Her Facebook

Her Instagram

Sara: Tell me a little bit about yourself

Megan Gotch is the founder of The Nerdy Girlie blog site. Her nerdiness came on at a young age when she received an NES for Christmas. It then became full blown upon her first trip to San Diego Comic Con in 2009. Each year she eagerly awaits the Con and her fan girl list continues to grow. Megan enjoys TV, photography, writing and ballet. Her nerd crush is Zachary Levi and her current obsession is Doctor Who. She lives in San Diego and hopes to never leave.

 Sara: Tell me a little bit about your blog!

Megan: My blog is called The Nerdy Girlie where I nerd out about nerdy and girlie things!  Mostly nerdy though!  My favorite thing to share about is San Diego Comic Con!  I love helping new and old attendees with tips and tricks to have the best Comic Con ever!  My favorite girlie part of my blog is our Every Day Cosplay series.  In it I show you how to dress like your favorite nerd characters with your every day wardrobe.

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Sara: What inspired you to start your blog/vlog/podcast

Megan: San Diego Comic Con inspired me to start The Nerdy Girlie.  I had been writing on a personal blog, but after my 4th year at SDCC I thought it was time to focus on my love of all things nerdy!  My blog has helped me grown in all of my fandoms and make some awesome new nerd friends along the way!

Sara: What is your favorite nerd memory? 

Megan: My favorite nerd memories would have to be all centered around Comic Con.  It is there where I can let my fan girl out for a week and everyone understands!  The BEST memories of Comic Con are having been able to meet Zachary Levi, Sam Witwer and Joss Whedon.  I can’t wait for this year where I can finally meet all my twitter friends and maybe have more time with Zach?! :)

Sara: What are you most looking forward to, as far as new books/movies/etc? 

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Megan: Star Trek for Ben Cumberbatch, Thor 2 for Zachary Levi and of course Comic Con!

(note: interview was done prior to Star Trek release!)

Sara: As my blog is mostly about books and reading, what are some of your favorite books or authors to read?

Megan: Nicholas Sparks is my most favorite author.  I found him randomly in the book store one day while browsing and was a fan ever since.  I even got to meet him at a signing once.  The only famous author I have ever met.  Other favorite books would be Harry Potter, The Hunger Games and Twilight {yes yes…LOL}.  Dystopian would be my favorite genre to read.  I have been frequenting the library a lot lately and I love getting lost in the shelves.

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Sara: What are some of your favorite blogs to follow?

Megan: Being Geek Chic, When Nerds Attack, San Diego Comic Con Unoffical Blog, Girl Gone Geek, Crazy 4 Comic Con

Sara: Who is your fictional crush? (What? I’m featuring girl bloggers and we all have them :) )

Megan: Chuck, Captain Malcolm Reynolds and of course the 10th Doctor…swooooooooon!!

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One of the best cosplay outfits I’ve ever seen. So cool. :)

I hope you all enjoyed getting to know Megan a little bit today! Definitely check out her blog, and other social medias. She is a cool girl, always manages to entertain me with her blog and has the 411 on San Diego Comic Con for all of you!

Don’t forget to check out last week’s featured Blogger, Tatiana from City of Shadowhunters!

Star Trek Into Darkness-Red Carpet Premiere and Review!

Yay, shop I can finally post my review and experiences for Star Trek Into Darkness. I wanted to post it right away but, well, I went to the red carpet premiere on Tuesday and the movie didn’t release til Thursday night so…I didn’t want to ruin anything. Or get in trouble. I mean, I didn’t need people tracking me down, and tackling me to the ground because I wrote about the movie before it premiered. 

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Not that I think that would actually happen. 

And I try to keep my reviews of ANYTHING as spoiler free as I possibly can. 

But I was lucky enough to be able to have a really cool experience this week. On Tuesday, i was able to head down to the Dolby Theater in Hollywood to attend the gray carpet (not red, gray!) premiere of Star Trek Into Darkness

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We headed down to Hollywood and Highland fairly early before the premiere, though my dear friends Sylvia and Marla had arrived at 9 am to gain us a good spot in line :) Myself, Tatiana, Megan, Gabriella and my sister, Jessica, joined them later in the day, prepared for a good time. 

When they started to let us in for the gray carpet premiere, we actually got to walk on the gray carpet which was pretty cool. I wish I had gotten some pictures of that part but I had turned my phone off in order to conserve battery so I could take pictures of all the cool celebs, but it was pretty rocking. Fans that were standing along the barricades on the sidewalks of Hollywood Blvd were waving and blowing kisses our way. It was pretty awesome :) 

We were able to get a free Star Trek shirt, which was super badass. I love free nerd swag!

Once we were all settled and waited for a bit, the celebrities arrived :) 

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Leonard Nimoy, the original Spock, and his wife

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Chris Pine, who plays Captain Kirk

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Zachary Quinto who plays Spock. I LOVE the look that his publicist (?) is giving. 

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A blurry picture of Karl Urban. He plays Bones in the movie, but it was also cool to see him because he plays Eomer in Lord of the Rings

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John Cho who plays Sulu.

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Zoe Saldana who plays Uhura in the movie. So pretty :) 

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Bruce Greenwood, who plays Christopher Pike

 

 

 

 

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The very beautiful Alice Eve, who plays Carol Marcus in the movie. 

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J.J. Abrams, the director of Star Trek, and soon to be the director of the new Star Wars movie. 

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Megan, myself, Tatiana, Sylvia and Gabriella, the girls of iFandoms Collide. You can watch our video below! 

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We made it onto the KTLA 5 news! Probably because we were flirting with the reporter, Doug Kolk, the ENTIRE time haha. 

Then we got to watch the movie, in 3D, no less. I also went and saw the movie again yesterday with the boyfriend so I am adequately capable of writing a review ;)

The movie sort of picks up where the last one left off: Captain Kirk and his crew are out in the galaxy aboard the Enterprise, exploring new planets and recording information on new species, doing exactly what Starfleet is meant to do. When Captain Kirk gets caught breaking a rule, he is demoted to first officer and Captain Pike takes over…that is until John Harrison, commander in Starfleet, attacks the Archives and then proceeds to attack a meeting of Starfleet commanders and first officers. Kirk is reinstated to the Enterprise and sent across the galaxy, after Harrison, to kill him. However, when he finds him, Harrison tells his own side of the story and suddenly, Kirk isn’t too sure what’s right and wrong, and who is really telling the truth. 

The Bad:

There isn’t a whole lot of bad to this movie, in my personal opinion. Some of the reviews I read had issues with Benedict Cumberbatch as the villain but I loved him. I do think that the movie had a bit of a cheese factor going on. I do think some of the moments that were meant to be emotional just ended up being cheesy. I also do think the ending was a bit cheesy. I’m trying to explain that without ruining the movie for anyone who has not seen it yet haha. I think it was a great movie but there were moments that were a *bit* over the top. 

The Good:

This movie was SO good. It had the right mix of action and emotion and laughter and drama and all of that. I get bored with most action movies because its all just action and I want to fall asleep. I love when there are jokes, and emotional depths to an action movie. I love seeing the relationship between Uhura and Spock, especially their little couple spat while on the way to track down Harrison. I loved seeing the friendship between Spock and Kirk grow, especially since Spock is so funny, with his logical ways. And Zachary Quinto just makes a damn good Spock. The actors all get into their character perfectly.

And they really create a story full of relatable and likable characters that makes a Star Wars fan like myself want to watch the old Star Trek shows. The characters are all ones that you end up liking. Even the smaller characters like Scotty (Simon Pegg), Sulu (John Cho), and Chekov (Anton Yelchin) were easy to like and easy to root for. 

I also disagree with the reviews I read. I thought Benedict Cumberbatch made a good villain, especially since the story of him as a villain is a bit more twisted than you would first believe. I think its his voice. He has that deep, sexy, rumbling voice. As soon as I heard that voice on screen, I was like, “agh, that’s my Sherlock!” He makes a formidable character, if not exactly the perfect villain, because of his ability to spout of monologues that show deep intelligence, especially with that deep voice. He does the same sort of thing in Sherlock but in Sherlock he’s the good guy. 

I also liked the story. As I said before, I love action movies. I do like action. This is what draws me to movies and books that are science fiction and fantasy and dystopian because of the action and the badass fights we get to see. But I also like action with a complexity, with a story that’s full of emotions and drama and politics and things like that and Star Trek Into Darkness definitely accomplishes that. You get enough of action, romance, humor, drama, mystery and all of that in just one movie. It leaves you wanting more and more as the movie goes along. According to Wikipedia (I know, not the most reputable of sources but still), there is a plan for this series to be a trilogy and I am definitely all for that. The movie ended on a note that makes you want more. Hopefully we will not have to wait very long :)

Rating:

4 out of 5 stars. Nearly perfect. 

Recommended or Not?

Definitely. Go see it. Even if you’re anti-Star Trek, I really do think you’ll enjoy it. I am a Star Wars fan not a Star Trek fan and I absolutely enjoyed the movie. 

And it was an absolutely fantastic time at the premiere. It was my second premiere ever and now I’m dying to go to all kinds of premieres. I am definitely going to make my way into the City of Bones, Catching Fire, and Divergent premieres. 

Don’t forget to check out the iFandoms Collide’s vlog, highlighting our time at the premiere!

Have you seen Star Trek Into Darkness yet? What did you think? As always, let me know in the comments!

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Favorite Science Fiction/Paranormal/Fantasy/Dystopian Series

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

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

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

10. Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins

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The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, Mockingjay

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

9. Divergent series by Veronica Roth

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Divergent, Insurgent and Allegiant 

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

8. Legend trilogy by Marie Lu

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Legend, Prodigy and Champion 

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

7. Infernal Devices Trilogy by Cassandra Clare

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Clockwork Angel, Clockwork Prince, Clockwork Princess

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

6. Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima

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

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

5. Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan

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

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

4. Gemma Doyle Trilogy by Libba Bray

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

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

3. Tricksters series by Tamora Pierce

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Trickster’s Choice and Trickster’s Queen 

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

2. Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare 

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

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

1. Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling 

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

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

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

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

And for past Tuesday Top Ten lists, click here!