WonderCon 2014 Vlog Recap!

So if you don’t follow me on Twitter, information pills Facebook or Instagram, cure you may not have seen all of the awesome pictures that I posted over this past weekend, cure because I was attending WonderCon 2014 in Anaheim, CA!

For those who don’t know, WonderCon is basically a small version of the very well known San Diego Comic Con! WonderCon is actually put together by the same organization that puts Comic Con together. I LOVE WonderCon because its smaller, and Anaheim is SO close to me, and I always have an absolute blast.

This year was NO different :)

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I went and picked up my badge early on Thursday in order to enjoy the awesomeness all weekend without having to wait in line to get my badge. I met amazing people like Melissa de la Cruz and Margaret Stohl and James Dashner, the cast of the CW show, The 100, and SO much more.

But I’ll stop writing now so that you can enjoy my vlog post all about it! I managed to squeeze all 3 days of the convention into ONE 15 minutes vlog! That’s not bad for me HAHA!

Don’t forget you can also check out all the pictures from the weekend on Facebook here.

ALSO! I got my hands on lots of swag, which will be part of my blog birthday giveaway next month in May so watch out for that!

Until then, enjoy!

Can’t wait until next year!

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The Lizzie Bennet Diaries…Also Known as My New Addiction!

For those of you who are already Lizzie Bennet fans, health and have not yet reached the episode where they reveal Darcy, illness I will warn you, I reveal who Darcy is later in this post. So if you’d like to be surprised, don’t read any further than this. You’ve been warned, fangirls!

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I should start pleading with people to stop introducing me to things…seriously. Ever since I joined The Los Angeles Dumbledore’s Army in October 2011, my group of nerd friends has increased by…well, 100% because I really didn’t have a lot of nerdy friends before that.

And one of the best parts of being in this group is sharing the things you love with each other, especially those that they may not have discovered yet. I love sharing Tamora Pierce love and Cassandra Clare love and all that. I get all happy when I hear they tried it and loved it.

But it also works vice versa. They tell me about things: books, TV shows, movies, etc. And I get addicted.

As if I didn’t have enough to obsess over!

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So a few weeks ago while I was away at Gallifrey One, my friend Erin told me about The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, an online vlog telling the modern day (fictional) story of Pride and Prejudice. She showed me the very first episode and I thought it was funny and cute but I didn’t really think much about it. I remember my friend Deb telling me that I would probably enjoy it and I catalogued it in my long list of things to read and watch (that list is too long to even contemplate…).

Well, a couple of days ago, my friend, Ana, who was at Gallifrey One with us, asked me if I had watched it yet because it was so good and she was blasting through episodes. Deb and Erin jumped in on the conversation and sounded really excited. And you know me, I hate to be left out of something that gets a fangirl reaction from others. I had to get on this.

I first read Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen when I was about 10 or 11 years old. I remember loving the book so much, and I’m pretty sure I didn’t really understand more than half of the book. I mean, I’m sure I understand the love story, but there is SO much more to the novel besides that, and as I reread the book over the years (and reread and reread…), I discovered more and more about the book and learned more and more about the book, and it still remains one of my favorite books. I love the story, I love Jane Austen. I think so many people see of it as a romance novel, but there is so much more there besides the romance between Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy. I seriously encourage every single one of you to get out there and read that book. Because it is one of those novels that doesn’t have copyrights, it’s available for free download on Amazon here. So no excuses.

So I jumped on this Lizzie Bennet bandwagon.

And holy addicting vlog series Batman. This is the most amazing thing ever! I blew through all 94 current episodes in a couple days. I probably could’ve watch them all in one day, if you know, homework hadn’t gotten in the way.

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries is basically this: a modern adaptation of Pride and Prejudice shown in the form of video diaries, recorded by the main character, Lizzie Bennet. She lives with her marriage obsessed mother, her quiet, her fashion obsessed and super sweet sister, Jane, and her younger hyperactive handful sister, Lydia. She’s a graduate student in mass communications, making these videos with her best friend, Charlotte Lu. The neighborhood explodes with rich medical student, Bing Lee, moves in, with his sister Caroline Lee and his best friend, William Darcy.

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(Clockwise starting in the left top corner: Maria Lu, Fitz William, Lydia Bennet, Lizzie Bennet, Jane Bennet, Charlotte Lu, George Wickham, Mary Bennet, Bing Lee, Caroline Lee, and Ricky Collins)

Sound familiar in the slightest? Oh yeah, Pride and Prejudice in 2012. Its amazing.

Of course, we are missing Kitty and Mary Bennet, but don’t worry they make appearances and in unexpected places.

Now these videos are the brain chain of Hank Green and Bernie Su, who are just two of the many people who make this awesome show possible. And yes, THE Hank Green, younger brother to young adult lit god, John Green, and the other half of the Vlogbrothers. If you don’t know what the Vlogbrothers are, please god go educate yourself! NOW! :D

The thing that I really like about this adapation is just the hilarity of it all, and how it really shows the depth of the characters and the reality of them all. For some people, its hard to understand the characters through Jane Austen’s writing style because it is unfamiliar to the writing we know today. However, in this adaptation, you really see the characters. You get a real sense of Jane’s kindness and her inability to say bad things about anyone. You really see Lydia’s irresponsibilty and her tendency to not take things seriously. You also see the frustrations of Charlotte as well. The thing that I liked the most though was the way you see Lizzie…she complains about everyone so much, has an opinion on everything and can be so judgemental…hence the “prejudice” part of the title. This is exactly how Elizabeth truly is in the novel, but I think sometimes you miss it because you’re so focused on the actions of Mr. Darcy. In this vlog adaptation, however, you really get to see that character flaw captured in Ashley Clement’s portrayal of Lizzie Bennet.

I also liked the direction that they went with these characters. Sure, you still have the marriage obsessed Mrs. Bennet but this is 2012/13. You can’t have the entire series based on marriage. Instead, it focuses very much on idea of the modern, career-driven, ambitious woman. Jane is in the fashion industry, Charlotte and Lizzie are both graduate students, Gigi Darcy is an employee for her brother’s company, Pemberley Digital, Lydia (mostly) works her butt off at community college. These women go through the same to similar romantic entanglements in the novel, but in very modern ways. Without spoiling too much, I really liked how they changed the Lizzie-Mr. Collins-Charlotte triangle from one of marriage and commitment to one of more modern, work-related circumstances.

Plus…the costume theater. Oh god, the costume theater is amazing. The story is mainly told by Lizzie Bennet, though people are constantly walking in on her and joining her videos. Occasionally, you get a video diary by Lydia, a couple random videos by Charlotte and Jane, Gigi Darcy along the way but mostly its Lizzie. But in order to make sure you get the story completely (or as complete as it is in her eyes), she has costumes that she wears for various people in her life, and she’ll put on a little reenactment of a recent event in her life. Its hilarious, especially when she impersonates her mom (below)…oh, god, the amount of actual laughs that this got out of me was great.

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I also really like the changes they made to some of the characters. I like that they kind of cut Kitty Bennet, because in the novel, she was just Lydia’s shadow. I love the changes they did with Mary Bennet; she’s honestly one of my favorite characters in the video series. I also think I have a little crush on Briana Cuoco, who plays her. I also really like Fitz Williams, Darcy’s friend, who is given a larger role and also the role of Gigi Darcy, both pictured below. Fitz lends some serious hilarity to the films and Gigi captures the sweetness and little sister-ness of Georgiana from the original story.

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But the thing that I love the most about it is…its one of my absolute favorite stories of all time told in such a fun and modern way. The episodes aren’t too long, an average of 5 to 10 minutes and each one leaves you wanting more. So far, they are up to episode 95 with only a handful left, as you can imagine, the story is nearly wrapped up.

And let me tell you, not seeing Darcy until episode 60? HORRIBLE! I am a Mr Darcy lover. Yes, Mr Darcy can be a total jerk but I still adore him and he was one of the greatest romantic heroes in literature. And when Darcy did eventually appear…well, I wasn’t disappointed. Meet Daniel Vincent Gordh, a.k.a. William Darcy.

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He is super good looking…and he just captures the essence of Mr. Darcy. And they made Mr. Darcy such a hipster. He’s always going around in ties, bowties, suspenders, little scarfs and geeky glasses. I couldn’t stop laughing every time he shows up in a different outfit, especially the cardigan and bow tie look. Too adorable. He kind of reminds me of Ed Westwick as Chuck Bass in Gossip Girl. I was most definitely not disappointed…and you really believe him as Mr. Darcy. I count the minutes until he reappears on screen.

Like I said, the story is great…its the story we know and love but in a world where women are a lot stronger and have way more freedom than they did in the time of Elizabeth Bennett. It captures the beauty and values and soul of the original story while keeping it fresh for new eyes. I seriously love it; I blew through all the current episodes as fast as I could and I really recommend you watch it!

I also recommend watching it on the actual website: lizziebennet.com. There you get the videos down by Lydia, Charlotte, Gigi, and other characters. You also get the Twitter conversations between characters as well and all of these lend more to the story than just the Lizzie episodes. I did it that way, and its awesome. You really get the full story, as much as possible, and its enjoyable and really a unique way to tell the story.

And for those of you who are a bit intrigued, check out the first episode, which I have cleverly inserted into this blog post. You’re welcome :D

Hope that you enjoy and that you become as addicted as I did!

New videos are uploaded Mondays and Thursdays at 9 am!

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Friday Funny

I SO need to get better at doing the Friday Funny. I have all these pictures and videos for you guys, symptoms just stored away for easy access for the Friday Funny…and I don’t do it. I apologize. I’ll get better, pharm I swear!

This week’s funny is brought to you by youtube user egoraptor. My brother showed me a couple videos of his last night, and basically, I couldn’t stop laughing. This stuff is super funny.

I do warn you though, its completely vulgar. Like…the “F” bomb is dropped pretty often and there’s no censoring. Proceed with caution, in fact, YouTube might not even let you watch it if you are under 17, or something. Its THAT vulgar. But awesome.

This one is a vulgar, but hilarious Pokemon battle between Pikachu and Venusaur. Its freakin awesome.

Stop Picking on YA Literature!

Today in my children’s literature class, ailment we had a lecture on young adult literature.

And it was really super interesting.

We all know how much I love YA literature. This is beyond obvious.

So the class today was really informative and one that I definitely am glad that I didn’t miss.

I mean, what is ed did you know that S.E. Hinton was sixteen when she wrote The Outsiders? Now, I’m not a #1 fan of the Outsiders but that is seriously badass. As an aspiring writer, I must admit that I am quite impressed.

But it really got me thinking about young adult literature in general. I remember when I was younger and there wasn’t much of a young adult section in the bookstore. I remember having to special order books because bookstores would never have them.

But now that’s definitely changed. Young adult literature has exploded in the last ten years. Exploded.

And let’s think about that for a moment. Kids and teenagers are reading more than ever. I think a lot of it stems from Harry Potter. Harry Potter opened up a lot-it opened up the doors to new ideas and it opened up the doors of a new approach on writing and reading. J.K.R. showed that kids and teens WILL read and they’ll read long books too (I mean, Order of the Phoenix is HUGE!)

And think of everything that has come since then: The Hunger Games, Percy Jackson, Mortal Instruments, Twilight series, the Fallen series, the Gemma Doyle series, the Inheritance series, etc. There are authors like Meg Cabot, Sarah Dessen, John Green, Maureen Johnson, Jay Asher, Deb Caletti and so on and so on.

Young adult literature is HUGE!

And it helps so much that so many of the movies that have been hitting the theaters in the past few years have been coming from popular YA novels (notice that I said popular, not good. Though I think most of these are good).

Harry Potter.

Twilight.

Percy Jackson.

Perks of Being a Wallflower.

City of Bones.

Hunger Games.

The Fault in Our Stars (John Green) is optioned to be a movie, same with Fallen (Lauren Kate), Divergent (Veronica Roth), Thirteen Reasons Why (Jay Asher) and so many more. Delirium and Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver.

Don’t forget that The Vampire Diaries is a ridiculously popular TV series.

I literally could keep going. I won’t though…

There is also the fact that most authors nowadays are on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, instagram, Youtube and so on. Authors are so accessible nowadays. I’ve been tweeted by Libba Bray, Meg Cabot, Cassandra Clare, Jen Calonita. I’ve had Facebook conversations with Meg Cabot, Jen Calonita and Cinda Williams Chima.

But let’s make this very clear:

Not all of young adult literature is good. In fact, there is a good amount that is fairly bad.

Now, I liked the Twilight series. I kind of liked the Fallen series. They are entertaining and they keep me reading. They are also not the best written books around. There are books like The House of Night series (ugh) and Hush, Hush, Gossip Girl, etc. I can’t sit here and attack these books (I mean, those guys have a publishing deal and I don’t…) but I do think that the bad YA books can be the ones that bring such negative view to the young adult genre.

Because the fact is, there is a lot of fantastic young adult literature. People like John Green, Sarah Dessen, Deb Caletti, Jen Calonita, Jay Asher, Suzanne Collins, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Meg Cabot. These people are genuinely talented writers. They tell great stories.

But there’s more to it than that. They capture the young adult essence. They capture what its like to be a teenager and they capture the sort of things that they’re dealing with, from things like friendships and relationships and family issues to sex and sexuality and drugs and abuse. There are books that touch on so many teen issues and its amazing, especially since they’re usually so on touch with it and since the stories are so good.

Don’t deny it. We all remember the teen years. We all remember how hard they were. They weren’t easy and I don’t care how old you are, you remember how it felt. Why do you think young adult literature is also read by adults too? (Do I qualify as a young adult anymore…)

I also think that young adult literature gets a really bad reputation, because of more than just the good books vs. bad books (Sorry, Twilight, I’m looking at you). I think a lot of parents are really uncomfortable with some of the issues that are brought up in these books.

For instance, sex. There is a lot of sex in young adult novels. I’m not talking Fifty Shades of Grey here (UGH) but they’re teenagers! For the most part, these characters are from the ages of 15 to 19. They’re hormonal and thinking about sex. So of course sex is going to be discussesd, maybe more than that.

To parents, I say this: GET OVER IT. If you have talked to your teen about sex, then you have nothing to worry about. They will make the right decision, either way. If you haven’t talked to them about, then let them read it. You don’t have the cajones to talk to them about it and someone should!

I further think that parents have issue with the portrayal of adults in a lot of these novels. Parents can often times be the bad guy (Mortal Instruments, Delirium), they can be defied or disobeyed (Divergent), or neglectful (Hunger Games) or even addicts (Gemma Doyle). And here’s my answer to that: GET OVER IT. They are parents like that, wehther you like or not. If you’re a good parent, you’re okay. And yeah, parents aren’t perfect and that’s okay too. Maybe they’ll appreciate you more after reading about these parents.

My point is, (and believe me, my point has changed at least four times), young adult literature should be treated the same way as any other literature or form of writing whether it’s children literature or biography or fiction or nonfiction or whatever. Some of it is going to be bad (really, really bad). Some of it is going to be good (really, really good).

But just think of the impact that it can have.

Because of YA, I want to be a writer. Because of YA, I have learned so much about life and I have learned different morals and values. Because of YA, I have learned so much about myself. Because of YA, I am the avid reader that I am. Because of YA, I have this blog.

And come on, young adult literature is awesome. And its there for everyone no matter what age or gender you are. It’s made for PEOPLE.

And if you ever need a recommendation, trust me, I got your back :)

What’s your favorite young adult novel???? As always, share in the comments.

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