Happy Nerdsgiving…I Mean, Thanksgiving!

Happy Nerd Thanksgiving!

Now for those of you living here in the United States, viagra order I’m sure you know what this holiday is all about. I’m sure you dressed up in the paper costumes of Pilgrims and Indians back in first grade and you know, this you know, see just get to the turkey and the Black Friday sales already.

For those of you who don’t know what its about it, its basically this: The Pilgrims came to America to settle in the New World. Thanksgiving marks the first dinner, and meal that the Pilgrims and Indians shared together. Its all about the peaceful bond between the two and how they came together to enjoy this meal and all that fun stuff.

Those of who know better, know that we slaughtered the NATIVE AMERICANS in the thousands and gave them blankets laced with small pox and drove them from their homes.

But I digress.

But whatever the background of the actual holiday, it reminds to be thankful for the things that we have. I always tell myself, I need to be thankful every day, not just on a day like Thanksgiving. It’s like Valentine’s Day. You don’t need one day a year to remind yourself of the people you love. And yet, its a day to celebrate an American holiday, to spend time with your family and remind yourself that you are lucky, no matter what. There are always things to be thankful for.

So today, I’m making my little list of things that I am thankful for.

10. My Blog 

I started this blog back in May, and I can honestly say that this has made me extremely happy. Even when I’m having a bad day, or even if I am having the worst writer’s block, this blog is here. Here, I don’t have to worry about impressing anybody. I mean, its cool if I do but it’s mostly here for me to have nerd rants. Its for me to go on nerd tangents and if people want to follow me on this crazy tangents, that’s all good too. Its fun to be able to write about the things I love the most in the world. And I’m grateful for having it. And I’m grateful that I do have followers and that they like what I write :D

9. Movies

I adore movies and I am thankful for being able to watch them pretty much whenever I want to. I have a PS3 and a budding movie collection. I have a Netflix account and a Hulu Plus account and a television set to watch movies on TV. That is more than a lot of other people have and I’m grateful for it. There are so many badass and awesome movies out there and I am so happy that I get to enjoy all of these movies. Movies are amazing and I am thankful to have the ability to view them.

8. Los Angeles Dumbledore’s Army

One of the best things to ever come into my life. I discovered them a year ago, in October of 2011, and I am so excited to have them in my life. Not only do I have a ton of fun every single time that we have a meet-up but I also have met the most awesome group of friends ever. If you’ve never had a chance to read my post about this amazing, amazing group, you can read it here.

7. My Home

My home isn’t perfect. There isn’t a home in the world that is perfect. Home is about who is with you. But I am grateful for being able to have a home, with my family, and a second home, with my boyfriend and his family. I am grateful to have a bed to sleep in and a roof over my head. I am grateful for having a bathroom in order to do my business and take showers. I’m grateful for the refrigerator and stove in order to be able to eat food. I grateful for this small building where I feel safe.

6. Harry Potter

What would I have ever done without Harry Potter in my life? I am grateful for this book series and for J.K. Rowling for giving and teaching me so much. I literally do not think I would be the person I am today without it. No way. I don’t have four HP tattoos for nothing; it means so much to me and I am thankful every day for it existing and for being able to experience the magic and the adventure any time I want.

5. Writing

I am grateful, thankful, appreciative and lucky for the ability to write. Sometimes I don’t think I am a great writer and other days, I can’t imagine what I would do if I couldn’t write. It’s the only thing I’ve ever felt like I was good at. So I am thankful for a talent that I love and that will hopefully get me far in life.

4. Books

How could I ever live without books? What would I do without them? I couldn’t live if I couldn’t read. Books provide so much for me. They provide entertainment and they provide comfort and they provide lessons and they provide the best therapy that money can buy. Every time I am swept into the world that a book creates, I can’t even handle it. There is nothing like the feeling a book gives you.

3. My Friends

I have some of the most awesome friends in the world. I am not always the most fantastic friend in the world. I’m busy and I’m shy and sometimes I just want to sit at home and do nothing. Sometimes I’m just selfish. I’m not perfect. But no matter what happens, they love me and they support me and they are there for me no matter what.

2. My Boyfriend

I am lucky enough to have been dating my boyfriend for nearly five years. Jon is the best boyfriend, not perfect, but perfect for me. He has taught me so much about what it is like to be in a real, long, loving relationship. He’s seen at my worst and at my best and he loves me. He supports me no matter what, through thick and thin, he makes me laugh, he’s smart as hell, he takes my NERDtastic awesomeness with ease and he’s just so freakin fantastic. I couldn’t ask for a better boyfriend.

1. My Family

Every time I spend a day with my family, or even just hang out with them for a couple hours, I remember how damn awesome they are. They drive me absolutely insane but I love them so much. I have the coolest siblings in the world. We’ve been there for each other through thick and thin, through bad (and it’s been bad) and through good (but good too!) and they just all rock. They all take after their nerd sister a little bit: a love of anime here, a love of video games there, and so on. And I have a fantastic dad, seriously, he is a rock star. What would I do without these crazy, amazing people in my life?

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope that you can enjoy your turkey and pudding and your stuff and pie and even if you’re not American, I hope you can also remember that there is so much in your life to be grateful for :)

*      *      *      *      *      *

Fake Nerd Girls…or Not?

So, there a few days ago, malady my good friend and awesome contributor, and Jackie, did a short little post on her own website called “Fake Geek Girls-Cut the CRAP“.

And it seriously got me thinking.

Because I can totally see where she is coming from.

I’m sure a lot of you have seen this meme before.

And I’m not going to lie. This sudden burst of geekiness and nerdiness? It’s frustrating. And yeah, its pretty annoying too.

And let’s face it, there are a good amount of fake geek girls out there. There are girls out there who act like they are suddenly into all of these things that they weren’t before. And it can be extremely frustrating to me because…well, hell, I’ve been a geek for AGES and you know what? I was either teased or bullied for it…or I was just downright invisible to boys because I was so into these things. And now suddenly it’s extremely cool?

Yeah, a little frustrating. And annoying. And I want to smack some girls around.

But here’s the thing: there are even more REAL geek girls out there.

Believe me, I know a ton.

And because there are a handful of fake ones out there, there seems to be this misleading assumptions about us girls who are actually geeks.

The meme that was created above? Obviously created by a boy. And it seems that boys tend to think that us girls are being geeks in order to get their attention. Girls play video games and dress in cosplays and watch geeky movies and read comics and whatever so boys will like them.

And that just makes me want to laugh. It frustrates me and makes me want to crack up.

Because, seriously? Not true. My god, that is not true.

I am surrounded by seriously amazing geek girls. I’d like to think I’m one myself.

And trust me, I don’t do anything with boys in mind. I watch these movies and read these books and do what I want to do because I WANT TO DO IT.

I mean, come on, do you really think I have 4 Harry Potter tattoos, 1 Star Wars tattoo and a Mortal Instruments tattoo because of boys? Do you think I’ve read Harry Potter and watched Star Wars a million times because of boys? Do you think I watch all these movies or am obsessed with Doctor Who or are diving into comics because of boys?

NO! I’m doing it because it’s fun and its badass.

And yeah, just because I’m pretty and I know some seriously pretty geek girls, doesn’t mean we can’t actually like these things.

One of my friends is super pretty and amazing and awesome and owns her own comic book store. Do you really think she’s doing this because of boys?

No. No, she’s not. She loves comic books, she’s a geek and she’s kick ass.

The fact is, ten years ago, geek girls were basically in hiding. Guys weren’t exactly stoked on girls knowing more than them about Star Wars or Harry Potter or comic books or Star Trek or any of that. It just wasn’t cool. Girls were bullied. All those girls who were brave enough to show their nerdiness back then? I admire them because I couldn’t. I showed a little, in my HP and Star Wars obsessions and was teased so much, bullied so much.

But now, its obviously more accepted. Girls are coming out, so to speak, in waves and declaring out LOUD “I’M A GEEK, A NERD, AND I’M PROUD OF IT!”

And its awesome. Girls make some awesome geeks. Don’t doubt us, we know what we’re talking about. I think guys sometimes find it surprising when we know more than them. I laugh when I see my beautiful, amazing geek friends share their knowledge with boys who just don’t know what to do with it.

So part of me thinks that this whole “fake geek girl” crap comes from boys who just can’t handle this. They can’t handle girls basically being into the same things that they are into and they just come up with an excuse for it. Obviously we can’t be pretty and smart and awesome, and love all of these things on our own. Obviously we are doing this for attention.

And you know what I say to that?

GET. OVER. IT.

I mean, if you’d rather have a girl who spends all her time shopping and being obsessed with Twilight (I like it…but I’m not obsessed) and The Notebook (GAG) and is shallow and no fun, go for it. Have fun. But I’d imagine that having a girlfriend who wants to play video games with you and wants to watch Star Wars and Doctor Who and who spends ages reading and knows the difference between Zelda and Link and loves comic books and all that would be a lot better.

But maybe that’s just me.

The point is, this whole “fake geek girl” shit? It has to stop. Because it’s ridiculous. In middle school and high school, I was given crap, I was teased for being geek. And now I’m being treated like I know nothing about anything and I’m only doing it because I want attention from boys.

Reality check: I have a boyfriend and we’ve been together for five years. And trust me, I’m a much bigger geek than he is. And sometimes I think I’m a bit intense for him. But you know what? That isn’t going to change. Because he loves me, no matter how geeky or not geeky I am. He loves me because I’m smart and independent and awesome.

Just like all those other geek girls out there.

So, boys, stop acting like a bunch of jerks and enjoy the fact that there are some badass geek girls out there.

Because, honestly, I don’t see why there is anything to complain about.

Book of the Week: Wonder

So the Book of the Week post is a little late this week.

Sometimes things happen you know. And I think I’ve been feeding you all some seriously awesome posts lately. I added an anime contributor, generic Hobie, pharm and a comics contributor, Tabitha, and its been rad.

Our darling Jackie was up for Book of the Week this week but she’s been very busy taking care of her mom. Her mom has been pretty sick, in and out of the hospital and Jackie has been a rockstar daughter, taking care of her. Her mom is doing pretty well right now, after some surgery, so that’s great and I hope we all can send some good thoughts or prayers, if that’s your thing, or whatever her way :D

She definitely deserves them all.

So now for the Book of the Week.

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

So this book was a book assigned to me for my children’s literature class.

I talk about that class a lot. It was a class I just randomly took for some units and its a class I ended up seriously loving it. A fantastic class. If your college/university has a children’s lit class, do it. You won’t regret. Especially if you’re reading my blog; you’re already half way there.

So Wonder was assigned to me for class. I went down to the bookstore and was shocked when I found out this book tops out at almost 17 dollars. That’s a lot for a book by someone I didn’t even know. So, me being the fast reader, decided to go Barnes and Noble and read the book in one sitting so I didn’t have to buy it.

Yeah that’s me, all right.

And guess what? I was totally asked to leave B&N for reading there. WHAT? It was crazy. They were like “you need to buy the book or leave?” Um, never mind the eight other people next to me reading books. I mean, its a bookstore, shouldn’t you be able to read there?

Anyway, so I ended up buying the book. I mean, I had to. I actually needed to read it for class. And let me tell you, it may not be the cheapest book you buy, but it was worth every single penny.

Wonder is R.J. Palacio’s debut novel and seriously, I don’t know how one follows that. It tells the story of August Pullman, known as Auggie, who has a face deformity. His eyes are basically on his cheeks, he doesn’t really have ears, and so on. He is constantly been in the hospital for surgeries. He has been home schooled his whole life and has pretty much gotten used to the weird looks that people give him.

But now Auggie is going to school for the first time, as a fifth grader, in middle school. Like middle school isn’t hard enough without having an extreme face deformity. The story goes from Auggie’s perspective to his sister Via’s and then a few other people that touch their lives. Obviously, Auggie has a hard time once he goes into school. His face deformity is not helping him to fit in and kids will be kids. Then you have his older sister, Via, who is used to taking care of herself and being a little neglected and how she deals with it.

The story follows the two of them as they embark on their first year at middle school and high school and how they deal with the changes in their lives and how they deal with each other, and their parents, and other hardships. It is a wonderful story.

The Good or the Bad: 

I literally cannot think of anything bad about this story. It hit me like a wall, it sucked me in, just like a good book does.

It does not matter in the slightest that this book was meant for kids in the middle school age. Because the story is universal, its relatable. And its downright touching and sweet.

Now, I don’t have a face deformity. I’m lucky enough that I’ve been a fairly healthy child my whole life. But you better believe that I felt for Auggie and I rooted for him so heavily when he walked through the doors of that middle school. The kids just stare at him, and there’s a bully named Julian who just teases him and is so mean. And Auggie just…he’s so strong. Obviously he doesn’t like, obviously it upsets him but he deals with it, you know? He only loses it once, when his friend Jack talks about him behind his back.

Buts its fifth grade, you know? Of course Jack is trying so hard to fit in, and you say things sometimes that you don’t really mean. Auggie is able to get himself a couple of good friends in Jack and Summer because even though he has a face deformity, he is an awesome, awesome kid. He’s smart and he has good interests (Star Wars and The Hobbit…badass) and you just keep rooting for him.

And you root for his sister Via too? She’s starting high school, and I remember what that was like. It was not the easiest thing in the world. And it can’t be hard to have a brother who gets all of the attention because of his deformities and health and surgeries and such. She just wants more than anything to just be Via, not Auggie’s sister. Just Via.

Its an amazing story. It puts a lot of things in perspective. I have insecurities, you know? I don’t always look at myself in the mirror and love what I see. But I’m what is considered normal, you know? To have those kind of face deformities like Auggie and to carry on with the kind of strength that he has. He has the ability to move through school, and rock his grades and he can even joke a little bit about it. And you just finish that last page and this book knocks you off your feet.

I’m not going to give away a lot. I don’t think it would be right to do so. I believe everybody should read this book, and everyone should be able to experience this. I don’t care how old you are, if you have a well enough proficiency in reading (in other words, you’re not five and learning to read), you should read this book. No ifs, no ands, no buts. This is an amazing book. I encourage everyone to read it. EVERYONE.

The best part is, if you click the link above, it takes you to the amazon page as per usual and its only 9 dollars! What a bargain! So do it, you won’t regret it. I’m going to be pushing this book on people for years because it was amazing, an unexpected delight.

Breaking Dawn Part 2: They Finally Got It

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

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

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

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

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

Moving on though, to the actual Breaking Dawn movie.

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

I was impressed.

Truly, actually impressed.

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

THE GOOD: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE BAD:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*      *      *      *      *      *

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

The One Rule to Rule them All

Thanks to my friend, discount Tanya, for that name. Its a badass way to describe what I’m about to talk about.

Here’s the thing:

It took me a long to come to terms with who I am: as a person, as a writer, as a daughter, as a sister, as a friend, as a girlfriend, as a complete nerd and as a bisexual. All of those things were hard.

And its going to sound crazy, but that hardest one was embracing the nerd in me.

I’ve always been that nerd. I’m that kid in school that no one remembers because I was too busy with my head in a book. I read A LOT. And for the longest time, people made fun of me and teased me and bullied me because I liked to read, because I was obsessed with Harry Potter and Star Wars, because I got excited about those things. I literally was teased all the time.

Now those things are cool. That’s a whole ‘nother blog post, man. I could go on and on about this new phase of geek is cool and fake geek girls/guys. But that’s the point of this post.

The point is, it took me a long time to embrace my inner nerd. But I have. Oh believe me I have.

I love Harry Potter and Star Wars and Doctor Who and Hunger Games and what little I know about superheroes and I love Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit and I love Percy Jackson and the Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices and Firefly and Glee and The Walking Dead and Once Upon a Time and I love books and I love anime and I love video games.

And you know what? I like Twilight too.

And I’m not afraid to say that anymore. They are some of the most horribly written books ever, my god. The writing in those books is terrible! But they’re entertaining and I like them. I’m seeing Breaking Dawn Part 2 tonight at 10 pm (no midnight for this old lady) and I am pretty stoked about it.

And I’m tired of all the judgement. I’m tired of the Potterheads vs the Twihards. I’m tired of Star Wars vs Star Trek. I am so damn tired of everyone bagging on everyone else’s fandoms.

I’m not guiltless. I’ve done that before. I’m not blameless. I have definitely judged on fandoms before.

I don’t get Star Trek at all. I think a lot of the young adult paranormal romance is terrible. I think the Call of Duty game needs to go away because paying 60 bucks for the same game over and over again is ridiculous. I do think Twilight is a bad book. Its just bad. I think its entertaining oh but don’t you dare ever tell me its better than Potter because that’s crazy talk.

But here’s the thing: if you stand up, and say proudly that you are a Twihard or you’re a hardcore COD fan or you’re a Trekkie…I gotta say, that’s badass. I want to see your badass Trekkie tattoos. I want to see your walls papered with posters. I want to see your COD and Halo cosplays. I want to see that.

Because if there is one thing that I’ve learned from being a nerd and being involved in all these fandoms and being exposed to all these fandoms is that I’d say 9 out of 10 times, the fandoms preach tolerance and togetherness. We have to work together to make things work. We have to tolerate and accept and respect each other.

And that’s what the rule is:

I don’t care what fandoms you do or don’t like. I don’t care how strongly you feel about it. You are more than welcome to have your opinion. If you think Harry Potter, Twilight, Percy Jackson, Star Wars, Star Trek, whatever, sucks, that’s okay.

But its never, never okay to disrespect a person for the fandom they enjoy. Never. I do not tolerate any disrespect or intolerance on this page. That includes my Facebook page, my Twitter page or my Tumblr page.

It’s called respect. Kindness. Tolerance. Acceptance. RESPECT. 

Here at WhataNerdGirlSays, we welcome people of all fandoms. I may not spend a lot of attention on some fandoms because it is my personal blog and it’s not something that I get excited for but I welcome you to this blog. If you’re a nerd, you’re welcome.

Because nerds need to stick together. Together, we can accomplish a lot. Divided, we’re just going to spend way too much time online, arguing over which fandom is better.

Especially since Harry Potter is the best one.

Just kidding. Or am I…

The point is, I’m tired of people hiding the things they like because they’re afraid to be made fun of. I’m tired of those brave enough to come out and say what they love getting attacked. Especially since I’ve been on both sides.

So let’s stop. Let’s band together and unite as nerds, no matter what we like.

What do you say?

*      *      *      *      *      *

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.

*     *     *     *     *     *