Book Review: Moving Target: A Princess Leia Adventure by Cecil Castellucci and Jason Fry

Genre: 

Middle Grade, drugs Science Fiction

Pages: 

240 pages

Part of a Series?:

Part of the Star Wars Universe; Takes place between Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi

Release Date: 

September 4th, pilule 2015

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

iBooks

Cecil’s Website / Jason’s Website

GoodReads Summary: 

Princess Leia returns for an all-new adventure in this thrilling upper middle grade novel. Set between Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back andStar Wars: The Return of the Jedi, the story follows the warrior princess as she leads a ragtag group of rebels on a dangerous mission against the evil Galactic Empire.

Hidden in the story are also hints and clues about the upcoming film Star Wars: The Force Awakens, making this a must-read for fans old and new!

My Review:

When I heard there were going to be a bunch of new books this year for the Star Wars universe, leading up to the release of The Force Awakens, you know I got excited. Then when I heard there was going to be a Princess Leia story, written by Cecil Castellucci, I got even more excited. I ADORE Cecil and I know she’s a big fan so my favorite fictional character ever was going to be quite safe in her hands.

And I was quite right.

It was SO awesome to get a Princess Leia story like this. It was a quick read, and even though its written as an upper middle grade, sort of the 12-14ish age group, I think anyone can enjoy it. I really forgot it was meant for kids much younger than me because it was such a fun and compelling story and it was written so well and its Princess freakin’ Leia.

The story takes place in between Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, where Leia goes on a secret mission to distract the Galactic Empire from what the Rebel Alliance are planning. I love the connections to the movies I know and love, and how we see characters like C3PO and R2D2 and Luke Skywalker, but I also love all the new characters we are introduced to as well. I like that it felt so much like that Star Wars world.

But I love that it had a new feeling to it as well. I obviously have always loved Princess Leia so much, but we don’t get to see much of her and her own character development, especially those internal thoughts, as much as I would love to and so reading this book and being in her head was awesome. She’s still kickass and strong and clever and constantly wanting more to do. But there’s also more depth there, a lot of emotion and uncertainty and fear and all of that. She became even more of a person to me, and she become even more of a favorite character to me.

I also super loved the artwork in this book. There’s not a ton of it, but each bit is just done so well, and I love it. Sometimes I would forget to turn the page and continue the book because I would get so captivated by the chapter artwork. SO good.

I was really impressed with this story and I loved learning more about Princess Leia and seeing her get her own adventure and put in her work and passion into the rebellion. I’m actually hoping to read the other books as well, because now I’m curious to get all the clues I can for The Force Awakens!

Rating: 

5 out of 5 Stars

Event Recap: Star Wars Celebration!

I know. I know, shop I know, case I know. I’m so late on my recap. But April legit has been the craziest month ever. I don’t know why everyone seems to think that this is the best month to schedule every thing at the exact same time but apparently it is.

I first heard of Star Wars Celebration about two to three years ago when a friend of mine went to the one in Florida. I thought, ohmygod, this is the coolest thing ever and I need to go. Then I found out the next one was going to be in Anaheim. Right down the street from me. Heaven. Tickets went on sale about two years ago and I knew I had to go until I saw the ticket price. 140 dollars. At the time, I was legit making only about 100 dollars a week so there was just absolutely no way I was going to make this work.

Fast forward to about a couple months ago. I knew it was fast approaching and they kept announcing epic guests. Ian McDiarmid. Mark Hamill. Anthony Daniels. Kenny Baker. Peter Mayhew…and then the clincher, Carrie Freakin Fisher. I had to go. I learned I had a discount through my job (the House of Mouse) and knew that I just had to get there.

But an even better thing happened! I applied for press, because I have such a “why not” attitude and I was gifted a beautiful media pass, for four full days at the convention for FREE. AWESOME.

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I can’t even begin to explain the amazing time that I had that weekend. It was one of the best cons I’ve ever been to, even with the craziness of lines and the drama of the autograph tickets and all of that. I was surrounded by a million people that enjoy and love Star Wars just as much and more than I do. Everyone fangirled (fanboyed) together and there were so many cast members there and people in such epic cosplays and I can’t even begin to explain what a great time I had.

So instead of boring you will the details of all four days, I’m going to give you the highlights:

Taking pictures with everyone in their cool cosplays while I read my book. Which is something that I started doing with my friends at Disneyland and I decided it would be a super fun thing to do at the convention and omg it came out so great that now I’m going to do it all the time. It was seriously so much fun to do.

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There are a lot more but I just can’t even haha. They’re all so awesome. These are my favorites though.

Going to the Ian McDiarmid panel. For those of you who don’t know, he played Senator/Emperor Palpatine in the movies and he’s just so epic. His panel was seriously fantastic. He did a reading of the Shakespearean Star Wars and he just went into it, no problem. Seriously epic man.

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Family Feud: Star Wars style. Dark vs Light. SO hilarious plus my beautiful man crush Matt Lanter was on the panel (he does the voice for Anakin Skywalker in the Clone Wars, if you didn’t know). It was a TON of fun.

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UGH he’s so beautiful. Its not even fair. ;)

The Carrie Fisher panel. Seriously this was my main goal of the entire weekend. Because…its Carrie Fisher. Princess Leia. LIFE. And it was so much fun. She is one of the most eccentric people I have ever met and she’s such a weirdo, but if you know anything about her or her life, you totally get why. But her panel was totally wild and I had a blast.

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Taking our photo with Carrie Fisher. This actually might be the absolute best part of the whole weekend. We waited in line, and when we finally got up there, I was like, I’m doing it. I’m asking if I can kiss Carrie Fisher because WHY NOT. And I did it and it was beautiful.

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I will never ever ever ever ever ever get over the fact that I kissed Princess freakin Leia. Dream come true, I’m not even kidding. I’m pretty sure Princess Leia was my first girl crush. I still want to be her when I grow up. Except I want a pink lightsaber because…well…duh, its me.

Getting my Carrie Fisher autograph. It was such drama, seriously, I almost cried a couple times because they need to work on a better system for the autographs. Plus I finally was able to get in line because my ticket number was called, and THEN I proceeded to wait 3 hours in line. But I had to interview Karen Hallion, and I didn’t want to ditch out on that so I didn’t know what to do. Luckily one of the workers gave me a secret password that got me to the front of the line so that I could go interview Karen. Sweet!

So because Carrie’s line was so damn long, she wasn’t personalizing. She would either write “Leia”, something else that I honestly can’t remember or “Nice boobs”. Which is hilarious. She was talking to the guys in front of me and she wrote “Happy No Boobs Day” on their pictures and I could not stop laughing. Then I walked up and she was like, “whoa, you have BIG boobs” and I literally could not stop laughing. So she wrote that on my picture. She also said we looked like goobers in our picture.

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Meeting and Interviewing Karen Hallion. I adore her so much. She’s just so amazing and I love all of her Disney crossover art with Doctor Who and Star Wars and Harry Potter. I just love it. I was so excited to both be able to meet her and get the opportunity to interview her. Hopefully that will be going up on my YouTube channel quite soon!

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I know. I really should take the picture off the camera and upload that haha. I’m SO lazy. Worst. Blogger. Ever.

Seeing all the GIRLY stuff. Seriously. One of my biggest things is that you can be a total girl and still be into nerdy stuff and be a badass. My favorite characters are the ones that are gorgeous and classy and all that but also are smart as hell and can kick ass. You shouldn’t have to choose, you should be able to be all of it. And I liked seeing that. My favorite was this awesome pink R2 unit. I want it. I’m still on the search for a pink lightsaber though…

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Going to Star Wars Night at Angel Stadium and Getting my Jedi Rally Monkey. Seriously guys. These are two of my absolute favorite things in ONE. You guys know how I feel about baseball and my Angels. Add in Star Wars and its like…the most beautiful thing in the entire world. I ended up leaving the game early because I went on short notice and didn’t have a jacket with me and it was freezing as hell, but its okay because I got my rally monkey and that makes me happy.

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All in all, it was a seriously epic weekend. I had such a blast, got to see all kinds of super cool Star Wars things, took a ton of amazing pictures (that I swear will be uploaded to FB super soon) and just had an amazing time. I’m super sad that the next one will be in London because I want to go again and there’s just NO way this girl is getting to London next year. Oh well. But again, a totally fun event. They need to work on their autograph system because that was frustrating as hell and really unorganized but other than that, I really did have SUCH a blast and I can’t wait til it comes back to the US so I can go again.

May the Force be with You!

*****

March Book Wrap Up!

Books Pledged to Read in 2015:

150

Am I On Track: 

3 books behind

Books Read So Far: 

33

Total Books For March: 

11.5 (I read a comic book but I so counted it)

Forever Princess (Re-Read)

3474186

Mortal Danger

13508415

Princess Leia #1

24704894

The Alex Crow

22466277

Wait for You

17314430

Insurgent (Re-Read)

11735983

Awakening (ARC)

17829378

Pitching for Amalie

23735905

Not After Everything (ARC)

18520658

The Year We Fell Down

20896313

The Year We Hid Away

21798646

Blonde Date

22692381

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Note: I’m severely behind on reviews right now but I’m working on it!

Tuesday Top Ten: 2015 Movies I Can’t Wait to See!

I figured it would be really great for me to do a Tuesday Top Ten that didn’t revolve around books! One of my bookish resolutions this year was to focus on some more nerd, dosage other than books, information pills even though books are my LIFE. But its time to bring more nerd into this and there are SO many amazing movies hitting the theaters this year, so let’s count the top ten that I can’t wait to see!

10. Cinderella

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I love Disney. I work for Disney. I love princesses and I love princess stories. And I think Cinderella is a fun story, not only the Disney version but the original versions as well. So I’m interested in where this version is going to go. I haven’t seen Malificent (I know, I know) but I heard it was actually pretty good and an interesting story so I’m sure Cinderella is going to be quite fun.

9. Jurassic World

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YES. There are so many things about this that just make me want to squeal with excitement. Chris Pratt, my god, yum. Dinosaurs. Yes. Weird new hybrid invented dinosaur. WHAT. There’s just so much awesome. I love the entire trilogy. I know most people won’t agree with me but I love every Jurassic Park movie so I’m dying for this new one. I grew up with this and I’m glad to have a new one coming SO soon.

8. Pitch Perfect 2

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Uh duh. I think everyone is ready for the Bellas to sing again. I love music. I love musicals. I love Glee and High School Musical and pretty much anything where there is singing and dancing and I absolutely adore Anna Kendrick and Brittany Snow and Rebel Wilson so I’m really excited for this movie. Plus, I think my dad is even more excited about it and it might make a kind of cool daddy-daughter date haha.

7. Love, Rosie 

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Okay, I gotta be honest. I wasn’t a massive fan of the book. I liked the story, the concept but I had to kind of push myself through the book. But the story had a great concept to it so I’m really excited to see it done in the movie, especially since I heard the changes done might make me happier than the book did. Plus I absolutely adore both Lily Collins AND Sam Claflin SO much, so so much so I’m anxious to FINALLY see this movie!

6. The Avengers: Age of Ultron

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Um. Thor. Captain America. The Incredible Hulk. Hawkeye. And number one: Ironman. Oh god that Robert Downey Jr. Plus it will have Cobie Smulders as Agent Maria Hill which makes me super happy as well, so I’m just excited. The first Avengers was fantastic and I’m eager to see another installment. I’ve been anxiously waiting for it, and I’m just so sure its going to be amazing!

5. The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials

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I was really super impressed by The Maze Runner when it released this past summer/fall. I liked the book well enough but it was kind of bizarre and I thought it translated SO much better on screen. Its a very visual concept so it was great to see on screen. Now, The Scorch Trials…I never even finished the book, so I’m determined to do so and I’m eager to see if what turned me off about the book is fantastic on the screen. Plus its more Dylan O’Brien and you can NEVER go wrong with that.

4. The Divergent Trilogy: Insurgent 

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YES. Tris and Four. And Theo James, and god, I love this book. I really like Insurgent. I know its not as good as Divergent and its sloppy but I love it. I love that we see Amity and Candor (especially Amity) and I love the struggle that Tris goes through. There’s so much that goes on this book. Of course that means we’ll be leading into the disaster that is Allegiant but I still am excited for this movie. And after The Maze Runner, I have hope that movies can take the flaws that I don’t like in a book and make it beautiful in a movie.

3. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 

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I mean, duh. I am SO excited. Its the END. SHIT is going to go down. My favorite character in the entire series is going to die and I’m going to crumble into a tiny little depressed version of Sara. Sigh. Plus it means the very last red carpet premiere and I’ll be so bittersweet about it. It’ll be fun to see the end of the series and to see how it all plays out, what is the same as the book and what isn’t and all that sort of thing. I’m SO SO very ready for it.

2. Inside Out

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I’ve always always always been excited for every single Pixar movie that comes out but I’m really excited for this because the trailer for it is FANTASTIC and HILARIOUS. I literally can’t handle it. I’ve seen it a couple times now and I giggle every time. I’m excited to see a truly original Pixar movie again, and to just have my mind blown. I’m totally ready to for it. Pixar is known for being original and new and fun and exciting and its been awhile since I really felt like they delivered on that but I have lots of hope for Inside Out.

1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

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O.M.G. I literally….can’t even handle this. I can’t. Its SO long away and we’ve only gotten one small trailer with barely any information but its STAR WARS. Literally my favorite movies in the entire world, and my first ever fandom and I can’t handle it because its going to have Princess Leia and Han Solo again and the Millennium Falcon in the trailer legitimately made me cry. I can’t HANDLE it. Every time I think of it, I go through such conflicting feelings: excitement and despair…because its SO far away. Sigh.

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What movies are YOU excited for this year? Share in the comments!

Tuesday Top Ten-Fictional Characters I Most Relate To

I am so impressed with myself right now. Mostly because I’m really bad at doing Tuesday Top Tens lately and here I am doing one. Granted its about 3 am, side effects and I’m bored and tired but not sleepy tired and I’m kind of sick so I don’t really wanna sleep, website so hence the Tuesday Top Ten is actually getting done for once. I’m really proud of myself.

I do these questions on my personal facebook page. I have a TON of friends on FB, sick and I don’t mean that as a bragging thing because I realized that I have all these friends and I barely know them. So I try to do these get to know you questions to try and get to know them so they feel more like friends. Anyway, I asked the other day, what fictional character do you think is most like you?

And it got me thinking: this is a GREAT idea for the Tuesday Top Ten. So let’s do this :)

10. Belle from Beauty and the Beast

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I think this one is pretty self explanatory. Belle is probably the first character that really stood out to me, because she loved books and she got so wrapped in the stories and she continued to read them over and over again, and for some reason, people thought this was the weirdest thing in the world. Now, reading is pretty cool now but it wasn’t always like that and so I really identified with Belle, not fitting in and escaping the real world for the adventures in a book. Plus, I was massively determined to being able to walk and read at the same time…and I completely hit that goal.

BOOKSELLER: “That one? But you’ve read it twice!”

BELLE: “Well, it’s my favorite! Far off places, daring swordfights, magic spells, a prince in disguise -“

9. Princess Leia from Star Wars

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Maybe this is just wishful thinking but this is another character that stood out to me as a child and stuck with me for the rest of my life and probably will continue to do so. I think I liked that she was basically the only girl in the movie, which means she had big shoes to fill and even though she wore pretty dresses and was a princess, she could handle a gun, had sarcasm and kept up with the boys. I grew up with mostly boys and I always felt like I had to be loud, and obnoxious and over the top to get their attention and to make them realize I was just as good as them, if not better, and that one day, a Han Solo is going to realize that I’m awesome, even when I’m annoying. Okay moving on because that paragraph was the biggest mess ever.

“I’d just as soon kiss a Wookiee.”

8. Aly from the Daughter of the Lioness

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I LOVE ALY! I think the reason that I most related to her was her desire to be something new, something that was unexpected of her, even though everyone was doubting her. The thing about Aly is that everyone believes in her, expects so much of her, knows that she can do so much. But she knows what she wants, and what she wants is not what everyone else wants for her and she meets fight after fight trying to make that happen. What I love about Aly is that she loves her family and knows that they want is best for her, she still fights to live her dreams and to live her life the way she wants to.

“Why, I’m just as true and honest as dirt. And I’m even more charming than dirt.”

7. Tessa Gray from The Infernal Devices

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The thing that always caught me about Tessa, that made me connect with her, was her ability to love everyone, and to care about everyone, feel responsibility for them. I know that I feel like I have to take care of the world, even though that’s not my responsibility. Tessa gets thrust into a brand new world and falls in love with all of these people that reach out and take care of her. She spreads her love so easily and that is exactly how I am. If someone is nice to me, takes care of me, welcomes me in, I fall in love. I love people fully. Plus she loves books. She says the most wonderful things about books; she quotes them. She’s an early fangirl ;) I wish I could find a boy like Will Herondale that would talk and argue books with me.

“Tessa craned her head back to look at Will. “You know that feeling,” she said, “when you are reading a book, and you know that it is going to be a tragedy; you can feel the cold and darkness coming, see the net drawing tight around the characters who live and breathe on the pages. But you are tied to the story as if being dragged behind a carriage and you cannot let go or turn the course aside.” His blue eyes were dark with understanding — of course Will would understand — and she hurried on. “I feel now as if the same is happening, only not to characters on a page but to my own beloved friends and companions. I do not want to sit by while tragedy comes for us. I would turn it aside, only I struggle to discover how that might be done.”

6. Alec Lightwood from The Mortal Instruments

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Why do I relate to Alec Lightwood? How do I not relate to him? There is so much of Alec in me, its kind of crazy. I know that it took a lot of time for others to love him but I loved him from page one. He’s confused, and loyal and determined and confused. He’s so fiercely loyal and protective of his sister and brother and of Jace. I love that about him, especially since he’s often afraid while he’s trying to be protective. We definitely have the same sassy, sarcastic attitude that he gets in the very last book. But the most important thing that we have in common is the journey that we’ve taken to figure out who we are. Alec is shy, confused, and unable to accept parts of himself because of the fear of what others would think. I know what that’s like…to be so unsure of who you are and where you’re going and to watch Alec blossom and figure out who he is and become a stronger and better person because of that. I’d like to see myself in that.

“I did not make a pie,” Alec repeated, gesturing expressively with one hand, “for three reasons. One, because I do not have any pie ingredients. Two, because I don’t actually
know how to make a pie.” He paused, clearly waiting.

Removing his sword and leaning it against the cave wall, Jace said warily, “And three?”

“Because I am not your bitch,” Alec said, clearly pleased with himself.”

5. Mia Thermopolis from The Princess Diaries

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Oh Mia Thermopolis. I immediately fell in love with her when I read the first book when I was 12 years old. She’s insecure and a little paranoid and a total fangirl and constantly trying to do the right thing, and kind of stumbling along. She’s so real. And even when she’s with a boy (Michael Moscovitz) and knows he loves her, she still gets insecure and makes silly mistakes. She overanalyzes everything and worries so much. She literally over worries about everything and its insane. But its totally me. I’m the biggest worrier I know. I worry about the dumbest things and so when I read the book, I really felt close to Mia. Plus she’s a writer. That obviously connects with me a lot. It takes awhile for her to figure out that this is what’s good at and what she wants to do with her life. Gasp. So me.

“But then I remembered something Grandmere had once assured me of: No one has ever died of embarrassment-never, not once in the whole history of time.”

4. Sophie Hatter from Howl’s Moving Castle

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Sophie is also sort of like an Alec Lightwood for me in the whole insecurity thing. Sophie begins the novel and the movie feeling trapped in that hat shop, stuck in a life chosen for her because she thinks its the right thing to do. She’s not special, she’s not pretty, she doesn’t have any particular talents, she doesn’t stand out. She thinks that this is the best path for her because what other path does she have. Her mother is fabulous and constantly traveling and her sister is beautiful and has the attention of all her customers. But it takes Sophie breaking out of the box, going on a crazy adventure and falling in with a totally unexpected crowd to blossom. She figures out who she is and becomes strong and confident. She simply has to find that thing that makes her the person she is. It feels SO familiar to me, to be unsure if I’m on the right path, or if I’m even half as special as the people I’m around.

“They say that the best blaze burns brightest, when circumstances are at their worst.”

3. Ron Weasley from Harry Potter

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YES. Ron Weasley. My favorite Harry Potter character, tied with Sirius Black. I like Ron Weasley because he’s the most relatable, the most realistic of the big Three in those books. There are so many reasons I relate to Ron. He feels in the shadow of others: his siblings, his best friends. He doesn’t think he’s as great as them and he’s constantly trying to prove himself. There’s a need to prove himself. But I also love that he’s a great friend but he has faults. He gets mad and jealous and frustrated and he gets in fights with his friends. People don’t always understand that about him because Hermione is seriously SUCH a selfless friend but Ron is real and selfish and he gets jealous and angry, and that feels normal and I know I’m like that. But the one thing that really gets me about Ron is his loyalty to his family, especially his brothers and sister. My immediate family means the absolute world to me. I too come from a large family, a family of six kids and I love my brothers and sisters so much, its amazing.

“You’ve sort of made up for it tonight,’ said Harry. ‘Getting the sword. Finishing off the Horcux. Saving my life.’

‘That makes me sound a lot cooler than I was,’ Ron mumbled.

2. Rose Hathaway from Vampire Academy/Bloodlines

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I’ve always kind of hoped that I was like Rose Hathaway until my parabatai, Sylvia (from Fangirl Feeels) was reading one of the VA books and pointed out that Rose reminded her so much of me, the things she said, the way she acted, and honestly, I took that as a HUGE compliment. She is one of my FAVORITE female characters of ALL time and to be compared to her, to feel like I relate to her and that I’m like her…it almost feels like an honor. I want to be like one of my favorite characters. She’s brave and incredibly loyal and I would hope to be like that. But I love that she’s goofy and sassy, which I think kind of equates to me. I like that she’s constantly making jokes and saying ridiculous things and trying to find the humor in even the worst situations. I really feel similar to her. I don’t know that I am similar to her but I’ve heard it so and I like to believe I am :)

“The other problem in my life is Dimitri. He’s the one who killed Natalie, and he’s a total badass. He’s also pretty good-looking. Okay—more than good-looking. He’s hot—like, the kind of hot that makes you stop walking on the street and get hit by traffic.”

1. Cath from Fangirl

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There is literally never been a character that I’ve related to more in my life than Cath in Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl. From the moment that I started the book, I just fell into it. It easily became one of my favorite books and I had to tell Rainbow and she was SUCH a doll and sent me a postcard, thanking me for the letter and for relating to Cath so much. But its really her that I should thank. She literally understands me as a person. Sure, there are things about Cath that aren’t me. But there are so many things that are me. She is so afraid and anxious of the outside world, of making mistakes and venturing away from the things that are safe that she completely loses herself in the worlds of books. And people don’t always understand that about her. They don’t understand that navigating the cafeteria at her new school is seriously frightening and anxiety inducing. They don’t understand how someone could be SO obsessed with fictional characters. But I do. I completely get Cath and she gets me. She IS me.

“No,” Cath said, “Seriously. Look at you. You’ve got your shit together, you’re not scared of anything. I’m scared of everything. And I’m crazy. Like maybe you think I’m a little crazy, but I only ever let people see the tip of my crazy iceberg. Underneath this veneer of slightly crazy and socially inept, I’m a complete disaster.”

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Looking for Nerd Ink!

If you’ve been following me for awhile, mind you know that I love nerd tattoos. I have a ton of them, medicine and I love discovering new ones and sharing them in the world.

I’ve done three posts about nerd ink before, cost where I showcase all different people’s nerd tattoos and I’m ready to show case yours!

Check out the three posts below to see the ones I’ve profiled in the past: 

Nerd Ink

Nerd Ink, Part Two

Let’s Talk About…Nerd Ink

Here is what I need from you: 

1. Your Name and Where You’re From

2. A Picture of Your Tattoo

3. What the Tattoo Is and What Fandom/Geekdom its from

4. When You Got It

5. Why You Chose It.

Please take the time to do this part. It just needs to be a small paragraph (or a large one, if you prefer) but please don’t send: “It was cool”, “I liked it”, “just because”…and that sort of thing. The point of this is to profile nerd tattoos and why we get them, and to sort of show people that we put a lot of thought into this :)

Where to Send It

Please send all of these to my blog email: whatanerdgirlsays at gmail dot com with “Nerd Ink Post” in the subject line! Thank you!

*****

Thanks guys! Hope to see your nerd tattoos soon!