Guest Post: The Top Three Harry Potter Characters, By a Young Fan

IMG_3073Today we have an unexpected guest post from a young Harry Potter Fan with things to show and tell! Here she is:

My Top Three Harry Potter Characters

I’m not counting Harry because he’s such an obvious choice! Read the books first, because the books are like twenty times better than the movies. And, the books are super long, so if you watch the movies first, then when you read the books you’ll say “I already know what happens!  And this is so long!  I’m just going to stop reading this!” And you’ll miss out on all the cool stuff that they left out of the movies because the people who made the movies were stupid.

#1. Dobby

Dobby is a house elf and Dobby tries to save Harry Potter in Harry Potter and the Chab of secrets. Later, at the end, Harry finds a way to free Dobby by tricking Dobby’s master into giving him a sock. It works because Dobby can only be free if his master presents him with clothes. I like him better in the movies because they add in more cute and adorable things for him to say.

#2. Hermione

Hermione is on this list because she is a POWERFUL FEMALE CHARACTER YAY!

#3. Luna Lovegood

She’s here because she doesn’t care what anybody thinks about her. She’s really fun because you never know what to expect from her.

 

Do you have favorite characters? You can collect all your favorite characters, including these three, by buying my mini-figs!

They are $1 each with the exception of Hagrid who is $2 because he is large! Shipping charges may apply. You can order a mini-fig by emailing my mom at geekgirlinlove123@gmail.com. Place your order today!

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Wednesday Videos: How Harry Potter Should Have Ended

WednesdayVideoHey, I was on NPR! You can hear me at NPR.com.

I really busy packing for San Diego Comic Con so I’m turning over today’s post to Guest Blogger Cupcake, who is in sixth grade. Here she is:

Have you seen this? It’s “How Harry Potter Should Have Ended”, and it’s so funny! But there are spoilers. But it’s totally worth it. Try to watch it without laughing!

Wednesday Videos: Harry Potter and Friends

WednesdayVideoThis video has been posted EVERYWHERE – but it’s so sweet you’ll probably want to see it twice.  So here you go – Harry Potter and Co. set to the opening credits from the TV show “Friends”.  I have something in my eyes…oh right, those are SENTIMENTAL TEARS.  *sniff*

And here’s the Avengers version because OMG AGE OF ULTON I CANNOT CONTAIN MY EXCITEMENT!!

Gateway Drugs: Fantasy

door opening onto poppiesIt’s been a while since we had an edition of Gateway Drugs over here on Geek Girl In Love.  This is the feature where we talk about what books you would recommend to someone who wants to try out a genre for the first time.  Today’s feature is on Fantasy.  Hop on the comments, or on Facebook or Twitter, and tell us what got you into fantasy, or what you’d recommend to someone who was trying out Fantasy for the very first time.

Here’s my pics for some things to try.  Let’s start with some obvious categories:

The Ultimate Fantasy Classic:  The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien

Please.  Like I’m not going to suggest Lord of the Rings.  Everyone reads Lord of the Rings.  start with the Hobbit, but be aware that it was written for a younger audience.  Frankly, I prefer the Hobbit.  I enjoy the simplicity of the storytelling.  But for the real stuff, you have to read the trilogy that follows.  By the way, to my complete astonishment, I loved the Peter Jackson film adaptation for LotR, although I was less thrilled by the first Hobbit movie.

It’s For Kids, but not Really:  C.S. Lewis, Phillip Pullman, and J.K. Rowling

This category also applies to The Hobbit.  Some of the most popular fantasy has kids as characters, and is marketed as being for kids, but has themes that attract adults.  The Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis, is of course incredibly important to the genre.  This series has strong Christian undertones which, as a child, bothered me not a whit.  Even as an adult, I’d argue that the only book in the series in which the Christian Allegory becomes obvious and invasive is in the last book in the series, The Last Battle.  I loathe The Last Battle and my ten-year old consultant agrees with me.  But the other books in the series are wonderful.

More recently, Phillip Pullman came out with the series His Dark Materials.  This series, which starts with The Golden Compass, tends to end up on children’s shelves, but I’d argue that it’s much more for teens and adults as the material is both intense in terms of violence and intense in terms of complicated themes.  Phillip Pullman is an atheist and just as Christian allegory shows up  in the Narnia books, there’s a lot of atheist allegory in the His Dark Materials Book – but not enough to be oppressive or mess up the story in a heavy-handed way.

And of course, let us not forget Harry Potter, by J.K. Rowling.  J.K. Rowling released about one book a year for seven years, with the expectation that her audience would grow up with the books.  As a result, the first book feels very much like a book for kids age 8-10 but the last book deals with much darker stuff.  Anyone who says “The Harry Potter Books are for kids” clearly hasn’t read Book 7.

Not for Kids, Nope, Not At All:  Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

Disclaimer:  I tried to read Game of Thrones.  I really did.  But I had been spoiled so I read the first chapter about Ned Stark’s happy family and became so horribly depressed that I gave it up.  The Game of Thrones phenomenon is huge thanks to the HBO series.  Game of Thrones took epic fantasy and made it gritty, realistic, and political.  Expect lots of violence, lots of sex, and lots of scheming.

OK, that’s the basics.  But what are some less obvious fantasy choices for a newcomer?  Here’s a handful of titles that are marketed for adults and which have attracted a lot of attention both within and without the genre community:

Modern Gems

American Gods, by Neil Gaiman

This is a modern fantasy, in which a man, Shadow, becomes involved in the lives of the Gods that people brought to America with them when they emigrated.  The book is famous for its clever and poetical premise, its attachment to the American landscape, and its language, which is beautiful but modern, unlike the ornate language of most high fantasy.

War for the Oaks, by Emma Bull

This is one of my favorite books, ever.  One of the first urban fantasy books, it tells the story of rock musician Edie who becomes involved in the Faerie Wars.  The sense of day-to-day life and the sense of magic and magical creatures are equally vivid.  This book also features one of my favorite romances.  It’s exciting and funny and scary and exhilarating.  You can find my full-length review of this novel at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books.

Throne of the Crescent Moon, by Saladin Ahmed

Fantasy has a reputation of being by and about white people by Saladin Ahmed removes fantasy from the realm of European mythology and sets his story in a fantastical version of the Middle East.   Great characters, great world-building, great plot.  you can find my full-length review here on Geek girl In Love.

 What got you into fantasy, and what would you suggest to a friend?

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Wednesday Videos: Regeneration Carol and More!

WednesdayVideoI was going to just post one video from Not Literally and then I couldn’t stop watching them and now my entire life consists of starting at Not Literally videos.  So here’s three Wednesday videos, instead of one!

The Regeneration Carol

first of all, here’s something for everyone who’s still recovering from the Doctor Who finale:

Sorted This Way

Hufflepuffs finally get some respect in this parody of “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga:

Just a Character I Used to Know

And this parody of “Somebody I Used to Know” by Gotye has been stuck in my head for months.  Two girls settle down for a pleasant viewing of this new “Game of Thrones” show and end up in a drunken, sobbing, heap of smeared mascara.  And they haven’t even gotten to the season with the wedding yet!

Wednesday Videos: Pride, Prejudice and Harry Potter

WednesdayVideoFirst of all, I am so excited because my book, Pride, Prejudice, and Popcorn:  TV and Film Adaptations of Pride and Prejudice, Wuthering Heights, and Jane Eyre, is being released on January 6!  It’s currently available for preorder at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.  Check out the cover!

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In honor of all this excitement, I present you with my new favorite Pride and Prejudice mash up.  Enjoy:

Best Genre Summer Reading for Grown-Ups

book on beackNow that we’ve lined up summer reading for the kids, it’s time for the adults to have a turn.  Here’s a handful of the best genre summer reading books.  I’m leaving off a few of my very favorites for a post on great romance books later in June – so stay tuned for that.

I feel strongly that a summer reading book must be:

  • light
  • entertaining
  • smart but not jargonistic or pretentious

I’m also fond of reading about summer during summer – until I get so hot that I have to read about Arctic exploration.  Here’s a few of my favorites:

The Sookie Stackhouse Novels, by Charlaine Harris

I just started reading the final book in the series – for God’s sake, no one tell me how it ends.  This series is best known for inspiring the HBO series, True Blood.  However, although it is sexy and mysterious and frequently violent, it’s nowhere near as dark or graphic as the HBO series.  I’d say the books would be rated PG-13, occasionally veering into R, while the HBO series is more of an NC-17.  The books are light yet smart and exciting, and they involve hot days and nights, cold beer, sweet iced tea, and pretty people doing dangerous and sexy things.  Perfect for the beach.

Alif the Unseen, by G. Willow Wilson

This book takes hacking, cypberpunk, 1001 Nights, The Arab Spring, and an incredibly sweet love story, and combines these ingredients to make a modern fairy tale that feels both utterly real and completely fantastic.  Its appeal reaches beyond fans of fantasy, because it is so inventive and grounded.  It’s a book that stays in the mind long after you read it.

Evil Under the Sun, and Death on the Nile, by Agatha Christie

I don’t know what it is about summer that makes me get my Agatha on, but out of her dozens of books, these are my two favorites for a lazy summer day.  Evil Under the Sun takes place at a beach resort, and Death on the Nile involves a group of tourists in Egypt.  Both feature my favorite detective, Hercule Poirot.

Redshirts, by John Scalzi, Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline, and Libriomancer, by Jim C. Hines

I list these three together because they are both very meta (also, I read them all within a two-week period so they are permanently linked in my brain).  Redshirts tends to be filed under science fiction, although it’s more accurate to describe it as a fantasy novel about science fiction.  Ready Player One is science fiction, and Libriomancer is fantasy.

All three of these books are very much about the love fans have for their favorite things – their favorite shows (Redshirts) their favorite games and movies (Ready Player One) and books (Libriomancer).  They are love letters for geeks.  They are touching, exciting, ferociously intelligent but instantly approachable, and wildly entertaining.

Children’s Fantasy:  Wrinkle in Time, Narnia, and Harry Potter

You can’t go wrong with the classics (by Madeleine L’Engle, C.S. Lewis, and J.K. Rowling, respectively).  These three series were ostensibly written for children and teens, but the older one becomes the more layers appear.  I’d have to add a few other favorites to this list:  Secret Garden and A Little Princess (by Frances Hodgson Burnett), and Wind in the Willows (by Kenneth Grahame).  And it wouldn’t kill you to re-read Winnie the Pooh – a book that gets funnier every year.  I realize to my horror that some people only know Winnie the Pooh from the Disney cartoon.  If this is you, then run, do not walk, to your library and read the original, by A.A. Milne.  You’ll be amazed by the poetic wit of this lovely book.