My TBR List For the Holidays

I’m lucky enough to have a day job that provides quite a bit of time off, especially around the holidays. So with a rather large break looming, I’ve stacked myself a bit of a reading list, and I simply cannot wait to settle in for some time away from the office with lots of good books. Here’s what I’m reading over the holidays this year!

Name of the Wind

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OMG, Kendall you haven’t read this book? Are you serious? You HAVE to read this book! You’ll love it I just know it! Yes. Yes. I know. I need to read this book. Honestly, I want to read this book. I have absolutely no doubt that I’ll love it.

So why haven’t I read it just yet? Honestly, it’s because I’m a snob. I currently only have this book in digital format on my iPad from DAW Books. I’ve said it before, but allow me to reiterate that I hate reading books digitally. A big part of the reading experience for me is getting to hold a book while I fall into a story. Still, I’m really working hard to not buy books so flippantly (space has become a real issue) so I’m not allowing myself to buy a hard copy of this book until I read it once and officially can say that I love it. So I’m carrying on digitally (yes, this is totally and completely a #firstworldproblem), and despite my love of what I’ve read thus far, it’s been a lot of starting and stopping on this book. However, I’ve decided that now is the time to read this book and officially get into the Kingkiller Chroncile series. I also put the book on hold at the library if I prove too pretentious to read the ebook.

Jessica Jones: Alias Vol. 1

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I’ve watched and loved the Netflix Jessica Jones series, so I decided that I should probably check out the source material, too. A while back, I picked up Jessica Jones vol. 1 from Marvel for myself, and for one reason or another just never read it. I am absolutely going to remedy that this break.

Especially since we’ve got quite a bit of a wait between now and the release of Iron Fist, Defenders, or season two of Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Daredevil, I need something to distract me from my Netflix Marvel withdrawal.

One thing I’m especially excited to see is how the characters in the show and the comic are different and alike. I’ve heard that Kilgrave was amped up quite a bit for the Netflix show, so I’m really excited to see how Tennant’s Kilgrave differs from the original Kilgrave from the comics.

Harry Potter A L’Ecole des Sorciers

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I absolutely adore the Harry Potter books. I’ve mentioned before that I didn’t grow up reading these books, and first journeyed to Hogwart’s as an adult. Regardless of my age, I found the books completely magical and wonderful.

After my trip to Europe earlier this year, I was really inspired to continue learning and beefing up my French language skills. I was able to successfully get me and my husband around France with the French I remembered from high school and the skills I gained from using Duolingo, but the reality is hearing a language in IRL is a lot more overwhelming than just interacting with isolated sentences with a word bank at the bottom. So one of the things I’m doing to help beef up my French vocabulary (because I absolutely plan to return to France someday) is reading books that I’m familiar with in French. The obvious place to start was Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I found the entire series in a French mass market edition from the publisher Assimil. While I’ve only bought the first book (I figure it will take me a while to get through the whole thing), I’m really excited to start expanding my French language learning into the Wizarding World!

What books are you reading over the holidays? Tell me your TBR list for the month in the comments! 

Everyday Cosplay: Kilgrave

Yesterday an article I wrote for Geek & Sundry went live where I speculated on what could be next for Jessica Jones in season 2. Because of that, my mind has been on Jessica Jones a lot lately.Since I’ve already done an everyday cosplay look for Jessica over at Geek & Sundry, I decided to make an everyday cosplay look for someone else who’s had their mind on Jessica Jones a lot: Kilgrave.

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Shout out to the show for making a gif of David Tennant saying “I love you” creepy…

Kilgrave is a SUPER scary villain, and one of the things that made him the most creepy to me was the fact that he was WEARING THE TENTH DOCTOR’S FACE.

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Save it, Ten…

Watching David Tennant use his “Doctor voice” (which, let’s be honest, is just an English accent) and use his gorgeous face to play the most evil villain out there was hella unsettling. But I think that’s what made him such an interesting villain to watch. Fan of Doctor Who or not, you’ve got to admit that David Tennant is kind of a gorgeous man, and he’s got some serious puppy dog eyes. He’s got a face that makes you want to trust him, even though Kilgrave is a complete, evil nutter under that sweet smile. So I wanted to create an everyday cosplay outfit that was equally as sweet and unassuming. You can decide how evil you want to be when you wear it.

Everyday Kilgrave

 

 

Was it creepy for you to watch David Tennant play an evil mastermind like Kilgrave, or did it not bother you? What are you excited to see in season 2 of Jessica Jones? Let’s talk Jessica Jones in the comments! 

We Aren’t Done With Jessica Jones, Right?

I am a seasoned Netflix-binger. When I decide to Netflix a show, I commit. I have no time for those people who watch an episode or two a week. If the generous Netflix gods are keen to provide us with several episodes of a show, you bet I’m gonna jump in, face first, and watch them all as quickly as I can.

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When it comes to watching shows like Supernatural or X-Files, it’s not a huge deal to pound through episodes because there are SO MANY to watch. But when it comes to Netflix originals, once you chug through a season, you’re done for like a year.

I finished Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt in about a month.

I finished the new season of Arrested Development in a few weeks.

I finished Master of None in a few weeks.

I was not going to do the same thing when it came to Jessica Jones. No, I was gonna make this show last. The thing is, that show is hella addicting, so I zipped through the first ten episodes crazy quickly. Then, I freaked out a little.

I was nearly done with the series, and there isn’t any word on season 2. I couldn’t keep up with this breakneck pace, so I decided to STOP. I stopped watching the show for about a month. Jessica Jones can’t end for me if I never finish the season, right? I had unlocked the key to Netflix binging: binge until the final few episodes, and stop cold turkey to avoid ever ending the show. Great plan, right?

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That awkward moment when you use a Tennant as Ten gif in a Jessica Jones post…

Well, I couldn’t stand it anymore, and I finished season one of Jessica Jones yesterday. What did I think of the show? Here is the official summation of all my feelings for Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones and the entire show in general:

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I won’t bore you with my thoughts on the whole season since there have been plenty of others who’ve written about how the show is the best thing ever. Suffice it to say that Jessica Jones is a solid superhero, and she seriously breaks out of the mold of most of the superhero stuff we see on TV today. She’s complicated, she’s damaged, she can be mean, she’s sarcastic, and I love her so much. Krysten Ritter unsurprisingly does a stellar job of bringing her to life. With the news of Daredevil season 2 getting a teaser trailer and release date, I figured we couldn’t be too far from hearing about season 2 of Jessica Jones. But not only do we not know when Jessica Jones season 2 is coming, we don’t even know if Jessica will even get a second season. That’s right. Netflix hasn’t even gone as far as to renew the show.

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Reasons for the lack of renewal have been things like the focus on launching The Other Avengers Defenders (which will be comprised of Matt Murdock/Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica, and potentially others). Since Jessica will be in that, Netflix is focusing on featuring her there rather than expanding on her crazy successful show.

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Don’t get me wrong, I dig crossover stuff, and I love the Avengers and how heavily those guys play in each others films. So yeah, Defenders sounds rad, but…why can’t we get more standalone Jessica and have Defenders? You know, like they’re doing with Matt Murdock? Maybe time and resources are an issue, but why not even say the show is renewed? Why is Netflix deciding to sit on a show that fans are obsessed with and actually differs a bit from every other superhero show and movie out there? Ultimately, I have no idea. Money, resources, and actor availability are real things that Netflix is juggling, but I know one thing for sure: we need more standalone shows and movies about female superheroes.

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There are lots of dudes in that space, and losing Jessica would be a huge blow. Krysten Ritter has already expressed that she’s more than game to reprise the role, so I really hope Netflix doesn’t cast Jessica Jones aside to focus more on stuff like Daredevil and Defenders. They’re building a really great and diverse group of superhero shows on Netflix, and I’d hate to see them toss out a great one that’s meant so much to so many people.

What did you think of Jessica Jones? Do you want Netflix to renew the show, or do you think one season is enough? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Why It’s Awesome We Get Jessica Jones and Kara Danvers

I had no idea who Jessica Jones was when her show was first announced. Still, I knew I loved Krysten Ritter and David Tennant, so I planned on watching the show. It was around that same time that we started hearing about Supergirl starring Melissa Benoist. Where Jessica Jones is dark and twisty, Kara Danvers/Kara Zor-El/Supergirl is much more upbeat and positive. If you put the two together, Kara could almost look like an airhead when compared to Jessica. So much so that people starting saying the show’s first trailer looked eerily similar to the SNL Black Widow movie trailer–even though they were totally wrong–because I guess the only female superheroes that count are the ones who are the brooding types.

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Regardless, I knew that Supergirl could very well become that overly campy, SNL Black Widow spoof once it aired–happily, I don’t think it did. However, I’ve heard some folks I follow online gripe about Supergirl, pitting it against Jessica Jones or saying flat out that Jessica would save what Kara is ruining. I’ve heard a lot of positives about both shows, but I haven’t been able to shake those who praise Jessica Jones and poo-poo Supergirl for being too lighthearted.

Now that both show are out and I’ve been able to see solid chunks of both shows (I’ve not finished Jessica Jones just yet, I’m trying to pace myself), I have to say that I’m so incredibly stoked that we have both women on TV today. Is Supergirl perfect? Not at all! The tone is  pretty lighthearted nature which can draw fans away, it’s got occasional cheesy lines, and their use of worn tropes like the love triangle is a bit tired. However, I think we’d seriously be missing out if we only had Jessica Jones to watch.

Both Jessica and Kara are survivors of personal tragedies of different natures, Kara losing her home planet and her entire family (save her cousin, of course), and Jessica being taken by Kilgrave and forced to do horrible things for him for months on end. Both women suffered from very different forms of pain, both women have processed it and are continuing to process it differently, both women need different things from life, friends, and family, and both women have a very different outlook on life in general.

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Jessica is tortured by her past, and is trying desperately to move past it. She’s not the most social…like, at all. She’s got blood on her hands (often literally), she’s a functional alcoholic, she’s not great at relationships (romantic and friendship), she’s sarcastic, she can be mean, but ultimately she is fiercely loyal, wants to do something worthwhile and make a positive difference in the world, and help put an end to a man who she feels has ruined her life.

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Kara, on the other hand, is pretty well adjusted–especially after losing her home and her family. She loves her foster family, has a supportive relationship with her foster sister, she’s generally optimistic, she can be a bit awkward (especially around guys she likes and her boss), she was a bit naive when she jumped face first into protecting National City, but she loves fiercely, ultimately wants to do great things, make her parents proud, and help people with the gifts she’s been given.

I get that some people will be more drawn to Supergirl and some will be more drawn to Jessica Jones, and that’s okay. However, I think that if we make ourselves pick Jessica or Kara, or if we pit these two heroes against each other, we’re doing ourselves a disservice. I love watching Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones, and I’d like to think that when push came to shove I’d have that steel resolve, intense bravery in the face of my enemies, and general badassery, but it’s not me. I love watching Jessica do her thing, but I don’t relate to her.

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I’ve known Jessicas in my life, but regardless of how many emo, goth, or hardcore phases I went through growing up, I was never a Jessica.

I’ve always been a Kara. I can be naive when I try to do something that I think will bring positive change into the world, and sometimes that naivete and ill-preparedness brings on more harm than good. I’ve always been intensely award around guys I like, and I’m very awkward around my bosses. I’m not always the paragon of confidence and boardroom ownership, and I definitely put my foot in my mouth on the regular.

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But I’m doing the best I can and working each day to make a positive difference with the gifts I’ve been given. I identify with Kara, and I know several Karas, too.

I think it’s great that we have two vastly different female superheroes on TV. It’s okay to have Jessica on one end, shotgunning whiskey, battling her PTSD, fighting desperately to keep people safe, and generally being grisly but awesome while Kara is over in National City getting her boss coffee by day and snorting around her crush (true story: thanks to my massive orthodontic work, I once actually drooled in front of my crush* and his mom, #sexy), and by night she can train with her sister, fight to protect the city from aliens seeking revenge, and fight to honor her family’s name. Just like every guy doesn’t identify with Steve Rogers and Wade Wilson, every girl doesn’t have to identify with Jessica Jones and Kara Danvers.

We’ve got a huge universe of male superheroes out there to cater to all sorts of superhero fans. Not everyone understands Steve Rogers, not everyone likes Tony Stark, not everyone understands Bruce Banner, and not everyone gets Wade Wilson, but the fact is they don’t have to. The point of superheroes is to show fans that whoever you are, whatever your backstory, you can do great things. It bums me out when I hear people pitting Kara and Jessica against each other when this is the first time we’ve had two live action female-led superhero shows on television ever. We need Kara and we need Jessica just like we need the Karas and the Jessicas of real life. Just because one of the heroes is a bit more brooding, hardcore, and serious than the other does not make her more valid, just like a more brooding, hardcore, and serious woman wouldn’t be more valid than her lighthearted counterpart.

Jessica shows women that they can overcome trauma, abuse, and whatever other horrors lie in their past. Jessica shows women strength in overwhelming odds, and Jessica shows women that even though she’s not always perfect she’s still able to do good–just like they can. Kara shows women that it’s okay to be lighthearted, and that being awkward or goofy doesn’t somehow lessen your worth as a woman. She shows women that you can dress girly, be upbeat and silly, occasionally act like a moron in front of your boss, and still be strong, brave, and go on to do amazing things.

I’m so happy that we have both of these women on TV, because we’re getting to see women portrayed as strong characters without turning them into the strong female character/Action Girl trope. We’re seeing two incredibly different types of women step up, be strong, and save lives. I think that’s awesome, and I can’t wait to see how Captain Marvel and Wonder Woman add to the space. If nothing else, the amount of little girls that I’ve seen swooning over Supergirl tells me that we’re doing something right.

What do you think of Jessica Jones and Supergirl? Do you like that there are two incredibly different superheroes shows out, or do you wish one would go away? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

*I ended up marrying him, so alls well that drools well, I guess…

Jessica Jones Teaser Trailer and Premiere Date Released!

I will be honest with you guys: before the announcement of Netflix’s show, (then-titled AKA Jessica Jones, now simply titled Jessica Jones) I really had no idea who Jessica Jones was. However, since I love Krysten Ritter and superhero movies, I was all-too excited to see what Jessica Jones was all about.

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If you’re like me, and you’ve got no idea who Jessica Jones is, start here, with Jessica Jones: Alias Vol. 1. This is the basic story line:

Meet Jessica Jones. Once upon a time, she was a costumed super hero…but not a very good one. Her powers were unremarkable compared to the amazing abilities of the costumed icons that populate the Marvel Universe. In a city of Marvels, Jessica Jones never found her niche. Now a chain-smoking, self-destructive alcoholic with a mean inferiority complex, Jones is the owner and sole employee of Alias Investigations – a small, private-investigative firm specializing in superhuman cases. When she uncovers the potentially explosive secret of one hero’s true identity, Jessica’s life immediately becomes expendable. But her wit, charm and intelligence just may help her survive through another day.

From the brief descriptions you can find online, it seems that the Netflix series is going to be following the graphic novel fairly closely. The show is said to be a psychological thriller, and though it will take some troubling parts of Jessica’s story farther than what we see in the comic–we’ll see how it ends up actually playing out in the show–I think it’s going to be AMAZING. Beyond the fact that the story looks awesome and I’ll watch any show with a cast full of people like Krysten Ritter and David Tennant, I’m stoked to see a female-led Marvel story come to life–especially while I’m stuck impatiently wait for Captain Marvel to hit the big screen.

Happily, we finally have an official release date for the first season of Jessica Jones, as well as a super-teasey teaser trailer. Check it out:

What did you think of the teaser? Were you familiar with Jessica Jones and her story prior to the show announcement, or are you like me and new to her story? Let me know your thoughts in the comments, and be sure to watch Jessica Jones when it hits Netflix on November 20!