Thursday, February 28, 2013

Book Review: Geek Girl by Holly Smale

Geek Girl by Holly Smale

Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
Pages: 378 (Paperback)
Published: February 28, 2013
Source: ARC from Publisher (spiral bound paperback)
ISBN-13: 0007489447
Genre: YA
Author: Twitter | Blog

First Sentence: My name is Harriet Manners, and I am a geek.

Harriet Manners knows a lot of things. 

She knows that a cat has 32 muscles in each ear, a "jiffy" lasts 1/100th of a second, and the average person laughs 15 times per day. What she isn't quite so sure about is why nobody at school seems to like her very much. So when she's spotted by a top model agent, Harriet grabs the chance to reinvent herself. Even if it means stealing her Best Friend's dream, incurring the wrath of her arch enemy Alexa, and repeatedly humiliating herself in front of the impossibly handsome supermodel Nick. Even if it means lying to the people she loves. 

As Harriet veers from one couture disaster to the next with the help of her overly enthusiastic father and her uber-geeky stalker, Toby, she begins to realise that the world of fashion doesn't seem to like her any more than the real world did. 

And as her old life starts to fall apart, the question is: will Harriet be able to transform herself before she ruins everything?

Goodreads Overview
Geek Girl was an endearing story of Harriet Manners who is a proud geek. When she's spotted by a modeling agency, her life turns upside down and she tries to remain true to her geek roots while being glammed up. I thought this was a great debut from Holly Smale and really did like the character of Harriet, who was kind of a cross between Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory and Mia Thermopolis from The Princess Diaries.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

'VIKINGS' Sails onto History Channel on March 3

They came “from the land of the ice and snow, from the midnight sun where the hot springs flow.” 

Centuries before any Englishman set foot upon the soil that would be known as North America, the Vikings were supreme. The earliest Viking raids occurred in the eighth century and the Viking Age continued until the Norman Conquest of the eleventh century. The Vikings sailed most of the North Atlantic and traveled as far east as Constantinople; men under Leif Eriksson reached North America. In an ambitious production, the History Channel brings the story of Vikings to life in a 9-part miniseries beginning on March 3.

The word Viking has become synonymous with violence, brutality, and warfare. A civilization that prided themselves on overtaking their enemy in both sea and land combat, Vikings were mercenaries, looters, and conquerors of much of Europe during their Golden Age. Vikings on History sets to show that their history is much more complex, visceral, and powerful than the mythology that surrounds them suggestions. Unlike many historical dramas, creator Michael Hirst (Academy-Award winning film Elizabeth; and the Emmy and Golden Globe nominated series The Tudors), wanted to portray the life of these Dark Age raiders, traders, explorers – not from an outsider’s view, but through the eyes of Viking society itself, which may help it be more compelling.

VIKINGS follows the story of a man named Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel), a young farmer and family man, who finds himself frustrated by the policies of the local chieftain, Earl Haraldson (Gabriel Byrne). Haraldson continues to send his raiders east every summer, to areas that are materially poor. This exercise in futility frustrates Lothbrook, who looks to break through barriers and discover new worlds to conquer. Through the course of VIKINGS, we will see if Ragnar is able to fulfill his ambitions. In addition to a thirst for conquest, the miniseries will also focus on their worship of the Norse pantheon, including the chief god Odin. Ragnar, claims that he is a direct descendant of Odin, god of warriors slain in battle, as well as the god of curiosity. Surely, this is how Lothbrook developed his trait for wanderlust.

Fimmel and Byrne are joined by Clive Standen, George Blagden, and Gustaf Skarsgard who portray Rollo, Athelstan, and Floki, respectively. They serve to round out the cast and aid Ragnar Lothbrook on his adventures. For many years scholars believed that the Vikings targeted Christian churches directly, as many places of worship were destroyed in the wake of raids. Athelstan is a Christian monk whose life, according to the makers of VIKINGS, is turned upside down by shocking culture brought on by the raiders.

Following in the footsteps of 2012’s Hatfields and McCoys, the miniseries that showcased the West Virginia-Kentucky feud of two families in the Tug Fork region, VIKINGS will be a grand portrayal of Viking society and conquest. Don’t expect it to follow history to the absolute letter. Because of a lack of well-rounded information about the society, this writer is assured that creative licensing was taken in this series. However, Hatfields and McCoys was a very well done drama, and The Tudors had a successful four season run on Showtime (and also starred Man of Steel's Henry Cavill), so I expect good things from VIKINGS, which premieres on March 3 on The History Channel. Check your local cable listings for more information.

If you are interested in learning an accurate history of Viking culture, check out A History of Vikings by Gwen Jones. The History Channel also has The Real Vikings Collection DVD set available in their store. If you're a fan of documentaries, you may want this for your collection.

This post was featured on Word of the Nerd Online on February 27, 2013. View more by me on WOTN!

Movie Review: 21 and Over

I haven’t been out of college that long. Technically, I graduated in 2012, but my last experience living on campus was 2008. I went to a small school with a high concentration of Greek life on campus. I, personally, was not one of them, but I had a lot of Greek friends so I went to a few parties in my time, mostly my freshman and sophomore years. I realized quickly that the big party scene wasn’t for me, but I will say that it was extremely entertaining to watch on the big screen in 21 and Over.

My 21st birthday was comprised of a birthday party and Chili’s with an Indiana Jones theme followed by a trip to the bar where I was hit on by one of the creepiest men on the planet. My experience is probably not typical, you know, considering we had paper fedoras, but I did get to experience my 21st with some modicum of style. Things would probably have been more hopping if I’d turned 21 on the weekend, but my birthday fell on Memorial Day, just has my 21st birthday had when I turned 16. Do you know how much it sucks not to be able to get your Driver’s License changed?! Terrible.* We also elected not to bar hop, which is what the characters in the movie decide to do.

Much like The Hangover, 21 and Over is about friends who are celebrating a particular milestone. In the case of Jeff Chang, he’s doing it pretty much against his will and ends up getting way beyond trashed. The movie opens with the aftermath of the night’s events and we’re taken back in time roughly twelve hours to the beginning of the evening. In order to get Jeff Chang home and ready for his medical school interview, Casey (Skylar Astin) and Miller (Miles Teller) must go on a trek to find his address and make him look presentable for Tiger Dad, Dr. Chang (Francois Chau).

Hijinks ensue, 'natch. The guys find themselves in an area of town they are unfamiliar with, they make enemies with multiple ethnic groups, become friends with a dancing homeless man, and become the victims of some severe Greek revenge. There is a lot of gratuitous sexual language and some scenes are pretty uncomfortable to watch. Physical and "gross out" comedy is prevalent throughout the movie.

There’s also a nugget of a moral nestled within the movie as well. Miller, Casey, and Jeff Chang are best friends in high school, but they go to different colleges. Then, slowly, they drift apart, but all reunite for Jeff Chang’s big night. There’s some truth in the tale; high school friends don’t always stay close when they get to college. However, just because you’re not best friends and super close with someone anymore doesn’t make them less important and doesn’t mean that you care about them less. I went to school in the same town with several of my high school friends and we’ve drifted apart. They still matter to me a great deal; we’re just not as close as we used to be.

At its heart, this movie is about friendship and overcoming the rifts that are created between friends during college. It’s also about how going to college can change you for the better. No one that I know is really the same person now that they were in high school. That’s not a bad thing; you become your best self. This causes some tension between Miller and Casey. Miller thinks that everyone should pretty much stay the same, but Casey has used his experience in college to change and grow.

Speaking of Casey, let me throw up some mad love for Skylar Astin. After having seen him in Pitch Perfect last year, I was instantly amazed at his awesomeness. He did not disappoint in 21 and Over. He doesn’t sing in this, but by golly I would have paid extra if he would have.** I really see big things in his future.


**I received a free pass to this movie courtesy of and Relativity Media. I was not give monetary compensation for this review other than the value of the pass.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

2013 Oscar Reflections and Official Picks

This is a very unique Oscar season for me; it’s the first in several years that I’ve actually seen almost half of the movies that were nominated for Best Picture. Being in a new town and not knowing a lot of folks, I’ve turned to seeing movies probably more often as I should. (Seeing movies in this market is muy expensivo!) But it’s been nice to get caught up, because between going to the theater  and Redbox I’ve seen a lot of flicks that I’d missed in the last year or so. With the Oscar broadcast later this evening, I thought I’d reflect on the movies that I’ve seen. Because I haven’t seen all of the nominees, my picks will be biased, but you’ll just have to bear with me. First, a reflection/ mini-review of each film, since I haven’t been able to do a full review of them all.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Flashback Friday: My First Video Game

Flashback Friday is a new series where I get in the wayback machine and revisit some of my favorite things from years past. It can be anything really, random stuff from teh intarwebz, books, movies, games, et cetera.

The big snow that much of the country is getting this weekend reminded me of my first video game. A strange connection to make at first glance, but it makes a lot of sense when I explain the story. The first video game that I ever owned was Super Mario World. I got my first console, a Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), for Christmas in 1992. I was five years old and I was probably the giddiest person on my street, I assure you. I didn't get a lot of games right away, but the first game I played for SNES was Super Mario World.

Movie Review: Snitch

There didn’t seem to be much hype about Snitch, the newest movie from Dwayne Johnson (née The Rock) and this film appears to be a bit different than what we have seen of him thus far. In it, Johnson plays John Matthews, a middle-class businessman whose life is suddenly thrust into the seedy world of the drug culture in the United States. When his son his implicated for drug trafficking and arrested, Matthews goes undercover to infiltrate a drug cartel and bring down as many as he can to clear his son’s name.

According to the opening titles, the film is based on a true events. While no real person named John Matthews probably undercover to save his son, the film's concept was based on a Frontline documentary. Recent changes to Federal drug laws has made snitching on accomplices appealing, as it will reduce the sentencing for an incarcerated individual. No doubt, many people have taken advantage of this.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Book Review: Elegantly Wasted by C. Elizabeth Vescio

Elegantly Wasted by C. Elizabeth Vescio

Publisher: Luna Station Press
Pages: 322 (Paperback)
Published: July 30, 2012
Source: Purchased (Kindle edition)
ISBN-13: 9781938697
Genre: Action
Series: Wasted Series
Author: Twitter | Blog

First Sentence: All the events of my life had boiled down to a single choice.

Favorite Line: "There is no spoon, motherfucker."

“Just because I kill people, doesn’t mean I’m a bad person...”

On the eve of her high school graduation, proper socialite Francesca “Frankie” Fairholm rebelled against her elitist and controlling family to pursue the dark lifestyle of a contract killer for the enigmatic Osiris Corporation. Years later, with her training complete, she believes she's doomed to the life of a sociopathic lone gun until a botched hit brings two unlikely allies, her cousins Addison and Katharine.

Using Katharine’s etiquette school, Elegance, Inc., as a front, the trio weave through Frankie’s dark underworld, carrying out contracts, drinking too much wine, and trying not to get each other killed.

Trouble follows the team home when the death of the cruel Fairholm matriarch reveals more than they ever wanted to know about their family. As the funeral preparations play out, the trio begin to realize there is much more to their employer than meets the eye and their family connections run deeper than they ever imagined.

Goodreads Overview
An inventive story with characters you can relate to. Great character development - was able to watch the story unfold in my mind. Very nice first book from Cara Vescio.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Really, Rex Reed?

Earlier today I read that someone had made disparaging remarks about comedienne Melissa McCarthy, who happens to be one of my favorite actresses. As a fan of Gilmore Girls, her character Sookie St. James made the show for me. I remember vaguely watching her on Samantha Who (it wasn't my favorite show) but when Mike & Molly premiered in 2010, I knew that there was no way she could ever do wrong in my eyes. As someone who has struggled with weight issues since I was a kid, I completely felt for her character and I continue to empathize with McCarthy as someone kind-of, sort-of in the public eye now. So, when I read the words "hippo," "tractor-sized," and "obese" on the website for the New York Observer earlier, I felt like critic Rex Reed had written those words about me.

I have generally tried to keep Kentucky Geek Girl a positive space. I like to write posts about good things that happen to people, movies that I like, places I enjoy going, but this hit too close to home for me not to make a comment. Reed's review went live on February 5, yet today is the first that I have heard about what he said, as things often make the rounds around the Internet and I suddenly find them in my newsfeed. I have not yet seen Identity Thief, but wanted to check out some early reviews of the movie so I could decide if it would be my movie of the week. I do intend to see it and by and large support actors that I enjoy watching (McCarthy and Jason Bateman) however, I will not be able to see it without Reed's thoughts in my head.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Community Returns Tonight: Let the Hunger Deans Begin!

That's right, Human Beings, tonight is October 19 (okay, it is actually February 7) and our beloved show makes its Season 4 debut on NBC. It was supposed to premiere on the real October 19, alongside Whitney. However, NBC decided that it was in the best interest of the show to promote it heavily rather than allowing it to air. (Writer's note: I haven't seen this happen.) Many saw this as another nail in the proverbial coffin for the show, now beginning its fourth season. The departure of former showrunner Dan Harmon was seen by most as a death knell for the sitcom, however, fans were promised by new producers at the San Diego Comic Con panel that it was to retain its same charm and substance even without the show's creator.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

New Video from Shadow Clone Shows that it Feels Good to Cosplay

In my 25 years I had never seen someone who raps about anime and cosplay until I met Shadow Clone. In fact, I first saw him performing while I was waiting in line at Derby City Comic Con back in 2011, but that is before I knew who he was or how awesome he is! As a Nerdcore artist, he uses his hip hop beats to focus on his interests in anime/manga, video games, and all things that are generally nerdy.

This week, Shadow Clone released a video for his latest single "Damn, It Feels Good to Cosplay" which may have a very familiar beat. The video was filmed at SukoshiCon: Destination Anime and was a collaborative effort on two levels. In addition working with the video's director and other members of the crew, Shadow Clone also collaborated with cosplay special guests who were attending the convention and other cosplayers who were at the con, based in Destin, Florida. Prior to the convention, he reached out to the cosplay guests, who were very receptive to his request to be in the video.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Book Review: Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

Publisher: Atria
Pages: 256 (Paperback)
Published: April 2011
Series: Warm Bodies
Source: Gift (Kindle edition)
ISBN-13: 978-1476717463
Genre: Speculative Fiction, Post-Apocalyptic, Zombies, Horror, Romance
Author: Twitter | Blog

First Sentence: I am dead, but it's not so bad.

R is having a no-life crisis—he is a zombie. He has no memories, no identity, and no pulse, but he is a little different from his fellow Dead. He may occasionally eat people, but he’d rather be riding abandoned airport escalators, listening to Sinatra in the cozy 747 he calls home, or collecting souvenirs from the ruins of civilization.

And then he meets a girl.

First as his captive, then his reluctant house guest, Julie is a blast of living color in R’s gray landscape, and something inside him begins to bloom. He doesn’t want to eat this girl—although she looks delicious—he wants to protect her. But their unlikely bond will cause ripples they can’t imagine, and their hopeless world won’t change without a fight.

Goodreads Overview
Warm Bodies was inventive, fun, and at times dramatic. I enjoyed the first person perspective of "R" as he breaks away from the mundane existence of being one of the walking dead.

Ahoy, Mateys!

As you can see, things have been a bit busier around here than they had as of late. I am sorry that I hadn't stopped in to say Hello more often, but things were extremely busy with finishing my last semester of school. In fact, I made school a higher priority than a lot of things, but it all paid off beautifully. If you follow Kentucky Geek Girl on Facebook, then you see my daily updates there. I also tweet like a mad woman as well. However, I just didn't have a lot of time to sit down and beautifully construct a blog post for your reading pleasure.

That changes now.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Movie Review: Warm Bodies

Before I begin my review, I want to give a shout out to Cincinnati Free Movies and Gofobo for allowing me the chance to see an advanced screening of  Warm Bodies this week at AMC 20 Newport on the Levee. It was a great experience and I look forward to many more advanced screenings. I, like the hundreds in attendance, was given a free pass through Gofobo's RSVP system which allows you to claim a ticket to an advanced screening. Check out Gofobo for screenings in your area!


Warm Bodies isn't your typical zombie movie. Certainly, there is the tried and true tale of zombies versus humans, but this movie transcends that. In the end, it's about connection with family, lovers, friends, and even yourself. When we meet R, played by Nicholas Hoult, he is questioning his reason for being. His zombie hive has taken up residence in an airport, which positioned near the ruins of what was probably a huge city, puts it in the perfect spot for hunting. However, R has grown tired of this existence and he longs for something more fulfilling. He does have a best friend,  M, played by Rob Corddry, with whom he shares "almost conversations," but this just doesn't seem enough for him.

The film is narrated by R and it allows us to get inside of his zombified brain. This really gives a lot of depth to what would otherwise be a fairly shallow plot since there's not a lot dialogue coming out of most zombies. This all changes, though, when R comes into contact with Julie with his hunting party. Instead of eating her brain, which is the status quo for the corpse set, he saves her and takes her back to his hive. Is it possible for a zombie and a human to make a connection so deep that it could change the world? This is the plot of Warm Bodies and it's a fun ride from start to finish.