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Review: The Beast Within 

I really love Disney’s Beauty and The Beast, both the movie and the Broadway play. I am also looking forward to the live action starring Emma Watson as Belle. When I saw The Beast Within A Tale of Beauty’s Beast at Barnes and Noble, I just had to purchase it right away based on the description on the dust jacket alone.

The tale is as old as time; a cruel prince is transformed into a beast. A lovely maiden comes into this monster’s life. He is transformed by her compassion, and the love he feels for her in return. The two live happily ever after.

But any tale, especially one as storied as Beauty and the Beast’s has been told many different times, and in many different ways. No matter which version one hears, the nagging question remains; what was it that transformed the prince into the beast we are introduced to?

This is one version, pulled from many passed down through the ages. It’s a story of vanity and arrogance, of love and hatred, of beastliness, and, of course, of beauty.

Description From the dust jacket of The Beast Within A Tale of Beauty’s Prince by Serena Valentino

This story grabbed me at first because it started right after Belle met the Beast. However, when the story switched to The Beast’s past, I started to get a feeling of wrongness about the story that did not leave me as I continued to read. The story made me wonder many times the following: “Why am I still reading this?”

To me, the story read like a bad piece of fanfiction. Especially, with the introduction of characters like the “Odd Witches”, and the fact that Gaston and the prince knew each other and hung out together before the transformation. I kept thinking that if only these aspects were removed, then the story would have been much better.

In addition, there are many head scratching moments within the story that do not feel like they belong or contradict what is depicted in the main story. For instance, Maurice did not actually go to The Sanitarium in either the film or play versions, but this story states that he did.  To me this is sloppy research, sloppy editing or both.

Fortunately, there are a few aspects of this story that made this a more tolerable read. The introduction of two new characters, Princess Tulip and the Entrantress who put the spell on the prince were a delight to read. Both of these characters are multi-dimensional and have fully realized personalities. I actually wanted to learn more about both of them.  Also, the brief scenes with Cogsworth, Lumiere and Mrs Potts contained an interesting look into their lives and their interactions with The Prince before the transformation.  If author would have stuck to these aspects of the story, I believe it would have been a much better read.

Overall, I cannot recommend this story, especially to any fellow Beauty and The Beast fan.

Star Wars Rebels – Siege of Lothal recap

I am so happy that I can finally talk about the amazing start for Star Wars Rebels season 2 that I saw at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim back in April! I am still thankful to Disney and Lucasfilm for offering me the opportunity to watch the premiere as a member of the media.

Below are some of the highlights from this amazing Star Wars Rebels episode:

Beware spoilers ahead…

The Siege of Lothal opens with a big dog fight by The Ghost crew and a Rebel Fleet to acquire some crates that the Imperials are transporting. It is very good to see the crew of The Ghost, especially Hera, work with this Rebel fleet. However, Kanan is not too sure about being part of a military organization again. Especially, based on what happened during The Clone Wars.

The conversations between Hera and Kanan about his concerns during this episode remind me of Han and Leia. [Many of us think that this proves that they are ‘space married’.]

Minister Tua is a tragic figure in this episode. With the arrival of Darth Vader, she realizes that in order to preserve her life, Tua must leave her post and get passage off Lothal. In order to do this, she asks the crew of The Ghost for help.

What I think is the most overlooked part of this story is what Tua uses to barter her way off of Lothal. She agrees to give the Rebels a list of sympathizes that are being watched by the Imperials. In addition, Tua offers the reason WHY Lothal is so important and not just for the mining of fuel. [My husband and I agree on the theory is that it has something to do with the Death Star, but nothing has been confirmed within the story line yet.] This is the reason that Kanan and Ahsoka agree with Ezra that it is important to help her.

Unfortunately, Darth Vader uses her desire to leave as a trap for the crew of The Ghost, which Sabine suspected. However, this trap did not play out the way my husband and I thought it would. Vader used Tua’s attempt to leave as a way to turn the entire planet of Lothal against this crew of Rebels by accusing them of killing her. Darth Vader shows that with this he is not only good at using brute force, but is also adapt at using strategy in dealing with these ‘traitors’ to the Empire.

The confrontation of Kanan, Ezra and Darth Vader is shown in the season 2 trailer. When my husband and I saw that trailer, we did not realize that this confrontation would happen so quickly. Therefore, this is a very happy surprise to all those who watched this episode.

We knew that when this happened that Kanan and Ezra, no matter how powerful either is, could not stand for long against Darth Vader. With the help of Sabine and Zeb, who threw bombs to topple over two walkers, they thought they defeated this new foe. However, as shown in one of the previews of this episode, Darth Vader is much more than either of them can handle.

Of course the climax of the episode is when Darth Vader pursues these Rebels, using a homing device, to the fleet. Darth Vader still proves that even though he is now a Dark Lord of the Sith, he has the flying skills of Anakin Skywalker. Hera is the only pilot that was able to stay out of Darth Vader’s range during this engagement.

The pivotal moment in this episode happened during this confrontation with Darth Vader.

Ahsoka and Kanan use their Jedi abilities to identify the pilot of the fighter that is destroying the squadron. In addition, Ezra was trying to let Ahsoka know that based on his feelings that it has to be the new foe that Kanan and him encountered on Lothal. Just as Ezra said this, Ahsoka finally made contact with the pilot of the fighter through the force. However, whatever she discovered during this contact overwhelmed her.

Unfortunately, Darth Vader is able to use this to identify just who is making contact through the force.

The remains of the Rebel fleet and the crew of The Ghost were able to make their escape. Kanan and Ezra decide to contiue the fight against The Sith and The Empire with the support of Hera, Sabine, Zeb and Chopper.

They are going to need each other in order to deal with another Inquistor that Vader is dispatching to continue the hunt for ‘Skywalker’s Apprentice’ and any other lost Jedi, like Obi-Wan Kenobi.

My husband and I believe that season 2 will continue to have consequences for everyone involved, on both sides of this conflict. Either way it will be a wild ride that we and many other Star Wars Rebels fans cannot wait to take.

So, have you seen this episode?

What do you think about these highlights?

Happy Father’s Day to my Dad

I wanted to take a moment to say Happy Father’s Day to my Dad.  He has been one of my biggest supporters throughout my life and is a big influence on expressing my fandom.


My Dad loves science fiction, fantasy, westerns and mysteries, especially Star Wars, Star Trek, NCIS, Colombo, James Bond films and War movies and Westerns starring John Wayne. My dad expresses his fandom by reciting trivia he learned, what he knows about the actors and what he thinks will happen in a future film or episode based on what we currently know. He has always encouraged me and supported me throughout my life dispite me being female.  I never heard him say that I could not do something because I am a girl. I know that without his support and encouragement, I would not be the person and the everyday fangirl that I am today!

Thank you Dad for everything!

Interview with a Fangirl: Marie Nomad

I am continuing with my series of interviews with Fangirls that I have met through social media!

Today, it is my pleasure to introduce you to Fangirl Marie Nomad. I met Marie through fanfiction.net after reading and reviewing several of her anime fanfic stories. She is not only a Fangirl, but one of my longest online friends in the anime Fanfic community.

Welcome Marie to The Adventures of The Everyday Fangirl and thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule for this interview!

When did you begin to realize you were a Fangirl?

When I went into college and I discovered that there are other people who write sci fi fan fiction and watch anime.

When did you first see Star Wars and did you love it right away or did this grow over time?

Well, I heard about Star Wars but I loved Star Trek first. I did watch the movies and loved it. I enjoyed episodes Four, Three, and One.

What have you learned from the Star Wars community that has had a positive impact on your life?

Star Wars taught me that things will get better with time.

What else do you Fangirl about and how would you encourage others to appreciate?

Various things. I like all sorts of fiction. I had been a fan of wrestling lately. I see it as a form of art that requires dedication and physical ability. I do enjoy Doctor Who and sometimes independent sci fi films and those silly B films.

How has social media helped or hindered you?

Helped me. There are a ton of fans out there. They are awesome. Although, I don’t interact with social media too much, except for Twitter. Even sci fi characters like Supernatural have their own twitter accounts.

Thank you again Marie for this interview and letting us get to know you.

#StarWarsRebels returns this month!

 

This is a reminder that Star Wars Rebels returns this month with the Season 2 Premiere movie, “The Siege of Lothal“.  This movie will be broadcast on DisneyXD on June 20 and, for those that watch this series via the DisneyXD app or on iTunes, Lucasfilm Publicist, Tracy Cannobbio, confirmed on her Twitter account that this episode will be available on these platforms on June 21.  This is same movie that I was lucky enough to be invited to watch when I attended Star Wars Celebration Anaheim on behalf of this blog.

Check out this teaser trailer of this upcoming movie premiere!

https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=qZY0gqIAcx4

I cannot wait for all of you to see this episode and be able to talk about it without any restrictions!

So who is looking forward to watching the season 2 premiere? How will YOU be watching it? 

This Everyday Fangirl wants to know!

Interview with a Fangirl: Darth Makenna

I am continuing with my series of interviews with Fangirls that I have met through social media!

Today, it is my pleasure to introduce you to someone I consider to be the “Ultimate Little Fangirl”, Darth Makenna!

Welcome Darth Makenna to The Adventures of The Everyday Fangirl and THANK YOU so much for agreeing to answer my questions!

How long have you considered yourself to be a Fangirl?

Almost 4 years, after meeting Ashley Eckstein at GeekGirlcon in Washington, who told me all about what it means to be a Fangirl!

When did you first see Star Wars and did you like it right away?

My brother introduced me to Star Wars when I was about 3 and yes I liked it right away.

What is your favorite Star Wars character?

I cannot choose just one. Can I give you my top 3 droids and top 5 or so characters?

You sure can! So who are your favorite Star Wars droids and characters?

My favorite droids are Chopper, R2-D2 and C3PO, I like him a lot.

My favorite Star Wars characters are Hera, Zeb, Ezra, Sabine, Kanan, Ahsoka Tano, Darth Vader and Captain Rex, who is going to be in Season 2 of Rebels…FangirlFlail! I know that one of the Fangirls out there is a big fan of Rex.  I just wanted to say that.

Finally, what would you like say about being a young Fangirl to any other young fangirls out there?

Yes!
Every girl has a dream. A dream to do what they want and I fulfilled my dream. I created my character that I really wanted to make every since I first saw Star Wars. I wanted to be Darth Vader. I wanted to be my OWN Darth Vader. I wanted to be me, playing my favorite charater. With the help of my Mom, I was able to become Darth Makenna!

It was a pleasure interviewing you, Darth Makenna. You are definately an inspiration to Fangirls of any age, including myself.

#WalkMS Frankenmuth 2015

20130511-215157.jpg

Today, I participated in the WalkMS event in Frankenmuth, MI that I mentioned in a post a few weeks back. This is my fourth year participating in this event. As I wrote on my walker identification card, I walked to support all those who are suffer from Multiple Sclerosis (MS).  

  
I again joined my friend Karasten, who suffers from MS, and her team, Karasten’s Crew.

  

This year both my husband, Michael, who also suffers from MS and my younger sister, Sheila, who suffers from NF (Neurofibromatosis) joined us for this event. 

  

The weather today was very hot and humid.  Because of how hot and humid it was, it took about 2 hours for our team to complete the just over 3 mile walk.  Some of the team stopped for ice cream during the walk, I wish I thought of doing that!  

  

We did complete the Walk and we have the buttons to prove it! 
My sister summed up this experience with this comment on a friend’s Facebook page:

“Went on a walk today. A walk to raise awareness and a cure for MS. It was a nice walk for a good cause.” 

  

I want to thank everyone who supported us by either spreading the word about this event or by donating through my personal page.  Especially author Natacha Guyot, who helped me reach my goal! 

  

I really, really appreciate this support from the bottom of my heart! 

SWCA Recap: Chris Alexander

During Star Wars Celebration, it was my pleasure to have a brief conversation with origami artist Chris Alexander. Chris is the author of Star Wars Origami, which teaches both Adults and Children how to fold paper using the origami techniques to create 36 different Star Wars characters and vehicles.

 
When I talked to Chris, he impressed me not only my his knowledge and skill with the art of origami, but I was impressed on how personable he was. He is an everyday fanboy who has an interest in many fandoms, especially Star Wars.  Chris is also a supporter of everyday Fangirls, especially his Mom, who attended Star Wars Celebration with him as Salacious Crumb!  

  

Chris and his Mom during the Skywalking Through Neverland live podcast from Star Wars Celebration!


During this brief conversation, Chris explained it took him over a decade and a half to convince anyone in Star Wars publishing that a book about the art of Star Wars origami would sell.  However, the effort he made was worth it.  Not only did his book Star Wars Origami sell, it also became a New York Times bestseller. 

Just after the Star Wars Celebration Anaheim debriefing with Skywalking Through Neverland, Chris showed us his latest Star Wars origami piece, Rey and her speeder from The Force Awakens. 
  

To learn more about Chris Alexander and the art of Star Wars Origami check out the following:

Interview with Chris Alexander on Episode 4 of Skywalking Through Neverland 

Origami demo with Chris Alexander


So have you tried the art of origami? 

If so, did you try to create any of these Star Wars origami pieces?

#AtoZChallenge: Women and Her Universe

Women and Her Universe

I observed that there were plenty of women attending Star Wars Celebration Anaheim.  On Thursday afternoon, many of them gathered at the Her Universe booth to check out and purchase the latest Star Wars fashions.

  


I checked in with them on Sunday morning of the Event and many of the items that they had at their booth were sold out in ALL sizes including:

Lightsaber Star Wars Logo T-Shirt

Lightsaber Skirt


Ahsoka Lives Vintage T-Shirt

Just based in this response, there were plenty of women, including me, buying Star Wars related merchandise at the Her Universe booth.
You can check out the entire lineup of new Her Universe fashions from Star Wars Celebration Anaheim!

#AtoZChallenge: Ultimate Star Wars

  
One of the most popular books at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim was the newly released Star Wars reference book, Ultimate Star Wars®.  


  

description from the DK Books product page

Ultimate Star Wars® is an in-depth visual feast exploring the characters and storylines from the Star Wars galaxy. This is a beautifully illustrated guide that is structured chronologically and packed full of information about key characters and storylines from the Star Wars movie saga, The Clone Wars, and Rebels™Ultimate Star Wars will get new and old fans caught up and knowledgeable on all things Star Wars.

Among the authors of this new reference book is fellow Fangirl and online friend, Tricia Barr.  

 

Photo courtesy of Tricia Barr’s Facebook page

She, along with fellow authors, Adam Bray, David Wallace and Ryder Windham celebrated the release of this book with a series of signings during Star Wars Celebration Anaheim.   

  

Photo courtesy of Tricia Barr’s Facebook page

Also, during the month of May, Tricia and her fellow authors will participate in the Ultimate Star Wars Book Tour.

Each tour stop will include a game of trivia, a Q&A with the author(s), a book signing and in-store raffles and giveaways. 

  

If you would like to meet Tricia or any of her fellow authors, this is a great opportunity! 

The official release date for Ultimate Star Wars® is April 28 and you can still preorder this book, like I did, from Barnes & NobelAmazon or other retailers.

So are you planning on checking out this book?

Will you be attending one of the Ultimate Star Wars book tour stops?

  


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