I.D. Crisis

I.D. Crisis

Broken

Shattered

Smashed

And torn to ribbons

Millions of tiny, little

Puzzle pieces

And among them is missing

The one piece of

My soul that

Used to ring

When played.

Why?

Why is it

Deflated, so

Underestimated,

Un-

Func-

Tion-

Ing;

I used

To be able to

Do it for hours

And stretch it

On for days

And my folks would think

Me

Crazy;

But now

… ….

Silence.

A bell tower

Without its most

Important

Component.

 

I am empty.

 

__________________________

Image Credit: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/12/writing-on-paper_n_5797506.html

Are YOU Ready to Become a Wife?

I know that many of you desire to be a wife someday. Some of you may even be wondering “Lord, when will I be married? I’m so tired of waiting!” A question I don’t hear a lot of singles ask is “God, am I ready to be a wife?” The truth is a lot goes into…

via Are You Ready to Be a Wife? — Project Inspired

I can really, really relate to this post– it seriously makes me question my marriageability. Lol.

“Halayda”– Fae a la YEAH!

“Halayda”– Fae a la YEAH!

 

Hey, y’all!

Sorry that it’s been AGES; work and stuff’s been driving me up the ROOF. But anyways, enough excuses– time to get down to the nitty-gritty.

Today I’m going to be reviewing a new fave book of mine, a book called, “Halayda,” the first in a series called the “Star-Fae Trilogy,” by Ms. Sarah D. White. (Who I would love to interview on here for you guys, but we’ll see what happens! 😉 She is really nice; we’re FB pals, and I’ve already asked her a good bit about the characters!) Long story short, I won the chance to get a free book from Uncommon Universes Press, an indie publishing company, and, after much contemplation, settled on this book (it was between that, the “World Building” book, and “Coiled”. Which I still may buy and review later.). This series is going to be my very clean sub for the “a lot less than clean,” Sarah J. Maas series, “A Court of Thorns and Roses,” which I have no to little desire to read namely because of aforementioned reason. But “Halayda’s” pretty clean– some cursing, here and there, but nothing super vile. For the most part, I was pretty satisfied and overall really liked the plot, the characters. But it distresses me, however, that, since it’s published by an indie publishing company, the hype is considerably less… so I’m going to be giving her a little boost in the marketing department… 😉

It was so good, but so under-hyped, that I was genuinely shocked that there was NO REAL ART OF HER CHARACTERS!!! (This is a book that’s good enough to be made into a movie that we’re talking about here.) I mean, aside from two portraits from Julia Busko of Taylan and Sylvie respectively (which were NOT how certainly pictured either of them– she forgot Sylvie’s waviness in her hair, and Taylan looks like a red-haired Legolas…), there was nothing, zip, nada. Which is why I’m eventually going to dedicate an entire post on here, my blog, to nothing BUT “Star Fae Trilogy” characters. I may not be as experienced an artist as Busko, and my phone may take extremely shoddy pictures, but it’s worth a shot at doing them justice! (Already did Casimir, since no one else did. I wanted him done the MOST, and man alive, did he turn out great! Sarah herself was very pleased 🙂 So that made my day! Taylan and Sylvie are up next– debating on whether to draw Syl with or without her wings– then Diza, then Zad.)

It also helped that a lot of the characters would often say, “Stars,” in amazement, reminding me immensely of The Lunar Chronicles.

(early apologies for formatting; my “insert,” tab is NOT favoring me today…)

Anyways, here’s my take on her, “Halayda” (I’ll do my best to limit major spoilers!):

Story Summary:

A mortal alchemist and a faerie king align and join forces to protect both their realms, but specifically the cruel, manipulative Star-Fae Casimir, who purposely endangers Faerie in order to draw out the Faerie Savior, known as the Dragonfly. Along the way, the protags are aided by sass masters, as well as hubby and wife, Zad and Diza, two other faeries (Pooka and Dulahna, respectively), some members of the Faerie Royal Court, and also– eventually– the Wild Hunt (consisting of pookas, kellishes, and cuanns 😉 Look ’em up!) in the task of stopping Casimir and restoring the realm.

What was Done Well:

  1. The Characterization. The characters were played off beautifully, so realistically. The sass could’ve been upped a tad for my taste, but I did enjoy the playful banter she had between Zad and Taylan, Sylvie sassing Casimir, and Diza sassing Velene. There’s no better verbal play against villainy than sassiness! 🙂 The romance was also subtle at times, not too mushy. That aside, I did like how she didn’t try to make her characters too perfect; Taylan had a HUGE skeleton in his closet and was very secretive, whereas Sylvie not only had the burden of saving the whole world shoved onto her shoulders all of a sudden, but she also was very insecure about herself, about her abilities. Her wanting to hide under her blankets and snuggle up when things got bad reminded me heavily of, well, me (Yes, I have a comfort pillow that I hug. A lot. Sue me.). She also reminded me greatly of Alina Starkov, in that aspect– both are very down about themselves and their abilities, and both have villains who kinda sorta take credit for giving said female protags power, and shame them when they don’t use it.insecuritygif
  2. The Detail. Some of it was more detailed than others, but I loved how she described the Wellspring, her characters’ appearances, the shifting mountain where all the past, present, and futures are connected and can be seen. AND THE FATE THREADS!!! She did herself very well in the world-building department. wellspring3. Suspense-Building. The tension was already there at the equinox party thingy, but it exploded into immediate chaos after Caylus and Cronies Co. decided to crash the party with tons of alchemical poisons, dousing Taylan’s realm and affecting everyone in it. Needlesstosay, some (OK, probably most) members of his Court were NOT too happy about it, and this builds up until we eventually reach… TREACHERY!!! (And the “lesser of two evils” kind of logic. Go figure.)treasongif4. The Faerie Groups. If you know me, I like categorization. I’d say order too, but then I’d be at risk of some nutjob like Casimir trying to butter up to me. But annnyyyywwwhhhoooo… I love categorization, like the factions in Divergent, like the Grisha orders in The Grisha Trilogy, etc. So naturally, I liked all the orders of Faerie put into the book for your convenience, so you weren’t totally lost.
  3. 5. Finally, I LOVED how she blended alchemy with magic– two worlds collide!! Literally. Enough said.

What Needed a Bit of Work:

  1. Plot talky– more tell than show. This was one of the few things that someone else pointed out that made me think, “They have a good point…” As much as I loved the book, the story, the characters, something was a little off. Something that was preventing it from FULLY achieving ULTIMATE GREATNESS, and being up there with the rest of the fabulous, really great books. That something was, primarily, not so much showing as telling. If it’s any consolation to Sarah, though, I’m probably equally guilty of this vice, and struggle with it quite often. I like to talk, to explain, when I NEED to learn to IMPLY. You can say just as much, if not more, than the average explanation by just implying or even STRONGLY implying something. She does sometimes, just not most of the time. And that’s OK– just something to remember and work on, in the future.
  2. The glossary at the front of the book. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVED the glossary, it was really, really helpful. BUT I feel like when you put it at the FRONT, right in FRONT OF the story you’ve written, it’s like you expect readers to memorize every little thing– and I know that’s not true, that it’s there to help clarify, and for their benefit. As a reader, I’d much rather look BACK, towards a glossary that’s in the same place as an index. Keep-Calm-and-Write-On
  3. Lastly, the cursing. Granted, I know, it’s a part of everyday speech. This comment is probably more of a personal preference, more than anything. I was a little surprised to find it in a believer-authored book, and although SUPER strong language isn’t used, it was still frequent enough to bother me a hair (I think it was actually more frequent in this book than in, “Shadow and Bone” O.O). For me, when I write, I’d much rather say, “So-and-so swore…” and get on with the rest of the sentence; I noticed Ted Dekker does that a good bit, as well. But maybe that’s just me. 🙂

Overall, great book from a great author. Am looking forward to reading book two of the trilogy when it hits the market early 2018, seeing the Diza-Casimir confrontation, and stopping whatever Casi’s up to next!

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (like I said– I’m a hard rater, but anything 3 and up is really good, by my standards!).

___________________________________

Image Credits:

http://jmhackman.com/2017/04/04/guest-post-by-sarah-delena-white-author-of-halayda/

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34210549-halayda

https://tenor.com/view/palpatine-treason-star-wars-emperor-gif-8547403

http://www.hippoquotes.com/davina-joy-quotes-tumblr

Happy (?) Belated Birthday

Happy (?) Belated Birthday

What do you

do

When the day you’re

To be

Celebrating

You

Becomes tarnished?

Tainted?

And you look at the sky

And wonder why

You’ve not been

Sainted

Like your twin

Above.

 

Birthdays are special,

It’s true;

They are a deliverance

Into light

Into life

Into a whole new world–

But at what cost?

How much pain have we

Inflicted

On our mothers

In delivery?

How much grief do we

Bring

Our loved ones

With our horribly inborn

Iniquity?

And yet, some do not

Celebrate

Their birthdays

Here, on Earth

But instead in the ethereal atmosphere,

Swathed in

Warm

Beautiful

Godly

Mirth.

Their birth is not

Earthly, they do not

Have to fear the pain

Of worldly sin

And rot

Until they are

Mere dust.

 

So be thankful for

Birthdays, whether

On earth or

In heaven;

Soon, fellow believers,

We will all be in

The Ether.

***********

Happy very belated birthday to my lovely twin up in heaven, even if we didn’t make it together (I guess that means you technically have a different b-day, huh? Oh well…). Can’t wait til we can celebrate together someday.

___________________________________

Image Credit: https://www.shutterstock.com/video/search/heavenly-clouds/

These Are Among My Favorite Things…

These Are Among My Favorite Things…

…To buy, at least.

At the risk of making this a too materialistic, too consumeristic post, I WILL say, in my defense, that most girls could use a little retail therapy, especially if they’ve just wrapped up with a very stressful finals week. Now, I know what many of you are thinking,

What’s she talking about?! I thought she was already done with all her finals and everything!!

Well, yes. That I am. BUT (key word here), many of you guys (or rather, gals) are just wrapping up finals, and I’m sure you could appreciate all the retail therapy in the world right now, am I right?!

shoppinggif

So, in the instance of you having NOT heard, there is this lovely little store online called, “Etsy”. It’s basically a crafting, and/or fangirly version of eBay, if you will– and it has almost EVERYTHING you could hope or dream for on it. I’ll share with you guys some of my favorite items on there, then some of the specific Etsy stores that I simply ADORE.

DivergentNecklace

Divergent fans, look no further. Find it from this shop: https://www.etsy.com/listing/217954598/these-three-birds-necklace-ii-divergent

How ’bout an adorable bike basket for running errands in town, or for just carrying your water bottle (and may some snacks) as you hit the trails this summer?

Bikebasket

Find this baby here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/480024769/natural-wicker-bike-basket

Did you know you can actually buy professionally made foods from Etsy, too? (always check the reviews first, to be safe, though) I actually really like Turkish Delight, particularly rosewater-flavored. Reminds me of/gets me in the mood to read or watch the “Chronicles of Narnia”!

TurkishDelight

This shop makes all kinds of flavors too, so it doesn’t even have to be rosewater-flavored (if that’s not your thing): https://www.etsy.com/listing/103865681/rose-flavored-turkish-delight

This is probably one of my favorite things on Etsy: a semi-do-it-yourself-pearl-kit. You buy a vacuum-sealed oyster with a pearl in it, and pick which pearl cage for the necklace that you want– there’s lots of variety, from a Cinderella carriage, to a rose, to a seashell or even a skull! I loved that the pearl color was a surprise (I think mine’s cream), and plan on getting my little cousin one for her birthday, since she too is a June baby.

Pearlkit

Find out more here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/476060633/pick-a-pearl-oyster-kit-freshwater-pearl

Love bath bombs? I’ve just the thing:

bathbomb

There’s much, much more where that came from (RustyTiramisu specializes in them! Even Pokemon ones!! Squeeeeee): https://www.etsy.com/listing/287750863/passionfruit-rose-with-rose-petal-bath

Who doesn’t love fairies/pixies?

fairynecklace

Find it here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/240514564/fairy-necklace-fantasy-necklace-sterling

Now, this little guy is a bit pricey, but if you save up enough, I guarantee he’ll be worth your moola…

plushHobbes

Yes, that is a plush Hobbes. Yes, he is the childhood toy you’ve always wanted. And yes, he’s waiting for you to take him home (I actually chose the slightly more expensive one to put on here, because the slightly less expensive one– still $90– is made out of felt, and looks a LOT stiffer– less cuddly. But if  you’d like to look at that one, too: https://www.etsy.com/listing/159045516/stuffed-hobbes ). Find your favorite “fictional” tiger here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/58101500/hobbes-tiger-plush-doll-version

Now, for some of my all-time favorite Etsy stores!

My biggest weakness on Etsy, by far and wide, is all the crazy-awesome bookish-based stuff they have on there, based directly off stories and characters. Introducing…

Novelly Yours

These peeps actually have their own separate candle store online (surprise, surprise), but they also have an Etsy store. Bookish candles are VERY “in” right now, in the literacy world (I mean, I know of SEVERAL other stores that also do it, including Meraki Candles, FlicktheWick, BurningPagesCandles, Fictional Flames, etc, etc, etc.), but Novelly Yours is definitely considered one of the best. Just look at their “Lunar Chronicles” candles:

candles1

They also include a slew of non-series specific candles including, “Villainous,” “Currently Reading,” “Shipping It,” “Plot Twist,” “Book Boyfriend,” and so much more! Find this and more: https://www.etsy.com/listing/290928427/the-lunar-chronicles-collection-2oz-soy

Speaking of bookish candles…

candles2

Photo of Narnia candle

(BTW, can you SAY, #bookstagram?)

I know I should probably post ONLY one bookish candle shop on here, but can’t help it– I love this shop, Bookworm Candles and Crafts, so much. They do ship specialty candles, candles based on specific characters, feelings in certain books, bookish monthly boxes, and even places/events. They do both candles and wax melts, sometimes simple jewelry and bookmarks (that you could probably make yourself), and used to even do body soap/butter (which I still have my Genya one… 😥 ). https://www.etsy.com/listing/533182225/book-vs-movie-candle-range-chronicles-of?ref=listing-shop-header-2

ReadandWonder specializes in bookish, well, bookmarks. BUT these are not just any bookmarks. They can be magnetic little characters from your fave stories, or fave book quotes. Behold the adorableness that is the chibi Grisha character cast:

readandwonder

Photo of ReadandWonder’s magnetic chibi bookmarks; left to right: Nikolai, Mal, Alina before Merzost, the Darkling, and Alina after Merzost. 

No, I am not squealing because of the adorableness of all the characters, except for Mal. Mal can go take a hike.

Next up, another personal fave, Bookish Sugar Scrubs! This 16 year old Etsier has a very good head for business, and, as you can probably guess by her title, she specializes in sugar scrubs based on bookish feels, characters, ships.  The specialty and regular scrubs are actually pretty affordable, usually only $6-7.

bookishsugarscrubs

Photo of “Dripping Moonlight”– “Caraval” inspired sugar scrub

Find ’em here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/bookishsugarscrubs?ref=l2-shopheader-name

Speaking of bookish spa and cosmetic items, look no further than “Stardust Cosmetics”. Originally set up under “PagesnPolish,” she changed it to include not only book-inspired nail polish, but also (VERY soon in the future, but not currently) eyeshadows! She’s currently having a special on nail polishes, a two for $12 special, when they’re normally $6.50 each!

stardustcos

Photo of “Heartrender,” a Grisha and Six of Crows inspired polish

Find ’em here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/StardustCos?ref=pr_faveshops

I am also a fan of the Etsy store Bookified, which legit sells you LETTERS FROM YOUR FAVORITE CHARACTERS (no, I am not making this up! You could get a letter from, say, Edmund Pevensie, Harry Potter, or even Peeta!).  She is fantastic; you won’t regret buying from her!(I’ve previously ordered a Darkling letter from her, and anxiously await my second.) Also, having recently returned from a huge Book Con, BEA, she has quite a few specialty letters left over– now on sale for only $4!!

bookified

Have your fave bookish character write to you from here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/498390481/custom-letter-from-a-book-character?ref=shop_home_active_3

Onto other shops that I absolutely love, they are mostly geekery– namely, Pokemon-based things. But still.

My first geeky shop is the Resinators. As their name implies, they can make plastic-y amulet-like jewelry– namely, Pokemon evolutionary stone jewelry. Including glow-in-the-dark thunderstone necklaces.

waterstone

Did I mention the glow-in-the-dark-thunderstone necklaces??

thunderstone

Find these babies here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/Resinators?ref=listing-shop2-all-items-count#items

While most well-known for her Poke plushies, Renchanshop also does quality plush work on the likes of characters from “Steven Universe,” “Sword Art Online,” “How to Train Your Dragon,” “Ouran Host Club,” “Sailor Moon,” and much more in the anime/cosplay department. Known for quality work, Ren’s merch is a tad pricey, but the quality AND the large size of her products (which, depending on each said product, may or may not be posable and even 1-2 feet or so tall) make it worth it. Only real complaint is the sticker eyes, though got lucky with Karisse, my giant shiny plush Zoroark– hers are embroidered. Here are only a few objects of her impressive handiwork:

Did I mention… she also does SHINY Pokes? 😉

Renchan4

Take THAT, GameFreak and Pokemoncenter.com! Find these not-so-little beauties here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/Renchanshop/items

Sew Me a River is a shop with a pretty similar concept to Ren, but slightly less expensive. The primary downside is that they limit shinies. But they often feature some Pokes that Ren doesn’t, and that the pokemoncenter.com will unlikely have in their store, such as Whimsicott:

SewMeARiver1

You obviously don’t have to be a genius to know good quality work when you see it, eh? Other elusive Pokemon plushies they sell: Goodra, Omanyte, Froslass, Furrett, Kabuto, Jumpluff, etc. They ALSO sell (and they should patent this idea, seriously):

SewMeARiver2

SLOWPOKE TAILS THEY’RE IN LEAGUE WITH TEAM ROCKET GUUUUYYYYSSSS….

JK, JK… But really, you can buy these things, as is or ON A KEYCHAIN (because everyone knows Slowpoke tails make driving in the rain to Slowpoke Well 100 x’s better 😉 ). Find it all here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/SewMeARiver/items

If you’re still banking on the cash, and some of these prices still make you squirm, (especially with Poke plushies nowadays), tell ya what: Fluctorissia. That way, it won’t eat you out of house and home, and if you just want a cute, floppy, cuddly lil Poke buddy, well, that’s where I bought Evelette (I had Fluctorissia make the ears slightly shorter, though). She also does the occasional Digimon, too.

Fluctorissia1

Find this cutie pie and more here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/Fluctorissia?ref=pr_faveshops

Lastly, TadingCardValhalla: “Where Heroes are Reborn.” Their slogan says it all: They take trading cards of ANY kind (Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Digimon, Naruto, you name it), and make them into necklaces, bracelets, or keychains. It’s where I got my very lovely N heart necklace… ❤

TCV1

Beautiful, are they not? https://www.etsy.com/shop/TradingCardValhalla/items?ref=pr_faveshops&section_id=11656731

Honorable Etsy Mention That Is No Longer on Etsy, But has an Online Store of Their Own:

BehindthePages. Her motto is to go beyond the boundaries of keeping fictional friends (and boyfriends 😉 ) fictional. She has a range of products, bookmarks, posters, perfumes, body soaps, lotions, and lip balms. My ONLY problem with her products is that the wording advertises it to be a bit more sensual than should ACTUALLY be considered; me, I just like the idea of either smelling or smelling like my fave fictional characters (I’m a weirdo, I know), or, as in the case of the Darkling, kissing them. Her site is http://www.behindthepagesstore.com .

Do YOU have a favorite online store, either indie or on Etsy? What is it, and why do you love it?

________________

Image Credit: https://giphy.com/gifs/sassy-shaytards-shopping-4MK7g7Q27nzag

 

Correspondence from… Ginger

Correspondence from… Ginger

Greetings all,

I am Ginger, Olivia’s lovely Vulpix friend. As my good acquaintance whom I sometimes very much regard as a sister, Eikon, has previously stated, I will occasionally be filling in every once and a while on here, when necessary. And it would seem that my input is desperately needed.

Since Eikon has given a previous introduction about herself, and presumably told you a bit about me, I will spare most details, save for that I do not like getting wet– particularly in a body of water, or in the rain– and I utterly loathe getting dirty. I always make it a policy to clean myself, or to get Olivia to clean me, directly before and after every battle I partake in. Some may call it a weakness of mine; let them laugh. There was worse weaknesses and fears in the world; for instance, Olivia fears tornadoes and other comparably large natural disasters (tidal waves, etc), in addition to hypnosis and dating. I cannot say with full confidence that I fault her for any of these things; it’s her more minor fear of trying new foods that I find a little ludicrous. Certainly, I am picky about some foods and how they are prepared, but really? She is the pickiest human, when it comes to food, that I have ever met. But I’m not here to just discuss her, oh no.

In addition to being clean, there are actually quite a few things I am rather fond of, that I seriously doubt Eikon revealed to you. I love being brushed; the gentle strokes of the soft bristles themselves are like being caressed; I know Olivia feels the same way when someone she trusts washes, strokes, brushes, or does her hair. My favorite food is cream, melted ice cream is also lovely, although I have a fondness for some spicy foods and good country fried steak if I can get it. I refuse to eat beans, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, cabbage, or carrots. I am not a rabbit, and am not an Eevee, like dear Evelette. I am not opposed to wearing ribbons around my neck, particularly if they are a pale gold, emerald green, sapphire blue, or turquoise.

While Eikon may tell you a lot of things, she certainly does not cover everything that has been happening in our lives lately– although, with some, I rather say I cannot blame her, as rough, boyish and uncivilized as she is. For instance, she neglected to mention that, shortly after our arrival home, Olivia, wonderful girl she is, set about preparing an “End of the School Year Mary Kay Spa Party” for her closest friends, and even her sweet cousin was invited. We had such a lovely time; the sugar scrubs and paw rubs in the nice, warm bath (and I normally do not like water) were quite comfortably relaxing. If I had been a human, I think I too should have been very thrilled to have tried some more cosmetics, but as a Vulpix, I do not think they would have gone very well with my rich, gingery fur. I think Olivia was initially worried about her cousin mingling with the rest, since she did not know them particularly well, but she blended in quite fabulously. Even I could have told her she had naught to worry about.

Another thing Eikon conveniently forgot to mention was that Olivia’s youngest brother is graduating from homeschool high school quite soon– he would have graduated much sooner, since he had accumulated so many credits already, but her parents held him back– and so he was forced to talk college credits from a local community college, similar to what Olivia did her first year, only he had more of a head start. Perhaps it was good that they did so; he has much yet to learn, and is really quite the arrogant one. One the other side, if he enters college officially with that much prior knowledge and skill, he will have the skills to perhaps back a few of his boasts. But, only time will tell what will occur…

Well, I must be off for now… Farewell!

Yours,

Ginger

_______________________

Image Credit: http://www.game-art-hq.com/103264/037-vulpix-used-fireblast-and-inferno/

“How Far I’ll Let It Go”: A Reviewing Contrast of Both “Frozen” and “Moana”

“How Far I’ll Let It Go”: A Reviewing Contrast of Both “Frozen” and “Moana”

What do “Frozen” and “Moana” have in common, you might say? They’re about almost completely different things, in literally ENTIRELY different settings!

Well, there is one MAJOR element they DO share: They are both INCREDIBLY hyped. As in, hyped beyond the imagination, so much that it can be immensely annoying to non-fans. Which is why I’m here to do a little comparison-contrast today. Let’s see how the two teams, “Team Frozen,” and “Team Moana” respectively, line up when it comes to:

Story

Culture

Sidekicks

Music

Villains

WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS! ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK!!!

First, let’s begin with story:

“Frozen”: A girl with magical ice powers is locked away from society, and is terrified of showing everyone what she can do. Meanwhile, her lonely kid sis longs to reconnect with her, but due to her being consistently shut out, makes her easy prey for the true bad guy of the movie, who proposes to her on the spot. Later, things go horribly wrong as said older sis with magical ice powers reveals said powers under stressful pressure and in refusing said younger sis’s request to marry said bad guy (who they don’t realize is a bad guy until the very end). So, long story short, older sis runs off to the wilderness to live alone so she can’t hurt anyone anymore, but in the process accidentally lets off her powers on FULL steam ahead, effectively freezing over EVERYTHING in the land. Younger sis treks off to find her sis and bring her back, accompanied by eccentric guy, a fairly intelligent reindeer, and an obnoxiously goofy snowman that everyone but me seems to adore (for the record, I was on Christoph’s side when he said he was gonna tell said obnoxious snowman that he would melt in summer time). They succeed in bringing the older sis back after a few mishaps, unveil and defeat said bad guy, and have a typical, la-de-da happy ending. My story rating: 6 out of 10. A bit predictable, fairly unoriginal, and probably would’ve been better had they stuck closer to the original “Snow Queen” script (bonus in going with the latter idea: No Olaughs.).

elsagif

“Moana”: A young island girl turned village chieftaness feels called to the ocean, but never really knows why. Her eccentric grandmother shows her that her islander people were once voyagers, but that all changed when a “demigod,” Maui, stole this ancient heart artifact thingy, which destroyed their main goddess thingy, and a terrible volcano demon monster started to terrorize the ocean, destroying islands and vegetation in its wake. In fact, it is this need for her people’s survival, along with the fact that the ocean chose her specifically to restore the heart thingy, that sets her on her own journey to hunt out Maui himself– the latter who, as it turns out, can’t do diddly squat without his precious hook. They have a run-in with a treasure collecting giant crab to find said hook, then set off to defeat the volcano beast of death– which actually turns out to be the aforementioned goddess of greenery and vegetation, only without her heart. With it restored, she in turn restores all life lost, from vegetation to Maui’s hook (which got totally fried in their fight). Moana then shows her people that there’s no need to be afraid of the ocean any longer, and they all return to their voyager roots, with her at the command. My story rating: 5.5 out of ten. I don’t know what exactly, but this story lacked something in the plotline, SEVERELY. Although, in fairness, I think that happens when you’re on a raft thingy for days with little provisions, a grumpy “demigod,” and essentially nothing going on. I did like Moana’s character, spunk and gumption though– brownie points for that.

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Culture:

“Frozen”: According to numerous sources, the setting of “Frozen” was heavily inspired by Scandinavia. It mimics their clothing, their building structures and even maypoles. My culture rating: 7 out of 10. 

“Moana”: Based on the Polynesian islands in Oceania, the film also hit some New Zealander spots– specifically with the tattoos both islanders and Maui receive. The filmmakers did some research on islanders, as well as Polynesian and even New Zealander mythology and history. Additionally, Maui is briefly seen performing a very short-lived haka, or intimidating New Zealander war dance (that I fully appreciated, seeing as I’ve a New Zealander friend from college who actually did his one presentation on Maori language and culture, including the haka, briefly even mentioning this film as he did so.), during the face-off with the volcano demon thingy. My culture rating: 7 out of 10. 

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Sidekicks:

“Frozen”: In both movies, there are two sidekicks. In “Frozen,” those sidekicks are Sven and Olaugh… oh, sorry, meant Olaf. Personally, I like Sven much better (he’s cuter and more intelligent, for one thing), but hey, if people want to super hype Olaf, go for it– just be aware that make people like me like him even less than we already do. Anywho, Sven proves pivotal in getting our heroes to the right place at the right time, whereas Olaf, who supposedly is normally “comic relief,” aids a badly in-need-of-aid Anna. I may not like Olaf, but at least he does something important. My sidekick rating: 5 out of 10. 

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(If only. If only.)

“Moana”: Two main sidekicks here are Hei hei the rooster and the porkchop (OK, OK, the piggy. You PETA people, sheesh.). They’re both essentially just Moana’s pets, and, I’ll be honest– they don’t do a whole lot for the story, sadly. The piggy, Mua, encourages Moana to go into the ocean, but is even more discouraged and frightened than she when that turns into an epic fail, and almost gets them both killed.  Hei hei, on the other hand, seems even less intelligent than Odie from Garfield (which is saying something), and only really reacts if it thinks it can eat something (even if it’s not edible– like a rock or the ancient artifact) or if its out in the middle of the ocean, practically alone. Annnnddd…. cue panic mode:

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Not saying it’s not funny, I am saying the rooster’s eyeballs probably take up like 90% of his lil noggin, and thus leave very, very little room for brains. Brains to help them out even remotely on their quest. Kudos for trying to be funny, though (was more successful than Olaugh, that’s for sure). My sidekick rating: 3.5 out of 10. 

Music:

“Frozen”: I personally think that “For the First Time in Forever,” is the even remotely decent song in the whole film. Just me, personally. Don’t even TALK to me about… you know… THAT song…. *runs off gagging* My music rating: 1.5 out of 10. 

“Moana”: “You’re Welcome” was majorly cliche (not to mention extremely narcissistic); even the giant, treasure-hoarding crab’s song was better than that. But Moana’s “How Far I’ll Go,” was terrific and beautiful, full of determination and inspiration. And, OK, I’ll admit that I’m biased– Alessia Cara did a FABULOUS remake job on it. My music rating: 6 out of 10. 

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Villains:

“Frozen”: OK, OK, “Frozen” may have won this one. May. Namely because there was an actual villain-villain to deal with, a classic Machiavellian. BUT they did need to work on make him a LITTLE more subtle. Yes, he was pretty subtle, and I would say that caught most off guard (to be fair to the franchise overall, I was warned in advance by a then kindergartner, a first-grader, and a second-grader, BEFORE I saw it. But that’s besides the point. I think I still would’ve at least been suspicious; no one goes THAT far into a movie without at least an indicator of who the bad guy is.) But for a total surprise, cue out motives. Sounds counterintuitive, I know, but hear me out. If they did that, no one would suspect, because he SEEMINGLY has no motives for doing what he does– just a gallant, gentlemanly figure trying to help out. Of course, NOT playing the “I’m the youngest out of several brothers,” card might make it slightly harder to win over the ladies. But on the other hand… maybe NOT.

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(That was a haymaker hook punch, BTW… a punch only really thrown on either street fights or boxing matches. Not really a proper punch.)

My villain rating is… 6 out of 10.

“Moana”: Saddens me to say this, but “Moana” actually fell a bit short in this department, considering the only real threats were a giant packrat of a crab, animated coconuts, and a humongous lava beast– the latter, the main  antagonist known as Te Ka, turning out to be the earth “goddess” from earlier. Shaaammmmeee, beating up on someone who isn’t really a bad guy but just is missing her heart and wants to make things right again. Shaaammmmee. That for the most part means we’re basically villain-less. For the most part.

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My villain rating: 2 out of 10. Namely because of the coconut guys. 

Annnndddd our totals are “Frozen” with 25.5 points, and “Moana” with 23 points. Ooooo, so close, but sadly, “Frozen” heads a bit with slightly better concepts in both the villainy and story departments than “Moana.” However, “Frozen” still falls flat on its face for lack of originality in some areas, and coming up short in the music department.

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On the the other hand, had they made “Moana’s” plot more thrilling and engaging, given Hua the porker and Hei Hei more to do than just be adorably funny, and given us a TRUE villain, it DEFINITELY would have beaten “Frozen,” hands down. I mean, let’s be honest– the animation in and of itself already outdoes “Frozen’s”. Off to a good start.

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Have you watched “Moana” and “Frozen”? What did you think?

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Image Credits:

https://www.tumblr.com/search/oc:%20te%20fiti

https://www.tumblr.com/search/anna%20punches%20hans

Moana GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

https://ohmy.disney.com/news/2013/11/20/our-favorite-gifs-from-the-frozen-clips/

Moana GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Moana GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

https://www.tumblr.com/search/artist:haka

https://tenor.com/view/frozen-olaf-impaled-hurt-oh-gif-4693646

https://www.tumblr.com/search/heihei.

http://screenrant.com/moana-frozen-box-office-prediction/