July 2017 Wrap Up

I cannot believe that July is almost over. At the beginning of the month I set myself a very ambitious TBR list, so I thought I’d  give you a quick update on my progress.

Unsurprisingly, I did not read every book on my TBR list.

Here’s what I did read this month:

  1. The Dream Thieves, Blue Lilly, Lilly Blue, and The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

Rating: 5/5

I started Maggie Stiefvater’s Raven Cycle last month and I had such a hard time getting anything else read because I was so obsessed with them.

I absolutely love Maggie Stiefvater’s writing style. It’s the perfect balance of real and fantastical,

and I love how easily I get lost in the world she’s created inside our own.

I really just want to friends with Blue and her boys.

  1. A Court Of Thorns And Roses by Sarah J. Mass

Rating: 3/5

I had such a hard time getting into this book. The beginning of the story seemed to drag on forever. It wasn’t until about halfway through the book that I really started to care about what happened to Feyre.

I’m planning on finishing the series, but I’m not sure I’ll like it as much as I thought I would.

  1. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Rating: 5/5

I was absolutely blown away by how powerful this book is. It’s got a powerful message, and a wonderful cast of characters. It made me laugh and cry in the span of about an hour.

  1. Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu

Rating: 5/5

Moxie doesn’t come out for another few months, but I was lucky enough to get my hands on an ARC. I mean, it’s a feminist novel that comes with a recommendation from Amy Pohler herself. What more could you ask for?

  1. Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Promise by Gene Yang

Rating: 5/5

Avatar: The Last Airbender is one of my favorite TV series of all time, and I’ve been wanting to read these comics for years. I was pleasantly surprised by how well they captured the essence of what I love about the series.

  1. Saga Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughn

Rating: 4/5

Several people have recommended Saga to me recently, so I decided to check out Vol. 1. I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone who’s uncomfortable with more mature themes, but I was intrigued by the story. Looking forward to reading more.

  1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

Rating: 5/5

Do I really need to explain?

So, that’s it for July. I hope you all had a wonderful month. I’ll need some reading recommendations for August, so let me know what you think I should read next.

Harry Potter and the Amazing Family Bonding Session

Happy Wizarding Wednesday everybody!

Last Friday was 10 year anniversary of Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows. I honestly wouldn’t have remembered if John Green hadn’t tweeted about it, which is why this post is kind of late. Oh well.

I was very unprepared for the 10 year anniversary of Deathly Hallows. I was just scrolling innocently through twitter when, out of the freaking blue, I got hit with this monuments news, and suddenly I felt super old.

HOW IN THE WORLD HAS IT BEEN TEN YEARS?!??!?!?!?!?!?!?!!

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It may seem very strange that I’m freaking out about this so much, but Harry Potter was my childhood. It’s been TEN YEARS since one of my absolute favorite childhood memories.

Let me explain further…

I am incredibly lucky to have grown up with parents who support all of my passions, from music, to writing, to fandom. In fact, most of the things that I love were introduced to me by at least one of them.

My parent’s and I have been reading books together at bedtime since before I was born, which means I’m not actually sure how old I was the first time I read the first six Harry Potter books  because they were read out loud to me.

I do remember the first time I read Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows. I was six years old that summer, and it was pretty much the biggest moment of my entire life. I mean, the world went kind of insane.

I remember sitting in my grandparent’s living room, waiting for my parents to come home from the midnight release at our local Hastings (rip), watching the news coverage of celebrations happening all around the world.

The book came out on a Saturday, and my parents and I spent the next three to four days snuggled up on our sofa, reading the book together.

We took turns reading chapters out loud. We didn’t leave the house for anything, not even food. Our diet consisted mostly of leftover pizza. We only paused for bathroom breaks, sleep, and my emotional meltdown when Dobby died.

People talk about the amazing power of Harry Potter, and how it brings together people from all around the world, from all walks of life. I think that’s really amazing, but for me Harry Potter will always be about family.

Some Thoughts On Movie Adaptations

We all have a sort of Love/Hate relationship with movie adaptations. On the one hand, the idea of seeing your favorite characters brought to life on screen is super exciting. On the other hand, they’re usually pretty bad.

Even the best adaptations have their flaws. Everyone generally loves the Harry Potter movies, but there are some characters who fell flat, and some scenes that left something to be desired.

For some reason, Hollywood likes to screw with the characters/storylines of our favorite books. I understand that it’s super annoying, but we, as a community, need to stop taking it out on the authors we love.

Recently, two of the worst movie adaptations of all time, A Series of Unfortunate Events, The and The Mortal Instruments, have been made into successful TV shows.

Another disappointing adaptation, The Golden Compass, is slated to return as a TV series on the BBC. I couldn’t be more excited about the new show, considering the fact that the His Dark Materials series is one of my all time favorites, and the movie was so bad it made me cry.

Unfortunately, there’s one series with an absolutely horrible movie adaptation that probably won’t be turned into a TV show any time soon. That’s the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan.

How do I even start to talk about the Percy Jackson movies. They did so many things wrong, but I think their biggest mistake was casting the characters so much older than they are in the books. They also didn’t try very hard to stick to the plot line of the stories. I think the fact that Rick hasn’t even bothered to watch them, pretty much sums up how terrible these movies were.

Percy Jackson fans have been harassing Rick about turning the series into a TV show for years. Here’s what Rick has to say about it: http://rickriordan.com/about/frequently-asked-questions/

Fox owns the movie/TV rights to Percy Jackson, and they aren’t willing to sell them. Any decisions about a TV show would be made by them, and they probably wouldn’t consult Rick about a TV show any more than they did with the movies. Basically, stop bugging Rick about this. It’s not in his power.

Shocking, right? Unfortunately, most authors have very little power when it comes to TV and movie adaptations of their work.

They also have no say in casting.

For some reason, fans get really ugly when it comes to casting, and authors usually end up taking the brunt of it.

John Green literally has it in his twitter bio that he has nothing to do with casting movies, because every time they make a movie out of one of his books his fans get super nasty.

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Other authors, like Jenny Han and Angie Thomas, have been getting lots of flack about the casting in their upcoming movies.

Let’s get a couple things straight.

  1. AUTHORS ARE NOT IN CHARGE OF CASTING.
  1. Tweeting them pictures of your favorite face claim isn’t going to change that.
  1. You are not entitled to your dream cast.
  1. Whoever is in charge of casting is most likely not going to pick your dream cast members.
  1. Their job is to pick the best actor/actress for the role. That might turn out to be a fan favorite, but it probably won’t.
  1. I’m not saying you can’t have a dream cast. Dream casting is super fun, as long as you don’t get super ugly about it.
  1. Amandla Stenberg does not have the time to be the main character in every single movie/tv show. (Although she will be starring in the The Hate U Give movie.)
  1. Even if the cast isn’t your dream cast, it’ll probably be wonderful. Try to reserve judgment until you see the final product.
  1. Even if the movie/tv show turns out to be a disappointment, you’ll still have the wonderful books that you love.

Safe As Life: A Raven Cycle Playlist

It’s finally here! At long last I have completed the highly unanticipated Raven Cycle playlist.

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Look how pretty guys. I’m so in love omg.

If you’ve been reading my blog, or following me on Instagram, then you’ve probably been witness to my Raven Cycle freak out.

I’m pretty sure the last time I fell in love with a series so fast and so hard was when I read Cinder. Funnily enough, the first playlist I ever posted on the blog was my Lunar Chronicles playlist.

As you can tell, whenever I get obsessed with a book/character I associate them with the music I’m listening to, which means each song in the playlist corresponds to one of the main characters in The Raven Cycle. I had to keep it down to Blue, Gansey, Ronan, Adam, and Noah or else there would be like a million songs on here.

Maggie Stiefvater has an incredibly distinct writing style, which means that The Raven Cycle has a certain unique feel to it that was incredibly hard to capture through music.

Like always, even if you haven’t read The Raven Cycle (which you totally should), I’m pretty sure you’ll like the playlist anyway. It’s got some of my all time favorite songs on it.

Playlist Here: https://play.spotify.com/user/evalyn4200/playlist/3VsY6Cw2ITsMDFRvzbMwS9

I’ve provided a helpful key for you guys, telling you which songs go with each character, because I love you and I want you to properly appreciate my musical genius.

Blue Sargent- “The Mirror”

Gimme Sympathy//Metric

“We’re so close to something better left unknown…”

Woodland//The Paper Kites

“Won’t stop running till we reach the sun…”

like that//Bea Miller

“So what if I’m not everything you wanted me to be?”

Drive//Oh Wonder

“You sent this hurricane now it won’t go away…”

Bad Liar//Selena Gomez

“You’re taking up a fraction of my mind…”

Richard Gansey III- “The King”

Gold//Wise Children

“Well I might find gold here, but I’m miles form you…”

Northern Downpour//Panic! At The Disco

“Genius only comes along in storms of fabled foreign tongues…”

Underground//Cody Fry

“You found me here, underground.”

The Green And The Town//AJR

“But we will live among the giants, before the giants learn to run…”

Somewhere Only We Know//Keane

“This could be the end of everything…”

Ronan Lynch- “The Dreamer”

Graveyard Whistling//Nothing But Thieves

“Lets go out tonight, kill some stubborn myths…”

Immortals//Fall Out Boy

“I’ll be the guard dog of all your fever dreams…”

Oxford Comma//Vampire Weekend

“Through the pain I always tell the truth…”

Hey Bulldog//The Beatles

“You don’t know what it’s like to listen to your fears…”

Let’s Fall In Love//Mother Mother

“Only the unlucky of us get to do it…”

Noah Czerny- “The Ghost”

The Moss//Cosmo Sheldrake

“Legend has it that the moss grows on the north side of the trees…”

Ghosting//Mother Mother

“You don’t need poltergeists for sidekicks…”

Soul Meets Body//Death By Cutie

“If the silence takes you then I hope it takes me too…”

Migrane//Twenty One Pilots

“Sometimes to stay alive you’ve gotta kill your mind…”

Spelled In Bones//Fruit Bats

“There’s noting more to say…”

Adam Parrish- “The Magician”

I Wanna Get Better//Bleachers

“I didn’t know I was broken ’til I wanted to change…”

Hurricane//Panic! At The Disco

“I believe that half the time, I am a wolf among the sheep…”

Drag//Day Wave

“I don’t wanna be a drag…”

Cocoon//Milky Chance

“I will bleed instead of you…”

Mother Nature’s Son//The Beatles

“Born a poor young country boy, Mother Nature’s son…”

How Harry Potter Made Me A Writer

Hey guys! I’m back with another installment of Wizarding Wednesday! You all really seemed to love the first one, so I’m really excited to continue on with the series.

This week I’d like to talk to you guys about dreams.

You see, for as long as I can remember it’s been my dream to become a published author. For years I’ve been working on an array of different writing projects, from half finished novels to Doctor Who fan fiction.

Thats right. I write fan fiction, and I’m not ashamed to say it.

For me, fan fiction is a way to practice writing every day without having to worry about picky little things like characters and world building. I just get to focus on weaving pre-existing characters into original plot lines.

Its also a way for me to connect with like minded people, and get instant feedback on my writing. In the five years I’ve really been a part of the community I’ve made so many great friends, and my writing has improved substantially.

Funnily enough, I’m pretty sure that my first original piece of writing was a fan fiction. Although, at age six, I’m pretty sure had no idea what fan fiction was. All I knew was that I was incredibly upset with the ending of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. (Poor little Eva had no idea what was coming for her later that year when Deathly Hallows was released.)

I channeled all the hurt and rage I felt over Sirius Black’s death into writing Harry Potter 5.5, where it was revealed that when Sirius fell through that barrier in the Department of Mysteries he really just ended up in another dimension. (This idea may have been heavily influenced by Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series.)

I was completely dedicated to the idea. I even drew some very beautiful illustrations for it. Unfortunately, I have no idea where all that hard work ended up, because about a week later I moved on to my next project: A book about girls who talk to animals. (I do still have that if anyone is interested in seeing it.)

While I never finished my lovely Harry Potter fan fiction, or that book with the talking animals, I also never stopped writing. (Or got over Sirius Black’s death)

So, I’d like to dedicate this post (and hopefully all of my future best sellers) to JK Rowling, Phillip Pullman, Rick Riordan, and any other wonderful author who’s ever killed off a character I loved. Without you guys I might never have discovered my true passion.

Bookish Adventures in Kansas City

I’m back!

You guys probably didn’t notice I was gone, but, just in case you were wondering, I’ve spent the past several days on vacation with my family in Kansas City. While we did regular vacation-y things, like visit art museums and freak out over really cute animals at the zoo, we also made a couple more unusual stops.

Since Hastings went out of business, my town no longer has an actual bookstore. If you want a book you have to cross your fingers and hope that it’s either at Walmart or the used bookstore downtown. So when we decided that we were coming to Kansas City, I did a little research on bookstores in the area.

Out of the three stores I discovered online, we were only able to make it to Rainy Day Books. They’re well known for bringing in authors for talks and signings, and although there wasn’t an author there the day we visited, I did discover a shelf full of signed books.

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I’d already decided to buy myself this lovely paperback copy of Carry On by Rainbow Rowell, as it had been on my To Buy list for an incredibly long time. Then I stumbled upon the signed books shelf, where I found a signed copy of Carry On AND a signed collectors edition of Eleanor & Park!

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But the bookish fun didn’t stop there. After I left Rainy Day Books, clutching my precious cargo close to my chest lest it be taken from me by some cruel twist of fate, I headed down to the Kansas City Central library.

The Kansas City library is one of the coolest libraries I’ve ever been to, and I’m saying this as someone who, for various reasons, has probably been to more libraries than the average person.

For starters, this is their parking garage.

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The building itself is absolutely huge, and used to be a bank, so it’s got a bunch of interesting history to it. Some highlights of the building include an old bank vault that they’ve converted into a small movie theater, a rooftop garden area complete with a giant chess set, and old sniper nests in the main lobby area. If you look closely at the front go the building you can see where they filled in bullet holes from the one time someone tried to rob the place, back when it was still a bank.

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I had a wonderful time on my trip, but I’m incredibly glad to be back home.

Have any questions about my trip? Want to know more about the places I visited? Just want to freak out with me about my new Rainbow Rowell books? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you.

 

My Lifelong Quest To Be As Awesome As Ginny Weasley

I’ve decided to start a little thing here on the blog called Wizarding Wednesday, where I share a little bit of my Harry Potter love with you guys.

Today’s Topic: Absolute BAMF, Ginny Weasley.

When I was a little girl I really wanted to be Ginny Weasley. Even though I’m probably more of a Hermione, and Movie Ginny was pretty depressing, my love for Ginny Weasley is still raging strong. I mean, who doesn’t love Ginny Weasley?  She holds her own among her six older brothers. She was possessed by Lord Voldemort at age 12 and handled it better than Ron did at age 17. She kicks ass at Quidditch. She married her celebrity crush. We should all aspire to be Ginny Weasley.

As a little girl, I think I was drawn to Ginny because of her confidence and her freckles. I was a super shy, incredibly bookish kid with a face full of freckles that I hated. I guess I thought that I Ginny Weasley could make it through being possessed by Lord Voldemort AND having freckles, then I could get over my shyness too.

In first grade I had a bully who masqueraded as my best friend. It was a tough time in my life. The next year I read the entire Harry Potter series by myself. The books really helped me move on and learn how to be myself again without being afraid. That year I decided I wanted to be Ginny Weasley for Halloween.

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My grandma sewed me my very own Hogwarts uniform, and my mother crocheted me this lovely Gryffindor scarf. (She still hasn’t gotten around to the Hufflepuff one I requested ages ago.)  I refused to let them color my hair, some did the next best thing. We sprayed a blonde wig with red hairspray. I wore that wig long enough to take this picture, but it was too itchy for me to keep on all night.

I then proceeded to get incredibly offended every time someone asked me if I was Hermione.

These days I would be charmed (haha get it?) if someone compared me to Hermione, but if I’m in a situation where I need a little confidence I always ask myself, WWGWD?

What Would Ginny Weasley Do?

Side Note: About two years ago I actually did dye my hair red, and I adored it. I could totally pass for a Weasley.

Six Wonderful Contemporary Reads

There’s nothing I love more than a great fantasy novel, but every once in a while I read a contemporary novel that I absolutely adore. From sappy romance, to feminist rage, here are six of my favorite contemporary novels of all time.

1. The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

Andie Walker is fully aware of the importance of a good plan. Growing up with a congressman for a father she’s learned to always be prepared, which is why she’s got her summer all planned out with an exciting new internship. Unfortunately, a scandal involving her father causes her plans to fall completely apart, leaving Andie forced to scramble to make a new one.

The Unexpected Everything is the perfect summer romance read. It’s got everything from ice cream, to scavenger hunts, to adorably nerdy guys you wish weren’t fictional so you could date them yourself. And of course there’s dogs. Lots of dogs.

2. Let It Snow by John Green, Lauren Myracle, and Maureen Johnson.

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Let It Snow is my absolute favorite book to read during the winter. It’s a collection of three short romances, each written by a different author, all set around Christmastime.

I love all three of the stories so much that I can’t decide which one is my favorite. They’re all heartwarming and hilarious. Nothing gets me more into the Christmas spirit.

3. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

For years Cath’s life has revolved around the Simon Snow series. After their mother walked out on them, reading Simon Snow helped Cath and her twin sister Wren get through their childhood. They’ve spent years reading the books, watching the movies, and even writing fan fiction together. In fact, Cath is one of the most well known Simon Snow fanfic authors.

Aside from Wren, Simon Snow is the most constant thing in Cath’s life.

Except Wren has decided that she doesn’t want to be Cath’s roommate for their freshman year of college. Wren think’s they’re too old for Simon Snow.

Cath’s whole world is changing, and she’s very unprepared for it. Especially if it means having to give up Simon Snow.

I really loved reading Fangirl because of how much I relate to Cath. While her anxiety might be a lot worse than mine, we both turned to books as for refuge from our problems. As a person who has read and written tons of fan fiction in the past few years, I really appreciated how accurate the depiction of being in a fandom was.

When it comes to Fan Fiction the rule of thumb is: The fluffier the better. Fangirl is one of the only books that has given me the same “butterflies in my stomach” feeling that reading a good fanfic can. I ship Levi and Cath like nobody’s business.

4. The Statistical Improbability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

This is one of the cutest romance novels I’ve ever read. It’s about a girl named Hadley who meets a really cute guy on a plane. It’s totally improbable which makes it a thrill to read. It’s the perfect short read when you need a little romantic pick me up.

5. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

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This is one of the most wonderful, inspiring books I’ve ever read. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, it’s the story of a girl named Starr who witnesses he best friend being shot and killed by a policeman, and how her life changes because of it.

It’s a wonderful story about family, and fighting for what you believe in, and it made me cry like four times. I can’t wait to read Angie’s next novel.

6. Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu

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Vivian’s mom used to be a Riot Grrrl in the 90s, but those days are long gone, the remnants of her “Misspent Youth” shoved in a back in the back of her closet. Viv is far from the rebellious teen that her mother was, but after witnessing a series of sexist incidents at her school she’s inspired to take a stand by her mom’s Riot Grrrl past.

Viv creates an anonymous zine called Moxie to vent her frustrations about the sexist boys in her class. Before she knows it, girls across her school have banded together in the name of Moxie, and it appears that Viv has accidentally begun a feminist revolution.

Moxie won’t be released until September 19th, but I was lucky enough to get my hands on an arc of it. It’s such an inspiring book, and I encourage you all to snatch up a copy as soon as it’s released.

Book Review: Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi

I recently finished Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi, so I thought I’d share some of my thoughts on it with you guys.

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Let’s start with what it’s about:

Nobody thinks Alice Alexis Queensmeadow will amount to much of anything. In her home of Ferenwood, color is a sign of magic. The more color you have the more magic you have, and the more magic you have the more important you are.

Alice was born without color, and when her father, the only person who really believed in her, goes missing, she becomes an outcast in her own home. Alice is determined to prove her worth by traveling to the magical and dangerous land of Furthermore to rescue him.

There were some things I really loved about the book.

I absolutely enjoyed reading this story because of the lovely voice. Tahereh Mafi has one of the most distinct writing styles I’ve ever read. The idea of Furthermore is incredibly unique, and I totally enjoyed the weird whimsical elements of the world.

I also really liked Alice’s character development. I’m always a sucker for a girl realizing how great she really is. However, I felt like there wasn’t much to the actual story aside from character development and whimsy.

I felt like the book spent a lot of time setting up this great, wonderful adventure story. And then it never really delivered. It seemed like at some points the story only progressed because of something that happened on accident to the characters, and the end of the story seemed incredibly rushed.

Still, I really loved the idea of Furthermore, and the writing style was wonderful. If you’re more interested in character development than plot then this is definitely a good book for you.

Here’s Why I Think Rick Riordan Gets Diversity Right

I’ve been wanting to talk about this for a long time, so bear with me here folks.

It’s time to talk about Uncle Rick.

There will be spoilers (duh)

Just in case you didn’t know, Rick Riordan, one of my favorite authors of all time, is best known for writing the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. It’s a wildly popular book series based on classic Greek mythology. It’s so popular that he’s written TWO spinoff series, The Heroes of Olympus and Trials of Apollo series, along with two other series Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard and The Kane Chronicles, all based on different mythologies. (Greek, Roman, Norse, and Egyptian)

This has gotten mixed reviews from audiences. Some people criticize Riordan’s writing, saying that he’s beating a dead horse, while others praise him for managing to get an entire generation interested in mythology. Recently, he’s been getting lots of attention because of the diversity of the characters he’s writing.

Some people are upset by his inclusion of openly LGBTQIA+ characters in his recent books. Others are offended by a muslim main character who wears a hijab. People have stopped reading his books, claiming he’s becoming “Too political.” I don’t understand that. Having a diverse cast of characters in a book isn’t political, it’s an accurate representation of real life.

Then there’s the group of people who, although they are excited about the diversity in Rick’s books, criticize him because they feel like he’s jumping on the band wagon. They accuse him of adding diverse representation into his books to get more readers.

All I can think is that these people must not have read his earlier series, because for as long as I’ve been reading his books (And I’ve been reading them for a while now) Rick has always been wonderful at representation.

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Here’s why I think Rick Riordan gets diversity right.

Let’s start with Percy Jackson shall we?

The idea for the Percy Jackson series came from the bedtime stories that Rick used to tell his son Hayley. He started out with actual greek myths, but when he ran out of those, Hayley suggested he make up his own. Thus Percy Jackson was born.

Because Hayley had recently been diagnosed with ADHD and Dyslexia, and was struggling with them, Riordan made Percy struggle with them too. In the series, most of the demigods have ADHD and Dyslexia because of their godly blood. They didn’t succeed despite of those things, they were able to fight monsters because they were different.

Although it dealt with things like learning disabilities, bullying, mental illness, and abuse, The original Percy Jackson series was, admittedly, not very racially diverse. Rick got lots criticism for that. He also gets criticism for adding racially diverse characters to his Heroes of Olympus series because it felt “Too Forced”

It kind of makes me want to scream.

Four out of seven of the main characters the Heroes of Olympus series are POC characters.

Leo Valdez is a Hispanic son of Hephaestus, Piper McLean, daughter of Aphrodite, is half Cherokee, Frank Zhang is a Chinese Canadian son of Mars, and Hazel Levesque, daughter of Hades, is black.

I’ve seen people online who claim that characters like Piper and Frank have very little characterization outside of their race. They even claimed that Piper being Native American is unrealistic because of how “rare” Native American people are. (Obviously this person doesn’t live anywhere near Oklahoma, the state where Piper was born.) While these characters do often mention their cultures, I don’t see it as Rick’s way of reminding everybody “Look at these diverse characters!”

Culture is something that is very important to some people. The values of your culture can help define who you are, as is the case for Reyna Arellano, or it can connect you to family, as is the case for Piper and Frank. The two of them are both dealing with the whole “Woah Greek/Roman gods are real!” situation. It makes perfect sense to me that they would relate this new world back to the cultures they grew up with/around.

And then there’s Nico DiAngelo.

Rick has gotten such backlash because of his decision to have Nico DiAngelo come out as gay during the Heroes of Olympus series. I think many of the people who were upset were probably fangirls who considered Nico to be their fictional boyfriend.

Throughout the PJO and HoO series Nico DiAngelo has had such an important redemption arc. We’ve watched him struggle to come to terms with himself,  trying find a place to belong after the death of his sister. We’ve seen him tempted by darkness, but eventually pulling through in order to help his friends. Don’t even get me started on how wonderful his relationship with his half sister Hazel is. It makes me indescribably happy to see him happy again in the ToA series.

Rick has stuck with the LGBT+ inclusion in the Trials of Apollo series, which features an openly bisexual main character. There are also two happy, loving same sex couples featured in the series.

Riordan’s Magnus Chase series has been getting tons of praise for it’s inclusion of:

  1. Magnus himself, who is homeless at the beginning of the series.
  2. Samirah Al Abbas, an Arab American Valkyrie, who wears a hijab throughout the series and is generally badass.
  3. Blitzen, a male dwarf with a passion for fashion.
  4. Hearthstone, a deaf elf who communicates through sign language. Throughout the series other characters are shown learning sign language so that they can easily communicate with him.
  5. And of course Alex Fierro, who is not only transgender/gender-fluid, but is also the main love interest in the series. I could write a whole separate post on how well I think Alex’s sexuality and pronoun use are addressed. While I myself do not identify as trans, I do believe that Riordan did a great job of explaining what it means to be trans/gender fluid, while still clarifying that everyone’s experiences are different.

Then there’s the Kane Chronicles, a.k.a the series that everyone always forgets about.

This series is the reason I get confused when people are surprised by the racially diverse characters in Rick’s newer books. Like, how can anyone be surprised by that when the Kane Chronicles exists?

You see, unlike pretty much every Hollywood movie about Egypt ever created, Rick acknowledges the fact that Egyptians are POC. This means that a majority of the main characters in The Kane Chronicles are either POC, or an Egyptian god with an animal for a head.

The two main characters, Carter and Sadie Kane, are siblings from a mixed race family. Despite the fact that they we’re raised in separate households, they still have one of the best brother sister relationships I’ve ever read about. They argue a lot, but Sadie, who inherited their mother’s blonde hair and fair skin, actually gets incredibly offended whenever people assume they aren’t related.

I find it really puzzling that The Kane Chronicles is so unpopular compared to Rick’s other series. I recently reread the series and I loved it just as much as the PJO and HoO books. Naturally, I did what I usually do when I love a book series. I made a Kane Chronicles playlist. Unlike my Lunar Chronicles playlist, this playlist is actually designed to follow the storyline of The Kane Chronicles. Meaning that it’s totally composed of songs that remind me of different scenes in the trilogy.

Link Here: https://play.spotify.com/user/evalyn4200/playlist/0q4fppNVFig4Wk9JXRByj9

Want to share your thoughts on Rick Riordan’s writing? Do you agree that The Kane Chronicles is underrated? Have a guess at which songs correspond to which scenes? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

-Eva