The 2016 Movie Superlatives (Only Two Weeks Late!)

Let me be honest with you guys: 2016 was not my best year for movies.

On the upside, I finished my Disney Princess Movie Challenge! On the downside, well . . . 2016 was probably a record low for how many movies I watched and reviewed, and unfortunately, I didn’t exactly love a lot of the movies I did watch. I’ve also decided not to do a film challenge this year because I need a little more stress-free time dedicated to non-blog writing. (Although there were still be reviews, promise! In fact, I have two to work on after I finish this epically long bastard. I may try to make some of them a little shorter, though. It would save me some much needed time–although, clearly, brevity isn’t my strong suit.)

With all that being said, let’s get right to it, shall we? It is time for THE 2016 MOVIE SUPERLATIVES.

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“I Am One With The Force. The Force Is With Me.”

Mekaela and I spent Christmas in Taft, California this year, visiting our dad. Taft is a small place in the middle of absolute nowhere (though, in fairness, I feel obligated to point out that it is actually larger than the place I grew up) and during the holidays, when everything is closed downtown except the movie theater and one corner mini market, Taft feels quite a bit like an actual ghost town. Which made walking through it pretty awesome, actually.

As none of us had seen Rogue One yet, the family St. George decided to watch it on Christmas afternoon. Considering the movie had come out weeks before and I had just spent the last hour walking through a town that I had happily pretended was post-Rapture, I thought there was a more than decent chance that I would finally, finally see a movie with no one but the people who had accompanied me to the theater.


Alas. Others emerged, like total bastards, and ruined my Christmas miracle. The Grand Movie Theater Dream remains unrealized.
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The 2016 Book Superlatives (Length: EPIC)

It is time, my friends. Yesterday, I posted the list of all the books and graphic novels I’ve read in 2016, and today I will review them in my customary way: superlatives! (Clearly, a tormented piece of my soul will always be trapped in high school.)

To be upfront: the greater majority of my Book Superlatives are positive and/or silly because this is meant to be fun, and because I realized how shitty I’d feel if something I wrote ever got singled out as Worst Book Of The Year or something. However, there are some critical superlatives–Most Annoying Romance, for example–because I do look at these awards as (admittedly oddly formatted) reviews, and also because I’ve never not had multiple candidates for that particular category. I do, however, generally try to say positive things about a book even when I’m highlighting something particularly negative, which, honestly isn’t usually all that hard. There are often a number of things I like about even those novels that frustrate me: Most Annoying Romance, for instance, actually went to a book that I otherwise enjoyed quite a bit, even envied if I’m being honest, cause, damn that author can write.

If you are a published novelist who has somehow stumbled onto my little blog and don’t necessarily want to get blindsided by the possibility of seeing something negative about your novel, I totally get that: feel free to check out that link of stuff I read this year and see if any of your work is even on the table before making your decision. For anyone who is interested in reading, welcome! Today’s post will be full of super important awards like Favorite Sidekick, Chief Asshat, Book I Would Most Like To See As A Video Game, and Best Boo-Yah Moment. There will also be a list of my Top 10 Favorite Books of the Year, if that kind of thing interests you, and a list of my many, many favorite book quotes I read this year. God help me.

Shall we begin?

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The Books & Comic Books of 2016

I’m unlikely to finish anything else before 2016 ends (writing, currently, is taking up a lot my scheduled reading time), so here’s what I read this year. It’s, er, down from last year, and considering last year was less than I wanted it to be too . . . well, hell with it, it’s what I got.

(Comics are italicized and non-fiction books are bolded. You’ll notice there’s a serious, serious lack of non-fiction books.)

  • Bone Gap – Laura Ruby
  • The Rest of Us Just Live Here – Patrick Ness
  • Star Wars: Before the Awakening – Greg Rucka
  • The Girl From the Well – Rin Chupeco
  • The Devourers – Indra Das
  • Courtney Crumin: The Night Things, Vol. 1 – Ted Naifeh
  • Broken Homes – Ben Aaronovitch
  • Sex Criminals, Volume 1: One Weird Trick – Matt Fraction
  • Sex Criminals, Volume 2: Two Worlds, One Cop – Matt Fraction
  • Cuckoo Song – Frances Hardinge
  • Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo
  • Silver on the Road – Laura Ann Gilman
  • Every Heart a Doorway – Seanan McGuire
  • NimonaNoelle Stevenson
  • Borderline – Mishell Baker
  • The Killing Joke – Alan Moore
  • Batgirl, Vol. 1 – The Darkest Reflection – Gail Simone
  • A Darker Shade of Magic – V.E. Schwab
  • Birds of Prey, Vol. 1 – Chuck Dixon
  • The Wicked and the Divine: Year 1 – Gillen McKelvie
  • The Ballad of Black Tom – Victor LaValle
  • Half-Resurrection Blues – Daniel José Older
  • Lumberjanes, Vol. 2: Friendship to the Max – Noelle Stevenson
  • The Secrets of Drearcliff Grange School – Kim Newman
  • Injustice: Gods Among Us -Year 2, Vol. 2 – Tom Taylor
  • Shards of Honor – Lois McMaster Bujold
  • The Girls at the Kingfisher Club – Genevieve Valentine
  • I Hate Fairyland: Vol. 1 Madly Ever After – Skottie Young
  • An Inheritance of Ashes – Leah Bobet
  • Lumberjanes, Vol. 3: A Terrible PlanNoelle Stevenson & Shannon Watters
  • The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Vol. 1: Squirrel Power – Ryan North
  • The Long Way to A Small, Angry Planet – Becky Chambers
  • Manners & Mutiny – Gail Carriger
  • The Conclave of Shadows – Alyc Helms
  • Fallout – Gwenda Bond
  • The Steep and Thorny Way – Cat Winters
  • The Star-Touched Queen – Roshani Chokshi
  • Heroine Complex – Sarah Kuhn
  • Bitch Planet: Extraordinary Machine – Kelly Sue DeConnick
  • Ascension – Jacqueline Koyanagi
  • All the Birds in the Sky – Charlie Jane Anders
  • Not Your Sidekick – C.B. Lee
  • Crooked Kingdom – Leigh Bardugo
  • The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde – Robert Louis Stevenson
  • A Monster Calls – Patrick Ness
  • Romeo And/Or Juliet – Ryan North
  • Labyrinth Lost – Zoraida Córdova
  • Devil in a Blue Dress – Walter Mosley
  • The Witch of Lime Street: Séance, Seduction, and Houdini in the Spirit World – David Jaher
  • Red Harvest – Dashiell Hammett
  • The Curious Incident of The Dog in The Night-Time – Mark Haddon
  • A History of Glitter and Blood – Hannah Moskowitz
  • Vigil – Angela Slatter

As always, I’ll save the Big Conclusions for when I post my Book Superlatives. But to note a few things:

The majority of my favorite books, once again, were YA. Because YA is the best.

I won’t have time to do a Comic Book/Graphic Novel Superlatives (some day, I’m going to be organized and it’s going to happen, damn it), but highlights include Nimona, The Wicked and the Divine, Courtney Crumin: The Night Things, Injustice: Gods Among Us, and Lumberjanes (particularly Vol. 2, which I liked considerably more than Vol. 3.) I also discovered that I hated The Killing Joke for so, so many reasons. #BatmanFanFail

I remain a contrary bastard. Some of the books that everyone seemed to love and that I desperately wanted to love . . . I didn’t love.

Books Written By Women: 25
Books Written By Men: 14

Comic Books Written By Women: 5
Comic Books Written By Men: 9

Unlike last year, where I heavily gravitated towards fairy tale stories, I’m not convinced this year has a particular theme. But I did read a couple of Shakespeare retellings! (Well, of a sort.) And it’s the first year in a very long time that I’ve read a tie-in novel!

2016, like 2015, was a very good year for reading. I’m wrestling with my Top Ten Favorites of the Year right now, and it’s a monumental pain in the ass.

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RIP, Carrie Fisher

I wanted to write a tribute to Carrie Fisher, who passed away this morning at the age of 60, but I honestly don’t know what to say. This hits me harder than I would have expected, probably harder than it would have a couple of years ago, when I only knew her as Princess Leia from the Star Wars movies and Sally’s Friend from When Harry Met Sally–but didn’t really know her as an author and a script doctor and a mental health advocate and an otherwise hilariously and wonderfully brazen, outspoken woman. (Which isn’t to knock Star Wars or When Harry Met Sally as unworthy reasons to love her–Leia is a goddamn feminist icon, and I think watching When Harry Met Sally is the first time I realized how funny Carrie Fisher could be.) Basically every interview I’ve read or seen of her in the past couple of years has made me love her even more, making me all the more sorry she’s gone. It’s silly to say that you were just getting to know someone you never met and, in all likelihood, were never going to meet, but still . . . today hurts.

Since eloquence isn’t my strong suit and I’ve never been particularly adept at moving, inspirational memorials, I kind of wanted to do a fun tribute, like, for instance, a Five Minute Princess Leia Cosplay, preferably from A New Hope.

There were multiple problems with this.

  • I have exactly one white dress, or off-white dress, that doesn’t look anything like Leia’s dress at all.
  • In fact, nothing in my wardrobe looks remotely like anything in Leia’s wardrobe.
  • I currently have blue-and-green hair.
  • I am the WORST at hair. You’d think someone who changes it as much as I do would be able to style it. You’d be mistaken.

Regardless, I tried it out. It didn’t go well. Like, it went pretty hysterically badly. But I just started having fun with it, playing around with my fake assault rifle, taking my glasses on and off, laughing at my bullshit hair buns, changing from my off-white dress to my actually-white bathrobe, etc. Here’s what I got.


RIP, Carrie Fisher. I’m grateful the world had you at all, but so sad you left us so soon.

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“It Is Not Nice To Throw People!”

This is it! THIS IS IT! The last Disney Princess Movie! HA HA HA, no one can force me to watch a terrible punishment movie now because I am a WINNER!!!!!!


Unlike virtually everyone else on the planet, I’ve never actually seen Frozen before. Much to my amusement, I’ve heard wildly different reviews of the Disney juggernaut: the majority of my local friends found it hugely overrated, whereas a few of my less-local friends were ardent advocates of the film; one even made up this whole Frozen/Thor fusion musical called Thor: The Frozen World.

Going into this film, I figured I’d probably fall somewhere between these two extremes, and wouldn’t you know it?


Boom! Smack in the middle. I definitely enjoyed Frozen more than my local friends, but I probably won’t be feverishly brainstorming epic crossover musicals about it, either.

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“I’ll Not Let You Kill My Mother!”

At some point, I’m gonna have time to go see Rogue One and write a review about it, but the way this month is going, probably not until 2017, long after everyone else has finished discussing it and moved on to bigger and better things. In the meantime, I must continue on with my Disney Princess Movie Challenge.


There’s an awful lot I like about Brave. But there’s some stuff that frustrates me, too.

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