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The Hate U Give: Movie Review

***This review has spoilers: Proceed with caution***

Let's Start Here: The Book vs. The Movie

I’m going to be real with you: you will not be disappointed. Yes, there are many book-to-movie adaptations gone wrong. They will leave you confused and heartbroken.

This movie is not one of them.

Obviously, no movie can keep EVERYTHING from the book because, well, we would be there for 6 hours (not that I’d mind). However, I believe they did a great job with knowing what to cut, and new scenes staying in line with the overall focus of the book.

Kudos to you, George Tillman, Jr.

This Movie is NOT Trauma Porn

And it could have easily been. One thing I noted was the “quiet storm” that was King (why, Falcon, WHY!!). We didn’t need to see him beating the almighty hell out of Seven to know that this dude was fucking it up for anyone who crossed him. You didn’t even need to read the book to know that he definitely beat Seven’s mom after they left.

There are MANY scenes that could have been shot just for shock value, and I’m so grateful that they went for realism instead. Don’t get me wrong, you will need several boxes of tissues. But it’s not set out to shock, disturb, or disgust you. It’s set out to tell the real-life experiences that Black people face every day.

Maverick Carter is the Father We All Need In Our Lives

Russell Hornsby did a stellar job as Big Mav. I’m thinking this is going to be a separate blog post, but if you can gain anything from Big Mav, its never judge a book by its cover.

He entered donned in tattoos (no teardrops, however) and a past that involved gangs, drugs, and imprisonment. This man was the glue that held his family together. Some things to note about him:

  • In his most stressful moment, when the cops pushed him up against the glass, he never once screamed at his family
  • He encouraged Starr to “let it out” and used his traumatic experiences to give her just what she needed
  • He was always kind and affectionate to their mother, even when they disagreed

Think you can say that about King? How about Bill Cosby? (Don’t start, Quinzel)

 

I Definitely Wanted To Go 'Elevator Solange' on Hailey

I can guarantee that every black girl has gone through that level of gaslighting with a white friend. And usually confronting them on their bullshit, ends with them in tears, so you end up comforting them.

I was worried about seeing Hailey onscreen because the book version made me SOOOO angry. I read the whole "pretend like it's a piece of fried chicken, Starr" part as really aggressive. But in the movie, she had that clueless look on her face that's all too familiar. That look where you ALMOST believed that she really didn't mean any of what she said. However, both in the book and the movie, there were plenty of hints that Hailey knew exactly what she was doing, she was just really great at deflecting.

And you know what? I liked that! It gave the audience a chance to understand Starr's frustration. I also appreciate the realness of them never making up. Same as the book, but seeing it on screen was great because there are just some people who aren't gonna get it and you really do have to just move on.

Again, more realness than I expected to see onscreen. More kudos

Sekani, Your Name Means Joy

I want you to take a close look at this picture. Look really hard at the young boy. And I want you to ask yourself one question.

Could you kill him?

From the start of this movie, you can clearly see why his name means joy. His bright smile and high pitched laugh were enough to make your heart melt. Watching the scene with Mav and the cops is even more painful with seeing Sekani crying. Your heart will break for this sweet little boy.

The ending, while it didn't occur in the book, was arguably the most important scene in the movie. It brings full circle to The Hate U Give and what it means. Literal gasps filled the theater as Sekani pointed the gun and said: "get away from my daddy!"

In a flash, we could see what happens next, the cops kill this poor little boy before a bullet even leaves the gun. A mother watches her son's last breath. And the news doesn't depict anything about him that we already know. They won't discuss his smile, his laughter, the fact that he still can't aim in the toilet. People will shake their heads in judgment thinking nothing of a seven-year-old's death and criticize him for holding a gun in the first place. In those short moments, the audience all saw this happening. I could even hear sobs from a rush of tears. Thankfully, Starr shielded him and none of that happened.

But my mind immediately went to Tamir Rice. That baby is no longer here.

When tragedy strikes, people deflect any way they can, often making the victim as less human as they can. So if you watched that scene and cried, you need to know that none of this is really fiction.

Don't even get me started on Lyric. If you read the book, you can understand that that poor baby saw A LOT of fucked up stuff. And what about her? How will the hate that she's given fuck everybody? That's what The Hate U Give is all about.

The Hate U Give is a book, but truthfully, nothing we saw was fiction. You can't walk away from the theater with any kind of relief that this isn't our current reality.

Angie Thomas wrote the book that inspired this movie. She used her voice and it's already making a huge impact.

How will you use your voice?

3 Books To Burn in A Fire So You Can Stay Warm This Winter

Seriously, just consider this my hate list. *grabs gasoline for the fire*

I love reading. I love writing. I'm ok with some books. Meaning, I'm not going to throw your book up against the wall if I feel it's mediocre because maybe someone loves it. Maybe it's just not for me. Maybe another person would...

But let me just interrupt myself to tell you, this is not the case with these books. I hate em. I'm not nice about it. And who wants to be cold this winter? Not me. Throw them in a fire.

Let's start:

Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment by Steve Harvey

I'm throwing this in first to get the fire going. Get it going real good. Yes, that's it. Burn, baby, burn.

Ok, Steve, you want me to wait 90 days to have sex, cool. Ok, we're together now. You want me to never withhold sex..I? WHAT DO YOU WANT, STEVE HARVEY??

It drove me up a wall to read page after page of how men can be sexually free because it's just in their nature but I dare not even give off a whiff of sexuality or I will never find love. This was a manual on crossing your legs, never cussing, and never being anything less than lady like. In return, you'll bear children to a guy who feels like it's not a "man's job" to change a diaper. Hooray??

Basically, the book is not only an archaic way of how a woman should be, but you're also literally getting relationship advice from someone who has cheated on his own wife, so yeah.

Bared to You by Sylvia Day

Now, this isn't going in the fire because of bad writing. Close to the same premise of that other fake bondage book, it's actually not written badly at all. Seriously, no shade to Sylvia Day.

But all the shade to the main character, Gideon Cross. Because if you don't GET YOURSELF TO A GODDAMN THERAPIST, YOU HAVE ALL THIS MONEY YOU CAN AFFORD TO- ok woosah, Quinzel, just throw it in. *fire roars*

50 Shades of...anything

Oh, this fire is getting warm and toasty. I'd tell you more about why I hate these books, but after three tries, I couldn't get past page 20. Consider me and E.L. James to be rivals. One on the Evil side, and the other on the Ok, I'm Evil But Not THAT Evil side.

*pokes at the fire* does anyone want a hot dog?

“PM Me If I’m Friends With Your Abuser”: Why That $#%t Doesn’t Work

TW: The following article discusses sexual trauma, abuse, and assault from a victims perspective. While it does not give details, it does go in depth on an emotional level and may be triggering for some. Proceed with caution

 

This week has been, for lack of a better word, trying for survivors of sexual abuse, misconduct, and harassment. I'd throw some statistics here, but chances are if you're reading this, you've been a victim at some point. Stats can only account for those who come forward. It doesn't account for those suffering in silence at every Bill Cosby or Harvey Weinstein water cooler talk at the office.

While you can usually plug in your earphones and drown them out while you work (guilty), there's just one Facebook post that I can't seem to get away from.

Ah, a nice little meme. A way for your friends to show solidarity with you. A chance to have someone not only believe you, but take action.

 

So...why do I not feel great about this pic being shared?

First Of All, This Should've Been Done A Long Time Ago

It should not take a meme. It should not take a high profile court case. It should not take several high profile court cases.

Because some of y'all knew. But felt I was too drunk. Felt my "no" wasn't clear enough. Felt it didn't count because we were dating. Felt I was sleeping around anyway.

So don't pretend you're my ally now.

So This Is Awkward, My Abuser is Your Significant Other or Family Member

There's a level of pain seeing someone on your friends list, cuddled up, smiling with your abuser. Your abuser has friends, your abuser gets engaged, your abuser has kids.

But what's even more painful is seeing that partner post that. Maybe you don't even realize they are together until you look through their profile. But it it remains: do I tell the truth? Do i risk being called a liar? What is that going to do for my healing?

Sending A Name, Just A Name, No Details, Could Make Me Relive My Trauma

Because that name is ruined for me now. That name is forever printed in my head surrounded by fear, anger, hurt, and confusion (gaslighting is a bitch!).

I can't type that name, because it's at the very top of an unstable tower and typing that name would be the final structure to have it all come crashing down.

There's so much fear of being called a liar, of you wanting to press for details, and also that I just may never stop crying after typing that name.

I just need you to know. It hurts.

Ok, So What Should We Do Instead?

You need ction. A meme is a passive gesture. Anyone can share a meme. But what do you plan to do after you get that name? Are you really going to block them? Are you going to confront them? Cut them out of your life?

You gotta have the uncomfortable yet authentic conversations with your friends. If you want to know if you're connected to an abuser, gain peoples trust. No one will open up to you unless they trust you first. Talk with your friends. Look out for your friends. Intervene when you see something that isn't ok.

*Forrest Gump voice* And that's all I have to say about that.

Just In Time For WizardFest: HP Quotes I’m Really Digging RN

WizardFest is just around the corner, and it's got me thinking about Harry Potter quotes that have stuck with me the most. Swearing I'm up to no good is a great quote for my fun life, but there are some Harry Potter quotes that have healed me like no other.

So, if you're considering going to WizardFest, or if you're wanting to throw a WizardFest in the comfort of your own reading nook, take a second to re-live these quotes with me. Feel free to use these yourself 🙂

"It Matters Not What Someone Is Born, But What They Grow Up To Be"

"It Does Not Do To Dwell On Dreams And Forget To Live"

"Numbing the Pain For A While Will Make It Worse When You Finally Feel It"*

*i  feel kinda called out*

"It Is Our Choices, Harry, That Show What We Truly Are, Far More Than Our Abilities."

Tell me your favorite Harry Potter quotes that got you through tough times. Then treat yourself by going to WizardFest 😉

Forget Clothes: What Bag Are You Wearing to Wizardfest??

*knock* *knock* Hello there, have you heard the good word about WizardFest? No? Let me tell you.

WizardFest is a big ass Harry Potter dance party where you can shake your wands and shake your booty

Still mad about not getting your Hogwarts letter? You need to go.

Defending your house to anyone who will listen? You need to go.

After all this time? You. Need. To. Go.

And they are hosting them all over, so check to see if WizardFest is in your city. If you're 18 or older, you'll be able to enjoy the costume contest, dance party, and a boozy butterbeer (but only if you're of legal age, sorry). It might even make up for not living anywhere near Universal Studios

So, now that you've decided you're going (cause you are) how are you gonna hold your stuff?

Might I suggest...

Hedwig Figural Drawstring Backpack because someone might need to send you a message while you're dancing the night away

Harry Potter 12" Fashion Wizardy Backpack to give you that Hogwarts feel

Luna Lovegood Flat Clutch ditch the bulky bag and go for a clutch. But in case you don't trust yourself to not leave it somewhere, here's the backpack version

Girl's Harry Potter Wristlet, of course, you can't lose it if it's tied to your wrist

Time Turner Crossbody Bag I'd die if I had this one <3

The Monster Book of Monsters wheres that eyeball emoji when you need it because I love this one too

Tom Riddle's Diary Crossbody Bag don't actually read it tho

Harry Potter Wand Velvet Crossbody Bag you will probably rub your hand on the velvet all night, but you'll look fabulous while doing it

Last but not least, Marvolo Gaunt Ring Handbag cause that's going with me to a formal dinner even after WizardFest

Are ya going to WizardFest? Are you dying over one of these bags? Drop us a comment and let us know.

Comics and Chronic Illness: How Ava from Ant-Man and the Wasp Perfectly Described My Invisible Symptoms

Hi, I'm Quinzel. I have Multiple Sclerosis

"Hi Quinzel" my imaginary audience says "we don't believe you"

While hurtful, it's understandable. I fall under the category of people who don't look sick. It's why they call it an invisible illness.

Multiple Sclerosis, or MS as its shortened, is a snowflake disease, meaning symptoms can be different for everybody. Do we know why? No. Is there a cure? Also no.

One of the hardest things about my disease is explaining to people what it feels like daily for me. Aside from telling them that getting off my medication won't actually make me feel better and eating a bunch of oranges won't cure it, I also have the worst time trying to explain how I feel.

*some Ant-Man and the Wasp spoilers ahead*

Then I went to see Ant-Man and the Wasp. We were introduced to the character Ghost, known as Ava, who is constantly phasing in and out while experiencing a lot of pain. Long story short, the lab explosion that killed her parents didn't kill her, it just fucked her up to holy hell.

There's a symptom that I have that I can't describe in one word. But Ava's phasing shows it pretty well. It's this weird out of body experience like I'm jumping from one scene to another. It makes me feel as if I'm about to pass out.

The second is the pain. The constant pain. When you're in pain, minutes feel like hours, hours feel like days. While there is a level of pain I can deal with on a daily basis and still function, once I've passed that level, its all over.

Just like Ava, I am always in pain. Always.

So, I get it. Being so close to not being in pain everyday and you tell me we can't do the thing? Most people will never get to experience that level of desparation. It's a feeling where you will do absolutly anything to get rid of the pain. Living in constant pain robs you of the ability to have any sort of chill. Hell, it robs you of the ability to just live.

So, I get it. Do I agree with her plans? Mostly no, but I understand. To phase everyday, almost like a slow burning glitch, on top of being in pain sucks to the highest level. All you can do is wait to crawl into bed only to do it all over again.

So now that I've opened myself up to you guys, I'm curious what your lives are like. Any of you deal with a chronic illness, disability, or undiagnosed "why Lord?" level of pain? Have you seen it represented in media in an accurate way? Would you like MORE representation? Spill your thoughts in the comments section below.

Weaponized Music

The other day Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now by Starship came on the radio and it got me thinking about the associations we form with certain songs. In this particular case, it made me realize that ever since seeing The Skeleton Twins, whenever I hear it now all I can see is Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig dancing on living room furniture. Associations are powerful. Even if we already have a personal history with a song, a television show or a movie can utilize it in such a way that it wipes out all previous associations. Here are 5 examples of television scenes that took songs I already knew and completely re-wrote what my brain feels when I hear them. I’m sure you all have plenty of these so feel free to share them in the comments!

 

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Goodbye to You (Tabula Rasa)

Michelle Branch was big in the early 2000’s. I wasn’t particularly a huge fan but Goodbye to You was catchy. It didn’t evoke any emotion in me but I thought it was a cute pop song. Then someone who worked on Buffy the Vampire Slayer said to themselves (I’m assuming), “How I can make it so that any time a Buffy fan hears this song it feels like their heart is being pulled out of their chest?? ...wait, I KNOW!” The result was this scene. Never have I ever been able to hear this song in the 17 (17?? JESUS.) years since without thinking of Giles abandoning his surrogate daughter to return to England, Willow and Tara’s heart-shredding breakup scene, and Buffy’s profound loneliness leading her to make a truly self-destructive choice. Thanks, Tabula Rasa.

 

Supernatural: Do You Love Me (The End)

I know, I know. Carry On My Wayward Son. Eye of the Tiger. Heat of the Moment. The Holy Trinity of songs that Supernatural has co-opted and now might as well own. But everyone knows those! Those are too easy. So I thought about another really great one that hasn’t been talked about as much. The only music my mom and I could agree on while I was growing up was oldies, so I heard this song A LOT. But SPN used it in such an awesome and unexpected way (in one of its best episodes of all time) that now this is what the song is to me. Running from Croatoans (SPN’s version of zombies) and getting rescued by a bunch of post-apocalyptic soldiers. Who knew this song could be so fucking badass?? Well Ben Edlund, I guess.

 

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Just a Friend (Dennis and Dee go on Welfare)

Oh boy is this show a multiple offender for song associations, usually hilarious and sometimes awful. There were so many to choose from. Motownphilly, Vacation, Jessie's Girl (OH MY GOD THIS ONE), I Can’t Wait, Hollaback Girl, Take My Breath Away, Pretty Woman, Runaway Train... the list goes on and on. In the end I went with this one because it was the first of the many songs the show would use to create ridiculous new associations in my head. Dennis and Dee’s failed attempt to go on welfare and their subsequent crack addiction was one of the funniest things the show has done and now, goddamn it, a song I have always loved makes me think of these two assholes getting day-drunk and thinking they could play the system so that they never had to work again. The end when they turn the song up while Mac yells at them cracks me up every time. These goddamn assholes.

 

Black Mirror’s San Junipero: Heaven is a Place on Earth

I almost want to tell you not to watch this video if you have not seen the episode because this scene is so moving and profound if you have, but if you haven’t then it’s just sort of cute. The first time I watched San Junipero this scene made me weep. And a previously boppy, fun 80’s song now makes me tear-up thinking about a love story between two women that a television show developed beautifully, and that WAS ACTUALLY ALLOWED TO END HAPPILY. It was a bittersweet story overall but the ending was uplifting and glorious. And the choice of this song was perfection. If you have not seen it, please head over to Netflix and fix that.

 

Sense8: What’s Up (What's Going On?)

This 4Non-Blondes song now forever belongs to this show in my mind, and after Linda Perry showed up to the premiere of the series finale at the ArcLight theater in Hollywood and let the audience join her onstage to sing along with it, it belongs to the fans as well. I’ve mentioned previously that whenever all of the Sense8s appear in the same scene it is the best thing 100% of the time, and this is no exception. These pockets of joy in the show were always so well-placed and carried the audience through the tougher times. I used to like What’s Up because it reminded me of the 90’s, now I love it because it brings me actual joy remembering this scene (P.S. Kala and Wolfgang forever).

So, what song associations have been created, altered, or ruined for you by television??

Geeky Girl’s Guide to WakandaCon: Did Someone Say GAMES????

Ahh, here we are talking about gaming again. I swear, WakandaCon is right up my alley.

And if you are going to WakandaCon tomorrow, you better bring your snacks and energy drinks, cause you about to game ALL WEEKEND!!

That's right, WakandaCon is hosting a gaming tournament all weekend. The WakandaCon site says:

We're excited to partner with I Play Games! to bring head-to-head video gaming to Wakandacon! I Play Games! was founded in 2009 by experienced video game promoter and tournament organizer Kevin Fair. Playing video games at home with friends and family was a favorite hobby for Kevin, and so bringing the joy of video game entertainment to greater video game community was a natural fit.

WHO'S GOING TO THIS??? And if you're not, pretend you're going for a second. Comment below and tell me your console and what game YOU think you can kick my ass in, if we were in this tournament together 🙂

 

Geeky Girl’s Guide to WakandaCon: The Shuri Project

I don't care what you think. Shuri IS an official Disney princess. And after Tiana, she is now my favorite Disney Princess.

(For those of you who don't get the connection: Disney owns Marvel >>Black Panther is a Marvel Film>> which is owned by Disney>>Shuri is a princess>> And therefore, she's a Disney princess. Square up).

Black Panther not only put a female character who was smart, funny, and royal, she was also a Pretty Big Deal Kinda Scientist. Homegirl was creating technology that we could only dream of. The best part? She did it all without playing up the whole "nerd girl" stereotype.

Little girls all over the globe watched Shuri in awe and wanted to be just like her. Some probably even abandoned their Barbie Jeeps and Townhouses for lab coats and beakers. While at times I forget that Shuri is a fictional character, that didn't lessen the impact that she has made on millions of women and girls everywhere.

WakandaCon has a panel for just that. The Shuri Project by Henry Williams Love foundation is a summer program for girls who want to be just like Shuri. It's six weeks long for ages 8 to 12. In this mentoring program, they teach tech skills while also giving the girls a big self-esteem boost.

They gonna do a live demo of a website they've built. These babies are our future. You gotta support them.

I actually can't wait to hear more about The Shuri Project and how their website demo goes. What do you think of Princess Shuri and the impact she has on young girls today? Leave me a comment and tell me what you think!

Geeky Girl’s Guide to WakandaCon: Games as Social Justice

I don't think I ever stopped hearing the barrage of comments "oh, do you play games? aren't you a little too old for that? isn't that a waste of time" blah blah blah

Normal people have a lot of opinions, hahaha.

Not that I ever paused my game long enough to take them seriously. But of course, when that damn swatting incident happened, gamers everywhere got a bad rap. But as all Geeky Girls know, gaming can be used for good.

WakandaCon is having a panel called Games as Social Justice. This panel will take place Friday, August 3rd at 6 pm. Hosted by Kenyatta Forbes, this panel will prove that gamers are more than how we are depicted in the media. The panel description is as follows:

This panel brings together experts in the social justice and gaming to discuss the impact gaming has on raising awareness, changing behavior, or other inequalities. How might gaming be a tool for social, political, and cultural change? Join the conversation with these panelists as they share their work and take questions from the audience.

My prediction is that they will discuss different kinds of gaming that can work as social justice tools. Maybe streaming on Twitch will work better with PC gamers and a different outlet would work for tabletop gamers. If you're headed to this panel, comment and tell us what you think. And if you're not, comment anyway, I'd love to hear your thoughts on how social justice and gaming can work together as one.

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