[W00t: a expression of joy after a triumph (or an obvious victory).]
Towering over the many books, films and TV shows I’ve enjoyed over the past year are those rare and precious few that just made me completely, insanely, and incandescently happy – the ones that hit my Fangirl buttons like an Uzi taking down a tanker truck. So here is my highly subjective list of sheer fan bliss, the proud few that amped me up, geeked me out, and left me with a ridiculously big smile on my face in 2010. Welcome to the w00t list.
Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews
I’m always a little worried when I get uber hyped for the arrival of a book, because I know I’m just making it harder for that book to live up to my looming expectations – and for Magic Bleeds, the fourth book in the Kate Daniels series, I was RIDICULOUSLY hyped, as in a call Barnes & Noble the night before just to see if they had it out, and then break every speed limit between my house and the store kind of way. But then I started reading, and Magic Bleeds laughed in the face of my trepidation and fully, completely and utterly kicked ass. Tough and wry, delving deeper into Kate’s family tree, not to mention the fantastic Kate and Curran scenes, Magic Bleeds lived up even to my insane expectations and kept me up well past 2 AM. This series just keeps getting better.
Sherlock was my favorite detective show of the year, hands down. Brilliantly written and acted, lovingly true to the spirit and brains of Conan Doyle’s detective, and with Holmes-Watson chemistry to die for, it doesn’t get better than this. Martin Freeman as Watson made my day – every time he deadpaned a reaction to Holmes’ ridiculousness, I just about fell off my chair. And when Moriarty and Holmes finally came face to face, I pretty much melted into a puddle of sheer glee. I honestly watched all three episodes back to back – I couldn’t stop – and now I have to wait until NEXT FALL to see the conclusion to that cliffhanger?!? Genius!
The Enola Holmes Mysteries by Nancy Springer
My discovery of Enola Holmes came hard on the heels of the release of the sixth and final book, The Gypsy Goodbye. I swallowed this series whole in less than three days – packed with interesting mysteries, intelligent adolescent struggles with loneliness, individuality and social expectations, and the most unique mother-daughter relationship I’ve seen in a long time, not to mention disguises, cryptograms, and ridiculous fun with the feminine frippery of the Victorian era, this series is just brilliant. I had only picked up the first three books from the library, and I went scurrying back the next day for the back three, because I just couldn’t wait.
Feed by Mira Grant
I first discovered Seanan McGuire’s alter ego, Mira Grant, when I saw her take part in the zombie panel at Comic-con this year – and Seanan being both hilarious and ferociously smart, I knew I had to FEED, even though horror is definitely not my bailiwick. I was totally taken by surprise by the many layers of awesome to this book – the science, the detailed virology and decontamination procedures, made it all the more scary for being so real; the political skulduggery, a brother/sister relationship full of loving bickering, and one KILLER ending. FEED is smart, scary, sassy and not at all what you’d expect from a zombie novel. I was glued to every one of its pages.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
Alright, I’m cheating a little – the movie, part one, came out this year, not the book. But because we all were inundated with – and drooling over – the trailers for Deathly Hallows, part one, I’ll bet I wasn’t the only one who went running back to this book to read it again, and hot damn if Harry Potter didn’t knock my socks off all over again. What a crazy, wonderful Harry Potter era this has been, and how lucky were we to have a front row seat. I will always remember standing in line at midnight to get this book – and what a perfect freaking ending it is!
Batman: Under the Red Hood
This movie is not intrinsically genius, but it made me – and probably every other fan of Batman: The Animated Series or Batman: Beyond – just ridiculously happy. Under the Red Hood is animated Batman as he should be, in my eyes – dark and a little twisted, with silhouette eyes and the perfect pointy ears, not to mention killer animation and fight sequences (though I do wish it had had Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill as the voices…) How I have missed my kind of animated Batman – Cartoon Network’s The Brave and The Bold just rubs me the wrong way (gah, those ears) – and seeing my Batman again (on the big screen at Comic-con, no less) just exploded fireworks in my brain. I practically strained my cheek muscles from smiling so hard.
I’m dying to see this movie again – what silly, goofy, sweet, hilarious fun. (I’ve already made a space for the DVD on my shelf.) Tangled, you just made me smile. Welcome back, Disney Animation. I have MISSED you.
And there you have it – my W00t List, 2010. So what reduced you to a quivering pile of glee this year?