Blog Archives

Re-reading Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince

8403656Last month the Harry Potter books came out with new covers for the 20th anniversary of the Harry Potter books. I couldn’t afford the whole series but I did get the third book and the sixth book, my two favorites of the series. I recently re-read the third book so I decided to re-read the sixth book this time.

The reason the sixth book is my second favorite is because of the back story given to Voldemort. I am the kind of person who likes the villain of the story to have a story. I have a problem when the antagonist is just there to cause trouble but we never find out why. I believe a story gets stronger when we can understand why a person makes the choices they make.

The look into Voldemort’s past is fascinating to me. I loved seeing when he was as a child to the moment when he started figuring out how to become immortal. It is interesting because we see that he had several opportunities to turn around. We also got to see the resentment and anger that resided in him since he was a child.

When I first read the series I just saw him as this evil man who had no morals and no reason for doing what he was doing. In this book we got to see the reason. We got to see why he might have turned that direction. He was raised without any love or affection. He was forced to grow up quickly and take care of himself.

Now not every person who grows up parentless turns into a murderer (i.e. Harry) but this book gave  us a way to understand the man behind the evil actions. Part of me felt bad for him. I remember reading the first time feeling upset that he was left with this route. But then you look at Harry and see what choices he could have made.

Harry grew up without parents too and yet he was the complete opposite of Voldemort. Which then raises the question of nature versus nurture. Harry’s parents died protecting him, Voldemort’s abandoned him. Does that change things? Some very fascinating questions are raised throughout this story.

One of my favorite scenes is in this book. After Harry and Dumbledore look at the memory about the Horcruxes we get a speech that is very significant for this series. Harry doesn’t understand how love can be the power he has that will win him the final battle. He can’t see past what the prophecy says. He is stuck until Dumbledore makes him understand.

This whole speech is so interesting and important, not only for this story. Seeing Harry come to realize that his heart is what he has that has kept him whole his entire life. His heart and his love for those around him is what matters. Voldemort never allowed himself the ability to love. He closed that door when he was a child. Harry never gave up trying to find that comfort and love. He didn’t turn to the darkness for comfort. Instead he allowed people in, allowed them to take care of him when he needed it. We see what happens when you don’t give up, no matter the darkness that seems to surround you.

This book was also the first time I read a book where a main character died. Sirius’s death was tragic for me because I loved his character, but Dumbledore’s death was traumatizing in a sense. He seemed so important, so significant that I thought there was no way he would die. I had never read a book where someone like that died. That didn’t happen in younger books.

Dumbledore dying was the moment you realized that anything can happen. No one is immune and anyone can be gone tomorrow. I already knew this but this book hit that point home. The end makes you realize how important it is to say what you need to say to those around you.

Lastly I loved the very end of this book where Harry is trying to convince Ron and Hermione to allow him to search for the Horcruxes alone. Hermione reminds him that when they were in their first year he gave them the chance to turn back, to leave him. They decided to stay. Throughout five years they stayed by his side and they were not going to abandon him now.

The true power of friendship shown through this book. You see in this moment that those people who have stood at your side for years, through it all, are not going to disappear at the tough moments. If they had chances to turn back in the past and didn’t, then trust them to be there throughout it all.

What lessons have you learned from you favorite books?

Top 7 Harry Potter Characters

I saw Never Not Reading posting some special Harry Potter posts a few weeks back. Weird Zeal created a list of Harry Potter related posts in celebration 20th U.S. anniversary of Harry Potter. I wasn’t able to do posts during that time because of a work event but I thought I would do some now. I liked the idea of talking about my favorite character in the series.

(These aren’t ranked in any specific order. They are just my top 7 favorite characters)

Sirius_Black_Profile1.Sirius – I adore Sirius. I think I attached myself to him because he was the first real parent figure that Harry got throughout the series. When he comes in in the third book we go on this emotional journey with Harry. He think he has no true family left to him, thinks that someone is out to get him then learns the lengths that Sirius has gone to to protect him. I loved the connection they develop throughout the story.

I was devasted when Sirius died. I felt the ache that Harry felt. It was like a hole had been left. A true family and happy life was ripped away from Harry yet again. I hoped there was going to be a twist for Sirius to come back. I loved the way he helped Harry learn strength and the power of true and devoted love for a family member.

DOBBY22. Dobby– Dobby was so weird when he first showed up in Chamber of Secrets. I thought he was this little odd ball. Then we learned how devoted and selfless Dobby was. He was goofy but he had a heart of gold. He was pure innocence. I wanted him to get everything and the fact that he was able to use his last moments to save Harry ripped my heart out.

 

Screen-Shot-2016-10-18-at-5.14.06-PM3. Dumbledore – Dumbledore was such a complex and interesting character throughout the novels. I liked that throughout the series we saw him develop from a mentor to this man who was trying to make things from from his past. I thought he was just a teacher but we learn quickly that he was much more than that.

I also liked that he was seriously flawed. Having him make poor decisions made him human. I could relate to him. I saw his heart and saw what could happen when you only listen to your heart and not your head as well.

 

78416-Emma_Watson-women-blonde-brown_eyes-Harry_Potter-Hermione_Granger-748x9984. Hermione – Hermione was the character I related to most throughout the series. She was a bookworm. She had inner strength that took her sometime to find. She attached herself to a few true and devoted friends. I admired the way she was unashamed of her knowledge. Without her the boys would have been dead back in book one. She was the true power of the trio and I loved that.

 

 

landscape_nrm_1422623264-robbie-coltrane-hagrid-hospital-ill5. Hagrid – Hagrid was a gentle giant. He was another character that was just pure happiness and innocence. He loved Harry so much. I liked that he was a bit off beat and yet was resistant. He didn’t back down. He didn’t let his failures destroy him. He made some decisions that weren’t the best but he never did it with a hard heart. His heart was always pure and in the right place.

Hedwig_Snowy_Owl_PM6. Hedwig- As someone who has always been attached to animals I instantly loved that Harry had a pet of his own. Hedwig was his best friend and companion. She was there for him when he needed comfort. She was there to protect him when he needed help. Hedwig was the heart of the books for the entire series. Her death took my by surprise and I was so close to crying at that moment.

 

 

SnapeSeverus7. Snape – I know that Snape’s character is a very controversial. Snape is one of those people who made all the wrong choices. He is just plain cruel to Harry for most of the series and I can see how that makes people avoid him. But I think he is one of the best written characters in any book I have ever read.

He started off as a character that just seems like a plain villain. We think he is going to be a cookie cutter antagonist. Slowly we see that his character is so much more than just someone who is a obstacle for Harry. He teaches Harry how to stand up against authority. He lets Harry see that someone people get lost and destroyed by their pasts. He is an example to Harry of what happens when you are not strong and don’t fight for what you want.

I loved his journey throughout the books. As a writer I learned so much from his character. I leaned how important it is to know your characters and to write them as they are even if they end up having some distasteful and harsh sides to them.

Who are your favorite Harry Potter characters?

Hogwarts Tag

I saw this over on Never Not Reading. It was part of the Harry Potter Anniversary Week and part of a special week of posts that Weird Zeal was doing to celebrate.

I was unfortunately super busy that week. I had a huge fundraising event for work and I was beyond exhausted but I loved the idea of some of the posts. So I am going to do some of them through out the next few weeks.

Honestly any excuse to write about Harry Potter is what I am all about. So without further ado here is the Hogwarts Tag!

The Rules:

  • Link back to one of Weird Zeal‘s post so that she can see all participation!
  • Tag your friends and tell them to join as well!
  • Have fun

71500a5b002662e5bd47b1a4ca552689
What House are you in?
I am forever a Hufflepuff. I am the pure definition of a Hufflepuff. I am one of the most patient people you will meet. I am very loyal to people I admire and I am willing to work hard when necessary.

home-page.pngWhat is your Patronus?

I had zero idea before I took the Pottermore quiz. I ended up getting a Vulture. I always thought it may be some kind of bird. To be honest I am not sure I completely understand the connection. I kind of understand in some sense. I do fly through life and I can get a bit aggressive when people go after people I care about.

Screen Shot 2018-07-06 at 7.05.21 PM

What is your wand?
Hawthorn wood, unicorn hair core, 10 3/4″ in length and slightly spring flexibility.
Hawthorn is for those who have gone through turmoil and have proven talent. I will say I have come out on the other side of some tough situations so I do think I would fit well with this one.

The unicorn hair means that it is one that is difficult to change to the dark arts. That is me for sure. I would be someone that would be really really tough to turn my loyalties. I know what is right and you have to give me some serious reason to change my opinions.
For the description my wand is unique and different. Which is me for sure. I am someone who loves things that are out of the ordinary and something no one else has or likes.

What would your Boggart be?
That is a tough one. I do have a number of fears, such as spiders. I think though if it dug deep it would some form of being alone forever. I am someone who is seriously afraid of ending up without anyone to lean on. Thankfully I have many people in my life to support me but I know that is the fear it would pray on.

Quidditch_Pitch

What position would you play in Quidditch?
I am not the most athletic of people. I think if I had to choose I would be a Chaser. I think a Keeper and Seeker would involve way to much pressure for me.

Would you be a pure-blood, half-blood or muggle born?
That is a tough one. I think I would probably be pure-blood though. I am basing that off the fact that both of my parents are/were people who enjoyed magic and the unknown and I think that would translate to us all possessing magic. I don’t really know another way to figure that out.

S-P-E-W-house-elves-7685051-1024-768
What job would you want after graduating Hogwarts?

While I love animals I think that I would end up doing some type of activist work. I am found a love for working in nonprofit in this world so I think I would translate that to helping house-elves or other minorities in the wizarding world.

Cloak_of_Invisibility_PM.png
Which of the Deathly Hallows would you choose?

I read the book I know what happens when you choose the wand or stone. I am going to go with the invisibility cloak. I think that is something I could actually use to my advantage and not end up with dire consequences.

61mc3mRBvoL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_
Favorite book?
Hands down Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban! I have literally read it at least 15 times. I just adore the way the series shifts and the introduction to Sirius!

harry-potter-and-the-sorcerers-stone

Least favorite book?
Probably would say, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Not because it is bad, there is no such thing as a bad Harry Potter book, but because it is the one that involves the most introduction. For someone who has read the books so many times that stuff is so known that is can be a bit tedious to reread.

v1.bTsxMTMwNDIyNjtqOzE3ODE1OzEyMDA7MTUyMDsyMTUx
Favorite Film?

Deathly Hallows part 2. I thought it was the most fun and exciting. I had my issue with it, such as the whole breaking the Elder Wand thing, but I thought it wrapped up everything well.

7VTALkqjG40vby3uVIsp03d7yXy

Least favorite film?
I had the most issues with the third one. I adored the book and they just upended everything. I also felt like they made changes that didn’t make sense or weren’t needed. I enjoyed it but it wasn’t what I wanted it to be.

Sirius_Black_Profile

Favorite character?
Sirius Black. I loved him from the third book on. I loved that he was this father figure to help Harry. I liked that he was a bit more rebellious than the others. I just adored his character and his death destroyed me.

DoloresUmbridge_WB_F5_UmbridgeSmiling_Still_080615_Land

Least favorite character?
Hands down that is Umbridge. That woman is the definition of pure evil. She was the worst because she acted like she was right, liked she was doing nothing wrong. I also hated her because she was a villain that had no reason to be as evil as she was. She had no tragic backstory. She was just a pure psycho. I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t despise that woman.

572784f452bcd044008c047a-750-563
Favorite teacher at Hogwarts?

Lupin for sure. He was the teacher that I always wanted. He is someone who went beyond the usual way of teaching and made a true impact on the students. I loved him.

Least favorite teacher at Hogwarts?
I mean that will have to be Umbridge again. She is the epitome of the worst kind of teacher. She doesn’t care about teaching to her students. She doesn’t care about them truly learning and growing. She only cares about herself.

Do you have an unpopular opinions about the series?
I don’t know if I have any truly unpopular ones. I will say that I do love Snape’s story. I know his character can have a bit of contention around him but I thought his story was well done. You saw how he let his love for Lily hurt him so much. We saw what not following your heart can do to someone. His character was a lesson on what not to do with your life. I didn’t like what he did but I understood him and that was is the definition of a well-written character.

2015-05-04-4e-FredWeasley.a9f1c
If you could save one character from the final battle who would it be?

I going to take this one literally and only choose one from the last battle. I would save Fred, without a doubt. His death seriously hurt so much and I want the Wesley family whole and happy because that is all they deserve!

What are your opinions on Harry Potter? Favorite movie? Favorite book? Favorite character?

 

This is My Genre Book Tag

Books

I saw this over on Dani’s Bookshelf and though it looked like a quick and fun tag to do!

Also shoutout to The Tattooed Book Geek as the creator of this tag!

What is your favorite genre?
I have a number of favorite genres. There area actually very few genres that I don’t enjoy. But for the purpose of this tag I am going to go with Fantasy. (Maybe in the future I will do this again about some of my other favorite genres).

Who’s your favorite author from this genre?
If you have read anything on my blog you should know this answer to this question. My favorite author is J.K. Rowling. I am obsessed with Harry Potter. I love the the way she is able to completely capture you in that world. She is a genius with her words and her storytelling talent!
I also love V. E. Schwab, Neil Gaiman, Shaun David Hutchinson (some of his book straddle the line between Fantasy and Science-Fiction).

What is it about this genre that keeps pulling you back?
I love the range of possibilities you get with Fantasy stories. There is literally nothing that is impossible. You can fly, alternate realities exist, magic is an everyday thing, people can be raised from the dead and so much more. I love the way I can be sitting in my room but also be in a new world. A world that I could never ever encounter in my everyday life.

Fantasy has the power to provide you with the feeling that you can conquer whole mountains, defeat dragons and end up where you are meant to be. I feel like the genre allows us to learn how to fight for what we want, see that trials and tribulations aren’t the end and realize that the impossible is possible.

What is the book that started your love for your favorite genre?
Harry Potter is the series that I remember reading and falling into a world that I had never encountered before. It was the first time I remember being completely swept away, though I had read a lot before I found the book series.

I also remember certain books having an impact on me like The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. The weird, strange world that left you wondering, questioning and excited is what made me want to keep reading the genre.

I also adored the Everworld series by Katherine Applegate. That one played with my love of fantasy and mythology. It was just so interesting and intriguing that I wanted to keep finding books like them.

If you had to recommend one book from your favorite genre to a non-reader/someone looking to start reading that genre what would you chose and why?
This is a really difficult question because fantasy is such a diverse genre. You have high fantasy that is entirely in another world while you then have more subtle fantasy that is closer to our world. I think it would entirely depend on the person.

I would always recommend Harry Potter but I also think I would suggest some books like The Phantom Tollbooth or The Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare, The Inkheart series by Cornelia Funke, or The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.
I think each of those is unique and easy reading while also being so enthralling and would capture a reader’s imagination without leaving them feeling lost or confused.

Why do you read?
I could write pages and pages on why I read but I will try to keep this simple. I read because it makes me happy, it relaxes me and it allows me to see the world from so many points of view.

Reading opens the world up to me, sometimes allowing me into minds of people I could never have entered into before. I will never be able to meet every type of person in this world but through reading I can meet so many different types of people. I can learn how to walk in someone else’s shoes.

Reading also allows me a way to step outside my problems and relax. I feel more confident and strong after I have read. I see that problems can be solved, people can change and you can succeed if you are willing to find a way.

Reading is my way of making sense of the world and allowing myself to step outside of the world when I need a moment to detach and relax.

What is your favorite genre? And what is one book you would highly recommend from that genre?

I am not going to tag anyone but if you are interested in this one, considered yourself tagged!

April Wrap Up

April was a decent month for me. I read give books and a short story. I also made some progress on a short story I am working on. I want to push myself writing more in the month of May.

April was a super busy time at work for me, we have three huge events between April and the first week of May so I have been coming home quite tired and with no drive to do much but relax. After the first week of May though work life should calm a little which will allow me to have more energy to do more work when I come home.

I am still 5 books ahead of my Goodreads challenge which is exciting. I am currently at 18 books read for the year. I also went only a small book buying binge this month.

51LlOUzjzYL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_38464776Origin

86214622895418991mya47EdnL

Books Read:

The Raven King –  Maggie Stiefvater- This was the final book in the Raven Cycle series and I enjoyed it. I found the ending a bit odd and vague which left me a bit indifferent to it. I did enjoy the way the character wrapped up but the story itself left me feeling a bit up in the air.

Opal – Maggie Stiefvater – This was a short story about Opal. I enjoyed this one a lot. I think it provided some answers I was missing form The Raven King. I also really enjoyed the deeper look at Ronan and provided a bit of an idea of what his series is going to look like.

Origin – Dan Brown – I had high hopes for this one. In the end it let me down in a lot of ways. I missed the ties to the historical aspects of his previous novels. I also missed the sense of adventure and the ‘”twist” at the end was predictable.

A Monster Calls – Patrick Ness – This was a somber read. I liked it and thought the way it deal with a very heavy subject was great. I think it gave real humanity to situation that can feel so uncontrollable.

Scythe – Neil Shusterman – This was so much fun to read. I loved the concept of the reapers and exploring what it truly means to be immortal. I also loved the look at the moral dilemma of taking lives and what that means for the people who have to do it.

Thunderhead – Neil Shusterman – This was a ride of a book. That ending left me dying to know what happens next. I don’t know how I am going to be able to wait until the last book gets published!

Blog Posts:

Love Simon – Movie Review
Reading Helped Shape Who I am
Down the TBR Hole #4
Blue Lily, Lily Blue – Maggie Stiefvater
Origin – Dan Brown
The Raven King – Maggie Stiefvater
Book tag: How deep is your book addiction?
How Well Does Goodreads Know Me? 

 

Books Bought:

Leah and the Offbeat – Becky Albertelli – This is a sort of sequel to Simon and The Homo-Sapiens Agenda and I am super excited to read it.

Dread Nation– Justine Ireland – I have been hearing fantastic things about this one and I am eager to see how it holds up to the reviews and recommendations I have read.

Circe – Madeline Miller – I am a sucker for anything related to mythology. I think is going to be a fun and different read.

Game:
mystery game.jpg

“Hogwarts Mystery” – I downloaded this on my phone and have been playing it off and on all week. It is fun though I do see it starting to get a bit repetitive. I am interested though where the story goes. It is one that requires “energy” to do things so  you have to wait for it to recharge before you can continue with the game. This is a great feature for me because it forces me to put the phone down and accomplish something while waiting.

How was your April? Any new books you recommend? New TV show? New movies? New games?

The Book Feels Tag

I saw this tag over on Torn Pages and Roses and thought it looked like fun. I have linked any reviews I have done for books that are mentioned.

                                                   A book series that made you smile or laugh:
914DeALdMcL
This one is easy. I just finished Simon vs. the Homosapiens Agenda by Beck Albertalli and it made me giddy with happiness. I was so excited to read a book about coming out and a homosexual relationship that ended happy.

 

 

 

A book/series that made you sad or want to cry:9781616956776

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silver. Adam Silvera’s books all make me want to cry but this one hurt the most. It was just a journey of confusion and pain and trying to find oneself that doesn’t end well. I actually read it on a African safari and I was glad to be alone in the tent when I finished it.

 

                                                   A book/series that you love:
51yr8-30fdl-_sy344_bo1204203200_
I have a bunch of books/series that I adore. Harry Potter is of course the one at the top of the list. That is a book series that has defined my life.

Outside of the Harry Potter series I also adored We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson. One of the best books I have ever read. It has some of the greatest characters. The story is compelling and emotional. It needs to be known by more people.

 

 

51plnK1YpdL._SX323_BO1,204,203,200_A book/series you didn’t particularly like:

I have shelves of book and only a handful that I can think of that I really disliked. I think the last one that I really didn’t enjoy was The Shack by W.M. Paul Young. It was too preachy, felt like I was sitting in a sermon and not reading a story.

 

1200x630bbA book/series that was made into a movie that you liked:

I enjoyed the Hunger Games movies. I think they were actually better than the books. I feel like they flowed better, especially the last one. I didn’t like the way the book series ended but I did enjoy the movies.

 

world-war-zA book/series that was made into a movie that you didn’t like:

Most books that become movies have a hard time impressing me. I am just one of those people who want things be exactly the same. I think World War Z was a huge disappointment. The book was like a documentary while the movie was just a typical action movie. The movie completely missed the point of the book.

A book/series you have mixed feelings about:
220px-TheMagiciansFor this one I would have to say The Magicians Series by Lev Grossman. I heard great things about it. I heard it was exciting and compelling. I didn’t get any of that from the series. It was okay but it was not what I expected. None of the books seemed to flow into each other and at times it got very boring. I do want to watch the SyFy series to see if I like that better.

 

 

35297386A book/series you haven’t read but are totally excited about:
Shaun David Hutchinson just published a new book, The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza and I am desperate to read it. Next time I have extra money I am definitely getting it.

 

 

 

51aqyzJkv1L._SX330_BO1,204,203,200_A book/series that made you angry:
I just finished The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein and I was not happy for most of that book. I detested what happened to the main character. The whole book was him dealing with these horrible events and none were his fault. Even the dog P.O.V. couldn’t make me not want to throw the book against a wall.

 

712+DVvSuyLA book/series you can feel like you can relate to:

I am going to go bit different with this one and not choose a novel. I recently bought What Do You Do With a Chance by Kobi Yamad. It is a picture book but it has a very poignant message. The whole book hit close to home for me. I just recently saw some huge chances pay off and I love reflecting back on my journey through that story.

 

I am not going to tag anyone. If you are bored try this one out.

The A-Z Book Tag

I saw this tag over on Mud and Stars Book Blog and thought it looked fun. It is going to be a minute before I finish my next book for a review so I thought this would be fun to do in-between.

Author You’ve Read the Most Books From:

house-editions-of-philosophers-stone-all-four-hardbacks_0.jpg

I have a few authors I follow but I would have to say that J.K. Rowling is the one I have read the most books from. I have literally read all that she has written including all the original things put out on Pottermore. There is a slight obsession there.

Best Sequel Ever:

29939230

I would have to say Conjuring of Light, which is the last book in the Darker Shades of Magic series by V.E. Schwab. I loved how well it wrapped up the story. It left me wanting a bit more and I am super excited for her new story in that universe!

Currently Reading:

9781922079886   61mc3mRBvoL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_

As of this typing I am actually between books but I plan on starting The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. It is the last book in “The Cemetery of Forgotten Books” series. Though I plan on starting that and then putting it aside to move to the illustrated version of the the third Harry Potter book this weekend.

Drink of Choice while Reading:

I don’t have anything that I specifically drink. I am usually reading at home and I almost always drink milk while at home. So milk would probably be the most common thing I drink while reading.

E-reader or Physical Book?

I am a physical book person all the way. I have nothing against e-readers, if it allows someone to read better I am all for it. I just can’t focus on a screen for a long period of time. I also need the feeling of a book in my hands and the ability to pull it off my shelf.

Fictional character you probably would have Dated while in High School?

the-mortal-instruments1.jpg

This one is tough because I don’t usually think about myself dating anyone in the books that I read. I usually pair them up with other characters and not myself. In high school I probably would have dated someone like Simon from Mortal Instruments, sweet yet dorky.

Glad You Gave this Book a Chance:

51gU0eNxl+L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

The one that comes to mind is one I recently finished, The Angle’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. I was intrigued by the initial concept and ended up becoming engrossed in it. It has a mysterious air that was interesting. Thought I read the first book in the series and I am not sure what I think about it compared to The Angel’s Game.

Hidden Gem Book:

51yr8-30fdl-_sy344_bo1204203200_

We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson. I picked up this book because of the alien plot but it turned out to be so much more. It is one my favorite books of all time. It is deep and emotional and sweet and a fantastic story. It does not get the attention it deserves

Important Moment in your Reading Life:

Harry_Potter_and_the_Prisoner_of_Azkaban_(US_cover)

This is easy, the moment I picked up the first Harry Potter book. I always enjoyed reading but I don’t know if my love would have become as deep without those books. I also don’t know if I would have become as passionate about writing without those books.

Just Finished:

1232

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. It an intriguing mystery but I wasn’t as thrilled about it as I wanted to be. I was expecting more from it and it confused the timeline for the series.

Kind of Books you Won’t Read:

I won’t say there is anything that I absolutely will not read but there a few genres I am not thrilled with. I don’t generally read nonfiction biographies unless I am super interested in the person. I also tend to have an issue with romance novels unless it has a supernatural twist to it. I like the more fantastic genres because they tend to give me something I can’t find in the real world.

Longest Book You’ve Read:

gwiw.jpeg

I think that would probably be Gone with the Wind when I was in junior high. I remember it being about 1000 pages. It was super long and I was not thrilled with it but was determined to finish it. I also remember that the liberian got on my case because it took me so long to read. It wasn’t like it was on a waiting list so I don’t know what her issue was.

Major Book Hangover Because of:

1487621303004

Most recently my book hangover came from They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera. I knew where the book was going and how it would play out but I was so hoping it would be different. I was just emotionally drained at the end.

Number of Bookcases you Own:

In my apartment I currently have 4 that are completely full. I need another one but I am running out of room for more shelves.

One Book You have Read Multiple Times

511IiqBLDGL._SL500_AC_UL320_SR274,320_.jpg:

Harry Potter is my obvious choice but the other would be the Everworld Series by Katherine Applegate. I read these all the time as a teenager. I loved the characters and the story was original and fun. I am a bit worried about reading them now though, hoping they don’t lose their magic as I age.

Preferred Place to Read:

IMG_3960

There is nothing better than reading in bed with my cat curled up on my lap fast asleep.

Quotes that Inspires You/Gives You all the Feels from a Book You’ve Read:

51jNORv6nQL._SX340_BO1,204,203,200_

I have a number from Harry Potter but my favorite has to be from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. “It is our choices Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

Reading Regret:

I am not sure I have that many reading regrets. I would have to say I regret ever feeling ashamed of loving to read. In school I did get teased about it often and sometimes it got to me but in the end it never dampened my love for books. In reality it probably made me love reading more.

Series You Started and Need to Finish:

I rarely don’t finish a series. I am very intent on making sure that I read a series right through. I am technically in the middle of the Cemetery of Forgotten books series by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. I paused it in order to read the illustrated version of the third Harry Potter book, but will go back to it soon.

Three of Your All Time Favorite Books:

Harry_Potter_and_the_Prisoner_of_Azkaban_(US_cover)   9780307744432_custom-fb2e2392e384d7db77dc38d9441f430dd02cb360-s6-c30 51yr8-30fdl-_sy344_bo1204203200_

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson. I could read all of those books multiple times.

Unapologetic Fangirl for:

Harry Potter is obvious but I also adore Malec from the Shadowhunter series. Magnus and Alec are just adorable to me. I have also become a serious fangirl for anything V.E. Schwab and Adam Silvera write.

Very Excited for This Release More than All Others:

Hmmm, I am trying to think of what is coming out soon. I think either Shaun David Hutchinson’s new book The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza or the Malec series that Cassandra Clare is supposed to be writing.

Worst Bookish Habit:

I tend to lose bookmarks and thus always dog-ear a book. I know that some readers detest people who dog-ear but it doesn’t actually bug me. I just wish I didn’t lose a bookmark between books. I always use it for one book then lose it before starting the next one.

X Marks the Spot: Start at the Top Left of Your Shelf and Pick the 27th Book:

513157

I am too lazy to get up and go through any of my four bookshelves so I put my Goodreads shelf on random and counted the 27th on that list, Depths of Time by Roger MacBride Allen. I haven’t read it in a while but I do remember it being a good time-travel book.

Your Latest Book Purchase:

51uZpbbhvmL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

Just recently I went book shopping with my mom for an earlier birthday. I bought a number of books but the one I was most excited for, beside the illustrated version of the third Harry Potter book, was Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. I have heard great things about this one so I am eager to start it soon.

ZZZ-Snater Book (The Last Book that Kept You Up WAY Late):

I think that was finishing The Angle’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. I had to figure out how it ended, though I wasn’t sure how to understand the ending. I am still not sure how it works in the whole series yet either.

I am not going to tag anyone, just if you are bored this was fun to do. What are your opinions on some of the books I mentioned?

 

 

What does the Word Home Mean to Harry and Ron?

51jNORv6nQL._SX340_BO1,204,203,200_  The Wizarding World Book Club has moved onto Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets. The questions for the rest of book one were alright but none of them sparked any discussion post ideas for me.

From the week of August 4th there were two questions that interested me. Both of them centered around the concept of home and how it is defined. Home is one of those words that has numerous definitions. For most it is a house but it does not always have to be. A lot of the times people talk about the difference between a house and a home. The house is the building you go to at the end of the day whereas a home is where you feel safe and loved. Both of the questions from this week center around how Harry and Ron define home.

The first question was pretty simple to answer; “Why is The Burrow so appealing to Harry?” The Burrow is appealing to Harry because it contains what the Dursley’s house does not, love. The crooked structure contains a family that adores and loves one another.

Harry grew up with nothing but anger and disdain thrown his way. No one wanted him around, no one gave him a second thought, no one cared about him. He had no purpose and no power in the Dursley household. He just made it day to day. Privet Drive was just house to Harry, somewhere for him to sleep and eat.

Harry meets the Weasley and realized that life could be better. He is welcomed into their home and their family with a smile and a hug. Mrs. Weasley treats him as one of her own. He is treated as someone who matters, someone who has a life that matters.

The Burrow itself is falling apart, it is crooked and nowhere near perfect, but it is what is on the inside that matters. Ron is ashamed of his house, not realizing what it means for Harry.

The way Ron talks about The Burrow reminds me of the way my parents talk about my childhood home. It is too cramped, dirty and broken. To me and Harry all those marks and scars are what make the building a home. It represents a family, a safe place and love. When I go home I am content and happy no matter what dishes are in the sink or what holes are in a door. It is somewhere where I am wanted and loved and I think it is the same for Harry. For Harry The Burrow is the definition of what a home means, it contains love and comfort and makes Harry feel safe and wanted.

The second question was a little tricker and required a bit more thought. “Where do you think Ron feels most at home?” I don’t think there is a particular place where Ron feels at home. I think it is more about the people that around Ron and what they make him feel. For him most of the time he is at home when he is with Harry and Hermione.

Ron grew up overshadowed by his siblings. He never got a real chance to stand out. We see in the first book that when he looks into The Mirror of Erised he sees himself the best of all his brothers and sister. On top of that he has a piece of himself that feels ashamed for his family’s status.

Unlike Harry The Burrow isn’t Ron’s favorite place. It isn’t a bad place to him, he loves his family and he knows that he is safe at The Burrow. When he is at The Burrow he is reminded of the people that overshadowed him. It is a safe place but it isn’t a place where he can find who he truly is.

When Ron is with Hermione and Harry he is able to stand out. Ron has a place and a purpose inside their group. He is not just a name in the middle of a giant family. He is an essential part of the group. I think for him that is where he feels most a home, a place and time where he feels like he matters, is wanted and needed and can make a difference.

In the end Harry and Ron were able to provide homes to each other. Both of them felt loss and powerless at the time when they met and in the end they gave each other places where to they could feel safe, wanted, cared for and needed.

Why I think the Dursleys are afraid of magic.

House-editions-of-Philosophers-Stone-all-four-hardbacks_0.jpgMy obsession with Harry Potter is not a secret.  When Pottermore announced that they were going to start a Harry Potter book club a few months ago I was excited. One of my friends saw the announcement and passed it on to me. It sounded like a perfect place for me to geek out about Harry Potter with fellows Potterheads.

The bookclub officially started in mid-June, unfortunately for me it is limited to a Twitter chat (as of right now). The chat takes place on Friday at 11am which is when I am at work (damn bills needing to be paid!). So I can’t take part in the official chat. I glanced through the feed though and saw that some of the questions they asked were interesting.

After looking through the chat I decided that, once in a while, I am going to do blog posts on the questions that I really like or have a strong opinion about. It won’t be something I do every week, just when I like the questions asked. I figured this would be a fun way for me to still take part in the idea of the bookclub in some way.

The way it appears to be working is that they are going to break the books down into small sections. Last Friday was the first few chapter of the first book. They had three questions that they asked and the question that I found the most interesting was “Why do you think the Dursleys are so afraid of magic?”

From the first chapter I knew that the Dursleys were going to be people who feared and detested anything that was different or unexplainable to them. I knew that they were going to be people who liked life one way and one way only. Vernon came off as the worst of the three of them.

They are the kind of people who believe the world should run in a way that they can define and understand. If something different happens or comes up that is beyond their comprehension they want it gone. The last thing they want to do is learn a new way of life. For Vernon, especially if he can’t define it, it is dangerous.

The Dursleys are the type of people who don’t want to learn anything new. They don’t want to find out that their way of thinking may be wrong. To them the “other” is wrong and thus dangerous. Unfortunately today this attitude is all too prevalent.

I feel like Vernon was always this type of person from when he was a child. I feel like he grew up thinking he was superior and looking down on anyone different than him. Whereas Petunia was more open-minded at one time but jealously and resentment clouded that aspect of her personality. She was so hurt to not be a witch and to be rejected by Hogwarts that she internalized that anger and turned it into fear.

She met Vernon who thought in that narrow minded way and it fit in with her anger. He allowed her to build this wall and then hide behind it. She didn’t have to deal with why she was upset and angry, instead she made it so that the wizarding world and magic were to blame. She fell into this blackhole of fear and anger. It became so deep that it took having to hide and leave Harry behind to even begin to crack that exterior.

Dudley is his parents son and we know he inherited their narrow-mind set and fear of the “other.” Though his parting words with Harry showed that redemption is possible; if he wanted it.

Why do you think that the Dursleys fear magic?

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – Movie Review

fantastic-beasts-and-where-to-find-themI was excited when I heard that there was going to be another Harry Potter movie. When we first learned about it all I knew was that it was going to be written by J.K. Rowling and it was going to center around Newt Scamander the author of the book Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, (which is a school book of Harry’s). I had no idea what a movie about that book could actually be about.

Over the months before the movie came out I still had no idea what the movie was going to be about. I knew that the creatures got out and seemed to be wreak havoc on New York. I wondered if that was going to be it. Was it just going to be a fun novelty movie but not much more to it? I wondered how it was going to tie into what we already know about the Harry Potter world, if it was going to tie in at all.

To be honest I was a little worried that it was going to feel like a whole separate world and story. I adore the Harry Potter series, as I have stated before in a number of reviews. I knew this story took place years before Harry was even born, it was even before his parents. I wondered if it would feel like a Harry Potter story or just a fun fantasy adventure. But I had my trust in J.K. Rowling and she did not disappoint me.

The movie is about Newt coming to New York in order to release one of his creatures back to the wild. While there his case, full of all the creatures he has collected over the years, gets mixed up with a No-Mag (or what Americans call non-magical people). Three of the creatures get out and start running around the city.

Newt runs into a wannabe Aurora, Porpentina Goldstein (though everyone calls her Goldstein),  and her sister Queenie. They join together with the No-Maj, Jacob Kowalski to find the missing creatures. Through their adventures they stumble upon more important mysteries and twists.

I won’t reveal too much more about the plot because I don’t want to ruin the experience of the movie for anyone. It is so much fun to watch it, not knowing how things tie together and finding the easter eggs about the Harry Potter world we already know.

The reason I loved the movie so much is because it sets up a story for the rest of the films. If the films continue down the road they are heading we are going to get a very interesting story. The main arc connects in with a pretty big part of the later part of the Harry Potter series. It sets up a history for a character we know slightly and seems to be furthering a story of a character we all love. There is so much potential in place.

I cannot wait to see where this series goes. I am excited because it feels like I am right back in the world that I have loved for ages. We are getting history without it feeling forced. She is setting up a fun story, with an expanded world and tying it right back into what we already know. This movie is giving us a way to enter back into this world and explore the history of it even further.

fantastic-beasts-niffler

I also want a Niffler for Christmas. He was way too adorable!

If you enjoy fantasy movies, with action, comedy and some fun animals you will enjoy this movie. You don’t have to be a Potterhead to appreciate this story. You don’t have to know much more than the very basics of Harry Potter appreciate the fun that is this movie.

If you are a Harry Potter fanatic like me you will love this movie. You will pick up on little things that other people won’t know. And after seeing it once you will want to see it again to see how subtle things change when you know everything that is going on. You will enjoy the way it builds on the stories and characters we already know while creating a new world for us to explore.

I am hoping to see the movie again sometime soon. After I see it again I may end up writing a theory piece about what I think is going to happen in the future movies. I already have an idea of where the story may go and if I am anywhere close to right, it will be a great series.

 

%d bloggers like this: