Blog Archives

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:

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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:

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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:

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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?

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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.

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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.

 

Harry Potter and The Cursed Child Review (Spoilers!)

Harry_Potter_and_the_Cursed_Child_Special_Rehearsal_Edition_Book_Cover(This is full of spoilers. If you have not finished The Cursed Child yet then stop reading now. I couldn’t find a way to talk about it without spoilers. You have been warned!)

When I heard there was going to be a Harry Potter play I was excited yet sad at the same time. The possibility of me actually being able to see the play was next to nothing. There is no way I can afford to go to London and I had no idea if/when it would come to the U.S. And when it does come here who knows if it would be possible to get tickets or if they would be affordable. So when I heard they were going to release the script in book format I was super excited. I have been anticipating this for months now. All I wanted was to be able to read the story.

I went to a midnight released event for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I felt like I had gone back ten years to the release of the final book. I went with my best friend, mom and brother. I was once again surrounded by Harry Potter enthusiasts and it was a great feeling. Not only have I missed the Harry Potter world but I have also missed the air of excitement and anticipation for a new story/book.

I read the whole thing in one sitting. I have many thoughts about the story so this does get a bit long. This will probably be one of my longest reviews, but I have so much to say about this story.

I wanted to start off by saying that I ultimately loved this story. I loved the greater depth we got to some of favorite old characters as well as meeting some new ones. I thought the story did a great job of introducing us to the next generation of Hogwarts students. One of my favorite aspects of stories is the characters and this script delivered on that. There were some plot points I had some trouble with but more on that later.

I do think that there is something missed from this story by just reading the script. Plays are meant to be watched not just read. I think portions would have had a bigger impact watching the action take place. I got a good feeling for the story but I think it would truly come alive seeing it performed. I hope that one day I am able to see it live and then compare it to my reading of the story.

Cursed Child takes place exactly where the seventh book ended. The opening scene is actually part of the epilogue. Albus Severus Potter is off to his first day at Hogwarts. He says good-bye to his parents and he and his cousin Rose head off down the train to find somewhere to sit. They encounter Scorpius Malfoy.

Rose is reluctant to stay around him. Both her and Albus know the history their parents have with the Malfoys. They also know the rumors about Scorpious being Voldemort’s child. Rose doesn’t want to stay but Albus does. Albus and Scorpius become fast friends.

Albus gets to Hogwarts and he is sorted into Slytherin which creates a rift between him and Rose as well as the rest of the kids in the school. The play does a quick pass through time going through Albus’s first four years at Hogwarts. We learn quickly that Hogwarts isn’t a sanctuary for Albus like it was for Harry. Albus is ignored and bullied. His only friend is Scorpius.

Albus is not popular like Harry. He is not a great student and he is not athletic. He is an outcast at school and at home he doesn’t feel much better. Him and Harry do not have the closest relationship. Harry is having trouble understanding Albus.

After a huge fight between Albus and Harry, Albus decided he needs to right a wrong of Harry’s past, which hopefully will change his relationship with his father. Albus decides that they need to save Cedric Diggory.

Albus and Scorpius steal the last remaining Time Turner and use it to go back and try to save Cedric. As always happens with trips through time, things do not go as planned. They try two different times to save Cedric and end up making a bigger and bigger mess. They work to fix it and in the process learn that the whole thing was being manipulated by a woman called Delphi, who they think is Cedric’s cousin. Turns out she is actually Voldemort’s daughter and she is intent on saving him and meeting her father. Albus, Scorpious, Harry and the others all work together to stop Delphi and in the process Harry and Albus learn how to understand one another and begin to repair their relationship.That is the basics of the plot.

At the end of the seventh book Harry and Albus have a discussion about Albus’s fear of being placed in Slytherin. After their talk I thought that Albus would ask to be in Gryffindor just like Harry did. I did not expect him to end up in Slytherin, but he did. I love that Albus is in Slytherin. That is probably one of my favorite parts of the story.

People have a misconception about Slytherin, one that J.K. Rowling is constantly trying to change. The idea that Slytherin is full of dark or evil wizards is warrented. In the books we are told that the most dark wizards have come from Slytherin. Many of the characters we dislike are in Slytherin. But Slytherin house is not a bad house, there is nothing inherently wrong with the people in that house.

Slytherin-Crest-slytherin-17304074-250-284.jpgSlytherins are ambitious, stubborn, and cunning people. They will do whatever they have to do in order to get what they want. They do not back down easily. None of those are bad traits. They are traits though that can be used in the wrong way if they are allowed to go in that direction. Because Slytherin’s have some more extreme traits they tend to be the darker wizards but making Albus a Slytherin does a lot to change this idea.

We get to see that there is nothing wrong with this house. Albus is not evil. Scorpius is not either. It helps to show that each person is an individual. Just because your family has a certain leaning toward a house or set of traits does not mean you have to be same way. Everyone is different. Albus is a good kid, and him being in Slytherin will help adjust the attitude that may permeate about that house.

One of my new favorite character is Scorpius Malfoy. Scorpius is funny and has some of the best lines in the play. He is not like Draco, a lot like Albus is not that much like Harry. Scorpius is the smarter one of the two of them, he is a bookworm and has great grades. He is the perfect pair to Albus. I love their friendship. I also love what their friendship does for Draco and Harry’s relationship.

Draco and Harry have not become friends over the last 19 years. They tolerate each other’s presence. Throughout the story they have to work together in order to find and help their children. They have arguments, but in the end they realize that they have some things in common. Both are having trouble relating and reaching their sons. Both have certain expectations for their children and both are having an issue connecting to their child.

l-r_Harry_Potter_(Jamie_Parker),_Albus_Potter_(Sam_Clemmett),_Ginny_Potter_(Poppy_Miller)-large_trans++P642x9a4zXQRkyaVdo3I2TWirqIBi3L-jQ5m0Ctq1moParents tend to envision certain lives for their children. They see them as a certain profession, or see them getting great grades and having lots of friends. Some see their children as hugely successful or similar to themselves when they were children. One of the most difficult things for a parent is to take a step back and see the child they have in front of them. Some can do this (my parents did a great job at it) while others have trouble reconciling their imaginary child and the child they have in front of them.

This is the main thing Harry is dealing with in this story. Harry has three children, James, Lily and Albus. He seems able to connect with James and Lily. Albus is an enigma to him and they can’t find common ground. Not only is Albus a Slytherin but he hates Hogwarts, is not popular, not a great student and is not athletic. He is a loner and Harry can’t understand how Albus go to this point.

One of the problems is Harry doesn’t listen to Albus. He keeps getting frustrated with his son and he thinks he knows best. He doesn’t understand why Albus won’t listen and do what he says. He can’t reach his son and he makes some bad decisions along the way.

By the end of the play he has to put his expectations and images of Albus aside and see Albus for who he is. They are in fact much more similar than either is willing to admit. Harry is not perfect. He has always had trouble adjusting his opinion about someone or something. He tends to get an idea in his head and won’t let go. In this play we see that this is something he continues to struggle with no matter how old he has gotten.

Cursed Child also gives us a new way of seeing Draco. Draco’s wife passes away early in the story and he is now a single father. He is struggling to connect with his son just as Harry is. Draco was a character that got much deeper in the last few books and this play just adds more depth to his character.

Draco-ScorpiusDraco ends up opening up a bit to Harry in this story which made me like him more than I have ever done before. We see that Draco loved his wife and loves his son. He did not have the greatest example of a father to emulate; and like Harry he is making things up as he goes. Draco does not want to be stereotyped by his past decisions or for his son to suffer for his past.

Harry and Draco will never be best friends but the friendship between their children will help repair past wounds. They can be cordial to each other and even work together when necessary.

This was a great play for characterization. It evolved the characters we know and love and helped us form new connections to new characters. The main plot point, the whole time travel aspect, is where things got a bit complicated.

I love time travel stories. I also love stories that explore the idea of the repercussions of changing things in the past. I was excited to see that this was the main idea of this story. What I found though was my wanting of more details. I know a play can only give you so much detail and explanation to the story. You can’t have a huge amount of time dedicated to explaining how pieces work. I thought this story could have benefited from a bit more detail about how the time travel worked and how the consequences came about.

Albus and Scorpius change history twice trying to save Cedric. The first time they try to make Cedric fail the first task of the Triwizard Tournament. The effects of this one are subtle. Albus is now a Gryffindor. Ron and Hermione aren’t married. Hermione is not Minster of Magic, but a teacher and she is strict and just plain mean.

Harry is also a bit rougher around the edges. He threatens McGonaglla with legal action if she doesn’t do as he wants. He tries to keep Scorpius and Albus separate from one another, all which is very out of character for Harry.

The issue I had with this part was there was little -to-no explanation of why these are the consequences of that change in history. Why is Albus now a Gryffindor? How does his character change because of this? Yes, Hermione went to the Yule Ball with Ron instead of Krum but why did that have such a negative effect on their relationship? Why is Hermione so bitter now?

There is a base line explanation for everything but I felt like I needed a bit more explanation. That may be because I am so close to these characters that I need to know everything about them and how they change. These aren’t characters I just met. I believe I know their behaviors and thoughts and would know how things would change for them.

The second time they humiliate Cedric in the second task. Somehow this makes Cedric become resentful and in the end he becomes a Death Eater. At the Battle of Hogwarts he kills Neville, which means Nagini is not killed and Harry dies in the battle. Voldemort takes over and everything is horrible. Again, I had questions.

Why does Cedric being humiliated end up with him as a Death Eater? And how does that alone put things in place for Vodemort’s take over? Did Cedric blame Harry somehow? I think we do not know enough about Cedric alone to be able to reconcile these changes in a way that made sense to me. Again I think this would have benefited from more details about what happened and why. But I know that is difficult with the time frame of a play.

Then there is the idea of Delphi being Voldemort’s daughter. This was the part I had the most trouble with. It may be that for me Voldemort always seemed like a very asexual person. I did not see him having any real connection with anyone, not enough to create a child. I also can’t put Belletrix into a timeline where she would be pregnant.

This idea was interesting and I would have loved to explore it more. I would have loved to understand better how it happened and if it was just about creating an heir (which makes little sense since Voldemort never planned to die) or if there was more to it.  Again I think I desired more details because I am used to getting it with the novels. In a play you can’t do all of that or the whole thing would last hours. There has to be a cut off and some things get left out. The basics are explained for the plot line but I wanted a bit more.

Again I did not dislike this story. I loved the idea. I loved the growth of the characters and the introduction to the new characters. I just think this may have all worked better as either a novella or even a novel. I am also used to a certain way Harry Potter stories are told and this is very different so that may be me trying to adjust to this change.

In the end I loved this addition to the Harry Potter world. I have new favorite characters. I got to see how Harry as an adult, which is nice since I am now an adult myself. I got to go back into the world that I have always loved and adored. This was a great adventure and I do believe that anyone who likes Harry Potter should enjoy this additional story. You get to step back into the magical world and walk alongside some of these fantastic characters yet again.

The Disney Book Tag

disney-book-tag1I was tagged for this from Michelle over at Michelle, Books and Movies Addict. Thanks for the tag, I am a Disney lover and this was fun to do; though it did take some thinking.

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1. Little Mermaid: A character who out of their element, a “fish out of water.”

This was a difficult one to come up with. I ended up choosing Jonas from The Giver by Lois Lowry. Jonas has always lived a life that was very much about being the same as everyone else and never going out of that box. Then he becomes the Receiver of Memory and his whole world is flipped on its head. He goes from being a very comfortable fish in a large school to being a fish flopping around on the shore, trying to figure out some way to survive.
2Cinderella: A character that goes through a major transformation.

This was difficult because there are so many character I love that change in a number of A1bCf-Xhe4Lways. I chose Wade from Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Wade started off the book as a kid who was just existing, he finds the first key and his world gains purpose. He learns the importance of reality, love, friendships and standing for what you believe in.

 

51gBHSuI1jL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_3. Snow White: A book with an eclectic cast of characters

This one was easy to come up with. I just finished The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, one of my all time favorite books. This cast of characters is wide ranging and includes a literal “watch dog,” a curious child with too much time on his hands, a cranky Humbug, and princesses who are Rhyme and Reason. There are so many different characters, all playing an important role and bringing fun and intriguing elements to the story. The cast is what makes this book so much fun to read

 

4. Sleeping Beauty- A book that put you to sleep

I have never been a fan of what are considered classic novels, many of them put me to sleep. But the one I have never been able to get passed chapter 3 or 4 is Little Women by Louise May Alcott. I have tried so many times to read this and have never succeeded, I just cannot relate to any part of the story and I get bored very quick every time.

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5. The Lion King: A character who had something traumatic happen
them in childhood.

details_GraveyardMy first instinct here was to go with Harry Potter, but I am using that for two other ones so I chose The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaimen instead. Bod’s life starts off with the murder of his parents and sister, which he barely escapes. He then finds his way to a Graveyard where he learns a number of lessons from the inhabitants. He can’t really remember his traumatic beginnings but it leads him to a place where he can learn how to see the world a bit differently, something that is always necessary.

Beauty_and_Beast6. Beauty and the Beast: A beast of a book (a big book) that you were intimidated by; but found the story to be beautiful.

This one was the most difficult to come up with because big books are my favorite. The more pages the better. I am not intimidated by the size of a book. So I chose the Game of Thrones series by GRRM  for this one. Mostly because I did not quite know what I was getting into when reading it. I didn’t know what to expect and after reading five of the books I still have no idea what to expect. I am eager for the series to finish (if it ever does) and would not care if they were thousands of pages long, as long as I get an end, I will be happy.

7. Aladdin: A character who gets their wish granted for better or for worseHorns_cover

I chose Ig Perrish from Horns by Joe Hill for this one. He wanted to find out what happened to his girlfriend and clear his name. He got his wish, but also found the darker side of himself as well.

 

8. Mulan: A character who pretends to be someone or 1581572842_060ff50eb5something they are not.

This one was difficult, I ended up choosing a Harry Potter character, though I am going to use the series again. Peter Pettigrew spend almost three books pretending to be a rat. But most importantly he pretends to be a tough person, while in reality he is a sniveling mess who is weak and stays around those who can save him. He pretends to care but in reality he is all about protecting himself.

9. Toy Story: A book with characters you wish would come to life

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Look, Harry Potter again! I would love for all those characters to come to life and be able to hang out with them. They are so interesting and different that I don’t think you could ever get bored spending time with any of them.

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10. Disney Descendants: Your favorite villain or morally ambiguous character

This was a tie for me. I have written extensive posts on both of these characters so I will keep it short here. I chose Jamie from Game of Thrones and Seichan from The Sigma Force series by James Rollins. They both have made some poor decisions in their lives but they begin to change when they meet new people in their stories. Watching them step away from being that “villain,” and become something in the middle is one of my favorite storylines to read.

 Time to tag! As always if you have no interest in this or have done it already, feel free to opt out.

  1. Trisha over at Yellow, Green and Read All Over
  2. BrittneySahin at Brittneysahin

3 Days, 3 Quotes Challenge (Day 2)

Thank you to Trisha over at Yellow, Green and Read All over for nominating me for this challenge!

Rules:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you
  2. Post a quote for 3 consecutive days (1 quote a day)
  3. Nominate 3 new bloggers each day

My second quote had to come from one of my favorite book series of all time, and that is Harry Potter. I have a slight obsession with the series and it is one of the main reasons that I became a writer in the first place. I wrote a whole blog post on the series influence to me, called, Why I write…

Oothp“Youth can’t know how age thinks and feels but old men are guilty if they forget what it is to be young.” – Dumbledore- Order of the Pheonix

Dumbledore is the wise character of the stories which is why it is perfect for him to say something like this. He points out his own faults and Harry’s without being demeaning or angry. He recognizes that both those who are older and those who are younger tend to forget how each other sees the world.

I love this quote because we tend to have this issue in our world today. The younger generations think the older generations are out of touch and don’t understand them. While older generations sometimes seem to believe that the younger generation are not as good as they were, or don’t contribute or function as well in society as they did in their time.

What both sides don’t do is learn from each other. I have seen this and I have argued this many times, especially being a waitress. There is plenty we can learn and knowledge we can gain from the older generations. We have to understand that they came from a  different time and adjusting to vast changes so quickly can be difficult. Youth always can learn from age.

But Age can always also learn from Youth. The younger generation learns new things and have changing world views, that grow as the world grows and changes. Age can learn from the youth, see the world through their eyes once in awhile, and see a new view on what they thought they knew and understood. The world will continue to change and both youth and age have to change with it. They can help each other learn from the past while learning how to survive and thrive in this ever-changing world.

Nominations- If you have already done this challenge or it doesn’t interest you, no worries, no obligation to take part!

  1. Jens at Jens Lyon
  2. Jessica at Jessica marie Baumgartner
  3. Ana at AnaSpoke

Why do I Write? Because Harry Potter & J.K. Rowling Showed Me the Magic of Words & Stories

12088190_10153209766583333_537171791531971859_nWhen I finally got my paperback copy of my book, that I had spent over a year writing and perfecting, I knew the exact place I was going to place it on my bookshelf. The only proper place for something so important to me was right next to the book series that was the reason I became a writer in the first place. So I placed my own book, Is There More? right beside the Harry Potter series, where I can see it everyday.

It has been a long year for me not only perfecting my stories but also learning how to self-publish this collection. Throughout that year there was many times that I doubted what I was doing and wondered if I could actually do it. And every time I had that moment I would look over at my bookshelf and remember why I wanted to do this.

I know the Harry Potter series and J.K.Rowling herself have done a lot for many people. The series opened up the magical world that is reading to so many who had closed the door on it perviously. The series gave people somewhere to escape to and provided characters we all could relate to. The series brought together people of all ages through a mutual love of this world and this story.

I always loved to read. Reading has always been my escape when the world around me gets too difficult or confusing. I loved to read before I ever picked up the first Harry Potter book. But what reading that specific series did for me was show me the power that words truly have. It showed me that words can change the way people perceive the world and interact with it. And I quickly realized that I wanted to do that with my life.

I found the first Harry Potter book at a book fair, one of my favorite things at school. I picked it up because it was a fantasy story about wizards and sounded interesting. I had no idea what I was holding in my hands. I had no idea it would be a series that would capture the heart of so many around the world. I did not know that this one book was my own gateway to where I wanted to take my life and would give me a pathway for my own career.

I devoured that book along with the second and third. I remember when the fourth one came out I was not able to attend a midnight release. My aunt actually bought me the fourth book (which I greatly appreciated) but I had to wait a few days to get it. I remember sitting on my front porch disappointed that others were able to read the book while I had to wait. I did not want to wait, I had waited long enough to enter back into that world. But I read it the whole eight hour drive to my another aunt’s house, enthralled as I knew I would be.

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Me and my mom with our copies of Deathly Hallows!

I did attend release parties for the last three books and even dressed up for the seventh book’s release. I loved falling into that world even when I was not in the pages. The series gave me a way to belong and I desperately needed that at that time. I felt a part of something, something big and I loved that.

I needed to feel part of something because in my early school years I felt like I did not belong anywhere. Harry fighting through all that he did and still winning gave me hope. I was not a popular kid in my early school days and I held onto Harry and his world as a way to not feel completely left out. While the series gave me a way to belong and a way to find confidence in myself, it also helped me realize what I could do with my own pen.

I began writing with fanfiction. I wrote stories about what I thought would happen to Harry and Ron and Hermione in between the release of the books. I needed a way to fill that gap and that was how I did it. They were not the best stories, full of grammar issues, plot holes and inconsistencies, but they were my way of releasing my imagination onto the page. People read them and didn’t hate them and I began to wonder if this could be my talent.

For a long time I wondered if I actually had a talent at all. I was not good at a lot of things. I tried everything from baton, dancing, clarinet to volleyball and softball and I honestly sucked at them all. I was good at being bad at things and it became kind of a running joke for me. I laughed about it but it did get old quick. I watched everyone around me do things well and I wondered when I would find what I was good at and enjoyed.

I found Harry Potter and picked up my pen. I saw what J.K. Rowling did with her imagination and her words. I realized that words have power and if used correctly they can do wondrous things. Words can change people’s worlds and how they see themselves. I began writing  fanfiction and after floundering for a long time I found what I wanted to do.

I denied what I wanted for a while though, even went to collage for Zoology, thinking that writing could only be a hobby. But I quickly figured out that I could not put writing on the back-burner. Whenever Zoology got too hard and I couldn’t take the science courses anymore I read or I wrote. I knew that I wanted to do what J.K. Rowling did, open up a new world to someone, anyone, anywhere. I wanted to use my own imagination and show the world something new and provide an escape as well.

I can safely say that J.K. Rowling is the only celebrity that I ever looked up to or used as a role model. There were celebrities that I liked but I did idolize them. But J.K. Rowling was different . She created this world for all of us and she has kept it alive all these years.

Her prose is fantastic. Her characters are deep and full of life. The story is one we all can find a way to relate to and the twists and turns are exciting and thrilling. But what I loved most about J.K. Rowling is that she has not walked away from this world. She did not hang up her cloak when she wrote that last word on that last page. She knows how important Harry Potter is to so many and she continues to live in the world right beside the rest of us.

She created a family tree for all of the characters. She continues to give us extra information about the characters and wands and so much else through Pottermore. This year was James Potter (Harry’s son) first day of Hogwarts and she wished him well and even told us what house he was sorted into. It is exciting and heart-warming to see someone so in love with their own work.

At the premier of the last part of the last movie she said, “ Whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.” I love that quote. I love that she understands how much Hogwarts has become home to so many and hopefully will continue to be for years to come. Whenever I become discouraged or frustrated while writing I pull out a Harry Potter book or just look over at my bookshelf and remember why I am doing what I am doing.

J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter showed me what I want to do with my own writing. I not only want to sweep people away to somewhere fun and exciting full of relatable characters but I want to show them a new way to see the world and themselves. I do not know what I would be doing now if I had not found the Harry Potter series. And I don’t actually want to know. I love the path I am on. It is not an easy one and figuring this all out can be difficult but I am determined to keep going forward. J.K. Rowling took a chance with writing the Harry Potter series and I am grateful she did. If I can make a sliver of the impact that J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter has done for me for anyone else I will consider myself a success.

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