Jan 13

Thoughts on Revisiting Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1

Coming of Age, Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction 12

Greetings, Bookworms.

We’ve reached the final, darkest, and most emotionally draining installment of the Potter Binge (sponsored by the Estella Society), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. You know it’s going to be intense immediately if you’re listening to the audio books, because the musical introduction changes from a jaunty tune to a rather creeptastic interlude. We’re tackling this in two installments because I simply cannot contain my commentary. There are SO MANY SPOILERS in this and all of my Potter Binge posts. DO NOT READ THEM until you’ve read the books. Just don’t do it. I’m gonna need some fire whiskey to deal with all these feelings, guys. Here goes nothing.

HP
  • Of COURSE the Malfoys have Peacocks. Pretentious much?
  • Dudley brings home the shocker of the century. A heartfelt goodbye for Harry. (I’ll admit it. I get a little misty here.)
  • I really feel for Harry when everyone gets to see him in his underoos. I mean, he’s 17, that’s a terribly awkward time of life. E’erybody got a peek. Heck, they got to BE him. That’s unsettling in the extreme.
  • D’awwww why’d she have to kill off Hedwig? I mean, she wasn’t cuddly or anything, but she was the first real birthday present Harry ever got (beyond his first birthday, obvi. Sirius did hook him up with that killer toy broomstick.)
  • More hugs from Hagrid. HARRY NEEDS HUGS, GUYS!
  • And a Molly Weasley hug, thank heaven. Poor girl. Her whole family in mortal peril all the time!
  • Snape sectum sempra’d George’s ear. (By accident, we later learn, but still.) Ouch. But, leave it to George to make a terrible pun whilst injured.
  • The body count in this book. I can’t even. Mad Eye. Terrible shame.
  • The more I learn about “the trace” the more I wonder about this underage magic ban. It seems like a thoroughly empty threat to any child growing up in a magical family. It only detects magic performed nearby, so anything in the home would probably not even register. I had a conversation with a coworker (Hi, Kyle!) about how the Malfoys probably never policed Draco at home and how that’s completely unfair given that someone with Hermione or Harry’s living situation would have no opportunity to practice over the holidays. I wonder if potion making counts as magic? Or only magic performed with a wand? What’s traceable?
  • Molly gave Harry her brother’s coming of age wizard watch. In case you didn’t realize Fabian and Gideon Pruett (two members of the original Order of the Phoenix bravely killed in action) were Molly’s brothers, now you know. That makes the gift extra special.
  • I love that British wizards still rock the wedding hat tradition. Bewitched birds add a certain panache to any occasion.
  • Bill and Fleur’s wedding sounds ridiculously gorgeous…
  • Until it’s crashed by the fall of the Ministry. RIP Scrimgeour. THE BODY COUNT.
  • Ron and Harry would have been so screwed without Hermione. That handbag of hers was a stroke of absolute genius. All the packing. All the books. All the everything. Hermione wins at life, as per usual.
  • Harry is terribly tactless with Lupin, but sheesh. I imagine fatherhood is terrifying for many, even without the whole werewolf and ministry persecution angle, but that’s still a crap reason to cut and run. I’m glad he has a change of heart.
  • Ugh. FIGURES Umbridge would end up with a horcrux as a friggin accessory. That woman. And stealing Mad Eye’s magical eye?! What the what? You’re grave robbing now? That’s just gross.
  • For as long as it takes the trio to discover and figure out how to destroy the locket, the last few horcruxes seem to present themselves and be dispatched with surprising ease.
  • RIP, Gregorovich. Body Count like whaaaaaaaat?
  • Man. The horcruxes are kind of like the RING. They make everyone all crazy like. You think Voldemort ever called a horcrux his “precious”? Probably. He was way too close to Nagini.
  • Ron suffers from a severe case of HANGRY. I can’t blame him. I suffer the same affliction.
  • I get so sad when the trio come upon the refugee muggle born campers. Ted Tonks. And Dean! He’s only a kid!
  • The bleakest part of the series has got to be Harry and Hermione wandering around aimlessly sans Ron.
  • Godric’s Hollow. So many emotions.
  • Um. A Bathilda suit? Gross move, Nagini. Ew. (But that’s another dead body, if you’re counting. And I am.)
  • Oh gosh, I’d forgotten about Harry’s busted wand. That suuuuuuuuuuuuuucks.
  • Dude, Aberforth’s fascination with goats is… Troubling.
  • RON IS BACK!!!!!!!!!!
  • Aaaand you deserved Hermione’s pummeling, Ron. But she loves you, you ridiculous git.
  • The Lovegoods are rather into conspiracies for Ravenclaws, but, then again, we also apparently claim Sybil Trelawney. Stone cold pack of weirdos. Ravenclaw 4 Life!

Holy smokes. I’ve already cried several times and we’re not even to the REALLY rough part yet. It just hurts so good.

How you holding up, Bookworms? Have your insides been chewed up and spit out, or are you still hanging in there all strong waiting for the emotional blows still to come? 

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

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Jan 11

Thoughts on Revisiting Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, Part 2

Coming of Age, Fantasy, Readalong, Young Adult Fiction 11

Hidey Ho, Bookworms!

I simply cannot get enough of The Estella Society sponsored Potter Binge. Honestly, I’ve had so many great conversations with real life friends and coworkers as well as with the internet that I just want to bring y’all over for a nice warm butterbeer and some treacle tart. Except, I’ve never had treacle tart so I’m not sure I’d like it. I could make you apple crisp. Would that work? We are coming in on the home stretch here, and I’m starting to get a little nostalgic. I mean, remember back when Harry just found out he was a wizard? They grow up SO FAST. In a matter of weeks, it seems. Let’s savor each moment, shall we? The second half of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince awaits! Oh and SPOILERS. OMG the SPOILERS. I can’t even begin to tell you about the SPOILERS. Seriously. Be careful.

Harry potter half blood prince
  • Why isn’t side along apparition more popular? Harry was the only one who’d ever done it, but you’d think it would be the most convenient form of transport. Maybe they don’t recommend it for hauling children about because it’s sort of painful? Maybe it’s the splinching risk? Food for thought.
  • For the love, Dumbledore. Must you always be so enigmatic? Just SPELL IT OUT.
  • Apparating instructions sound SO VAGUE. The lessons basically consist of closing your eyes, hoping something will happen, and a pirouette. There’s not even a spell for it. Seriously HOW does that even work?!
  • Given my teenage self’s penchant for falling in love with boys who weren’t into me, I’m quite relieved I never had access to love potion.
  • Madam Pomfrey is the unsung hero of Hogwarts. The things this woman must have seen!
  • OMG, Myrtle. Get out of the boys’ bathroom, you crazy voyeur! Draco will never love you anyway. You’re muggle born! And, well, dead. Sorry.
  • Slughorn, you poor misguided fool. Riddle played you like a fiddle. (Nope, not sorry that rhymed. Not in the least.)
  • Dumbledore is in the cave. I kind of want to hide under a blanket until it’s all over, but I’m a masochist.
  • I’m going to need a moment.
  • Several moments.
  • Draco, Draco, Draco. You try to be a badass, but you’ve still got a teensy bit of humanity left in you. Embrace it, boy!
  • Having read the books before, I’m trying really hard to remind myself that Snape’s actions are a mercy killing… Really, really hard.
  • MY HEART IS IN TEN THOUSAND PIECES.
  • “You thought I would not wish to marry him, or perhaps you hoped? What do I care how he looks? I am good-looking enough for both of us, I think. All these scars show is that my husband is brave.” And with that, Fleur cements her place in my heart. And Molly’s, apparently. (Yeah, yeah, I took out the accented spelling. I was listening to the books because JIM DALE is the man and I didn’t feel like looking up Fleur’s accented speech.)
  • Tonks and Lupin. The scandal! Lupin is right. He is too old and too dangerous for Tonks. He totally doesn’t deserve her, but darn it, nobody does.
  • I simply cannot hold it together. Every dang time. I know it’s coming, and I still get the awful lump in my throat and then the tears come and I just can’t.
  • Ugh. The funeral. Seriously, you guys.
  • “The last and greatest of his protectors had died, and he was more alone than he had ever been before.” SOB.
  • Harry thinks he sees a phoenix in Dumbledore’s funerary fireworks- was it his Patronus being freed? Is that a thing that happens?
  • Oh heavens. Being dumped at a funeral has to suck. Ginny accepts things with good grace, that’s for sure.
  • And then Ron and Hermione say they’re going with Harry no matter what and I fall apart AGAIN. Because FRIENDSHIP.

Holy smokes, you guys. This is the last book wherein I preserve any shred of dignity and I’m afraid I’ve ruined it by sobbing all over the place. What is it about these characters and this world that just dig into my very marrow? My soul belongs to Hogwarts.

Talk to me, Bookworms. If you’re re-reading something that breaks your heart, do you skip over the sad parts? 

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

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Jan 06

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald

Chick Lit 13

Good Day, Bookworms.

It’s no secret that I’ve got something of a soft spot for books about books. Or books about readers. Or books about book clubs. What can I say? I can relate to the characters so easily if they like to spend their time with their noses in a book, you know? Of course you know. You’re a very intuitive bunch. I recently acquired a new title, The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald, that falls into just such a category. *I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through Netgalley for review consideration. This fact in no way bought my good opinion. I’m much too cranky for that sort of thing.*
readersofbrokenwheelblueSara is a lonely Swedish gal who works in a bookshop. In Sweden. I feel like I ought to mention that, seeing as the book takes place in Iowa. She befriends an elderly American woman named Amy through an online book exchange and they become as close as any international pen pals ever could. Eventually, Sara plans a trip to visit Amy in small town, USA. The book details Sara’s adventures stateside, the dynamics of tiny Broken Wheel, Iowa, and the power of a bookshop in a community. It’s a sweet little novel with echoes of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (review), flecks of Fannie Flagg, and dashes of Hallmark original movie. (Lacey Chabert, work on your Swedish accent and talk to the network. I smell success, here, people.)

If your goal in reading a book is to feel better about the world, this is what you ought to be reading. It’s the perfect novel to curl up with on a cloudy day and enjoy a mug full of hot beverage. Cozy mysteries are a thing, but is there such a thing as cozy lady fiction? I’m going to make it so. COZY LADY FICTION, right here, guys. Read The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend with a happy sigh and start your year off with a little ray of sunshine.

Talk to me, Bookworms. What’s your goal when reading? Escapism? Learning? Language? I’m fascinated by what makes you tick.

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

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Jan 04

Thoughts on Revisiting Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, Part 1

Fantasy, Readalong, Young Adult Fiction 13

Happy New Year, Bookworms!

I thought about kicking off the new year with a big old list of resolutions or something, but who are we kidding? I would break every last one of those resolutions and then feel worse about it because I’d announced them to the world. Why should I put myself under that kind of pressure, I ask you? I’ve decided to stick to what makes me happy, and what makes me happy is Harry Frickin Potter. Just because 2015 ended doesn’t mean The Potter Binge did! I’m still trucking along with the glorious re-readathon sponsored by The Estella Society. We’re closing in on the tough stuff, guys. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is not for the faint of heart, but, much like life, if it weren’t for the ugly heart wrenching bits, we’d never learn to appreciate the happy parts. It is with great trepidation that I embark on re-reading this novel. Hold me? (PS, this is so chock full of spoilers it’s not even funny. You’ve been warned.)

Harry potter half blood prince
  • As if the Prime Minister didn’t have enough to worry about without people popping out of his fire. Poor guy.
  • There’s an ice storm raging outside my window at the moment. Makes me wonder if dementors are running amok. Then again, winter.
  • Oh gross. The dementors are breeding?! That’s a mental image I could’ve lived without.
  • I don’t like Narcissa Malfoy. At all. And part of me wonders if she’d still love her son if he weren’t a chip off the old evil block. BUT. She DOES love Draco, so, I guess she could be worse. I mean, lack of capacity to love was Voldemort’s downfall. At least she’s got a shred of humanity. Presumably.
  • Slughorn is a muddy character for me. He’s got plenty of faults: he’s vain, fame seeking, and cowardly. Then again, I don’t think he’s rotten to the core. If he’s not actively good, he certainly doesn’t mean any harm.
  • Fleur and Bill! I think part of the reason Fleur is so difficult for the Weasley women to handle is because she’s part veela. She’s quite full of herself and rather annoying, but I think they’d find her easier to deal with if it weren’t for that whole veela effect of making women undeniably hostile.
  • The disappearances of Florian Fortescue and Olivander totally bum me out.
  • Aaaaand Hagrid pulls through with a bone crushing hug for Harry, as per usual. Well done, sir!
  • I hate seeing brokenhearted Tonks, it’s so sad when she can’t pink up her hair at will. Also, Patronuses are a very confusing little bit of magic, aren’t they? Major life shakeups seem to cause them to take a different form. Which begs the question. If one’s patronus remains the same after they fall in love, are they less in love than anyone else? Or is it simply a result of trauma?
  • I wouldn’t mind a bit of Felix Felicis, I’ll tell you what.
  • The Half Blood Prince and I have something in common. I make little notes on the few recipes I successfully cook so I don’t screw them up. Granted, mine usually say things like “you actually need to measure the evaporated milk. Remember that time you used the whole can and got fudge sludge?”
  • The tale of the Gaunts is so utterly troubling. Generations of cousins marrying cousins is never a good idea. Science affects wizard kind, too, and that concentration of genes is never a good thing. I mean, look at the royal families of Europe. We actually studied that family tree as an example of the inheritance patter of hemophelia in biology. I didn’t really want to google the consequences of inbreeding on mental health, but I’m sure it’s a terrible idea. All that aside, though, I can’t help but assume that Merope and Morfin did not attend Hogwarts. I’ve stated before that wizard kind could seriously use a social services department, but I don’t think either child would have been so thoroughly broken had they spent large swaths of their childhoods out from under the thumb of their fanatical father. They’d have had the option to stay at school during holidays and likely would have made friends that would have offered them some respite during the summer months. And even if they had to suffer through summers and holidays with the man, once they were of age they’d have been independent enough to break free, get jobs, and stop living in crazytown. Also, how would homeschooling work in the wizarding world? The reasonable restriction for underage magic was written in 1875 (I looked that up) so how would the Gaunt children have been able to perform spells outside of school? I wonder if there’s some sort of waiver… Hmmmm…
  • Hannah Abbott’s mother was found dead, poor girl. Probably part of the reason she and Neville eventually ended up together. Oh gosh. Knowing that people were brought together in part by a shared parental tragedy is heartbreaking. Dangit, Jo, my eyes are leaking!
  • Katie Bell! Ooooh I hate it when you get cursed!
  • I love Ron when he thinks he’s on the Felix Felicis. Positive mental attitude can be such a big factor in success, on and off the Quidditch pitch. I’m abysmal at keeping a positive mental attitude. Thanks for the reminder.
  • Ron and Lavender. Extremely annoying, however, in my experience, extremely reminiscent of being 16 or so, and the novelty of making out once discovered. Thank heaven this is relatively short lived. Won Won. Bleh.

Knowing what awaits us in the second half of this book puts knots in my stomach. I’m glad you’re with me for this, I don’t want to be alone right now!

Talk to me, Bookworms! What are you reading right now? Are you Pottering along with me or have you tackled something completely new?

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

 

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Dec 23

Thoughts on Revisiting Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Part 2

Readalong, Young Adult Fiction 4

Hello Bookworms!

I simply cannot leave us hanging before the holidays in the middle of a book! Especially not Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix. No siree. We are carrying along with the Potter Binge (hosted by The Estella Society, of course) as we hang our stockings by the chimney with care, people! Here are my spoiler-iffic thoughts on revisiting Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix, Part 2.

orderofthephoenix
  • The Hagid/Madam Maxime romance is hugely adorable. Pun intended.
  • Where does Professor Grubbly-Plank go when Hagrid comes back? She can’t have a regular job, can she? Nobody can take two months off with no notice, can they? Unless they’re one of those women who didn’t know they were pregnant. Then I suppose you’d have to let them because maternity leave, but you’d be lacking the notice because the baby just like appeared and everyone was shocked. I’ve been assured this really does happen, despite my skepticism.
  • Thestrels! It breaks my heart that Neville can see them. Hasn’t that boy been through enough?!
  • Oh man. Harry and Cho’s kiss. Harry’s internal monologue. That Rowling speaks to my awkward teenage self in a way that no other YA author has.
  • I love when Ginny calls Harry out for being a mopey prat when he thinks he’s being possessed by Voldemort after the whole snake attack thing. She’s like “DUDE. You know I was possessed by Voldemort, you’d think you’d ask someone who knows, but nooooo you decide to get your angst on. Snap out of it!” I’m paraphrasing, but still.
  • “God Rest Ye Merry Hippogriffs” is my new favorite Christmas carol.
  • Sirius gave Harry a brief one-armed hug when he left to go back to school. Better than a handshake, I guess, but c’mon. The boy needs more hugs. You’re his Godfather, dude, bear hugs!
  • Headless hats. Fred and George are creative geniuses.
  • Fact: Umbridge bans Quibbler containing Harry’s Interview. Fact: Hermione is gleeful because… FACT: Banning books will only encourage more people to read them. Bazinga.
  • I love when McGonagall comforts Trelawney even though she thinks Trelawney is a huge fraud. She’s kind and compassionate, and if it pisses off Umbridge, all the better.
  • OMG Harry. PAY ATTENTION IN OCCLUMENCY! I can’t even with you sometimes.
  • Learning that one’s parents aren’t perfect is an important lesson, but a pretty big bummer to boot. Actually SEEING your father in one of his rotten moments must have really sucked. Makes me glad there’s no way for my eventual children to see all of my stupidity in stark relief.
  • Give her hell for us, Peeves. Amen to that, Fred and George. Spectacular exit, BTW.
  • Hagrid is too big a softy for his own good. Ooooh the Grawp affair.
  • These kids taking their O.W.L.s gives me mad ACT flashbacks.
  • Egg cups doing cartwheels? Vanishing iguanas? Turning ferrets into flamingos? This sounds like way more fun than calculus.
  • Note to self: never call a Centaur “half-breed.” Actually, never call anything a “half-breed.” Ever. It’s incredibly rude in any context.
  • Umbridge deserved every minute of her Centaur beatdown.
  • Luna rides her Thestrel side saddle. Because of course.
  • The baby headed Death Eater always freaks me out.
  • Does Lupin’s forcible restraint of Harry as the tries to get to Sirius through the veil count as a hug?
  • WHAT IS THE VEIL?! Is it a portal to the other side? Did it always exist and they built the Ministry around it? Is it just something the Dept. of Mysteries conjured up? It’s so… MYSTERIOUS.
  • Harry’s discovery of the two way mirrors breaks my heart. If he’d used that he wouldn’t have had to borrow Umbridge’s fire and Sirius would have had it on him and… I can’t even.
  • Dear Harry, breaking things doesn’t bring our loved ones back.
  • Dear Dumbledore, Sirius is many things, but he is not the closest thing to a parent Harry has ever had. That honor belongs to MOLLY WEASLEY. #TeamMolly
  • Ooooh the ghost conundrum. So philosophical. Although I am a little disappointed that only wizards can become ghosts. I had high hopes for haunting.
  • Ravenclaw, I am disappointed in us for bullying Luna by hiding her things. You’re better than that.
  • The Order showing up at King’s Cross to threaten the Dursleys into behaving well is nice and all, but why didn’t they think of doing something like that sooner? Ah well. At least it’s a teeny bit of cheering up for poor Harry in his time of grief. And he got more hugs from Molly, so it’s all going to be OK. I notice Lupin still hasn’t broken down and officially hugged the boy. Remus, I’m disappointed in you, and I WILL be paying attention in the next two installments.

For heaven’s sake. Even breaking these books into pieces I’m getting wordier and wordier with my reactions. In my defense, the themes deserve more discussion. I mean, DEATH? Life after death? The philosophical implications are staggering. All right y’all. Break it down. Tell me your thoughts on THE VEIL.

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission and love you forever. I just had to spend a chunk of change to get rid of some malware because the internet is a dangerous place.*

 

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Dec 22

Thoughts on Revisiting Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix: Part 1

Fantasy, Readalong, Young Adult Fiction 2

Hello Bookworms!

I’m still Pottering along with the Estella Society’s Potter Binge and thank goodness for that. Even when things get rough for Harry, these books are basically a cheering charm for my soul. That said, Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix is when we enter Harry’s massive teen angst phase and man alive, this boy is a bit of a mess. Without further ado, I give you my disjointed thoughts on revisiting Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix, Part 1. Spoilers abound, but if you haven’t read these books you probably won’t read this post so, whatever.

orderofthephoenix
  • Oh there you are, teen angst Harry. Nice (ish) to see you again.
  • Mundungus Fletcher is described as bandy-legged and ginger… Are we SURE he’s not Crookshanks’s animagus? (I kid, obviously. But it is sort of amusing to imagine Dung as a human version of Crookshanks.)
  • If you’re a Squib, are you allowed to use magical objects that other people have bewitched for you? That would be a consolation prize, at least, for an otherwise muggle-like existence.
  • TONKS! You are adorable.
  • This has been bugging me for a while now, but why all the handshaking? Like, Lupin sees Harry for the first time in a year and is all “let me shake your hand like we don’t actually have feelings.” I hug the children of my dear friends ALL THE TIME and usually give them a big fat smooch on the cheek to boot. Granted, the oldest of them is 7, but still. Prepare yourself, Jack, Crazy Aunt Katie is going to be hugging you until forever. Are British people just less huggy? Is it a guy thing? Teen angst Harry needs more hugs, guys, and Mrs. Weasley, Hermione, and Hagrid can’t be expected to do all the hugging. (So far, the only three Harry huggers I’ve noticed. But big props to Hagrid who apparently doesn’t buy into non-sentimental machismo.)
  • Molly schools Sirius when it comes to parenting. She may have hit below the belt a wee bit when she scolds him for going to Azkaban, but he wouldn’t have been there were it not for his impetuous behavior. She’s the only real mother figure Harry gets and dagnabit, she’s good at it. Loves him like one of her own. She only wants what’s best for him, and he IS only FIFTEEN. #TEAMMOLLY
  • UMBRIDGE IS A SADISTIC MONSTER! She should have to write THAT a zillion times with her nasty quill.
  • Percy Weasley! You are the world’s biggest git.
  • Neville wanting to beat the crap out of Malfoy after his nasty crack about St. Mungos makes me want to hug him. I want to punch Malfoy too, Neville. Of all the fictional characters I’ve wanted to punch in my time, he’s quite high on the list.
  • Oooh the side effects of Fred and George’s snackboxes. Butt boils. That’s commitment to the craft, right there.
  • If you follow me on twitter, you’ll likely have realized that my nickname in high school was Katie Belle. My middle name is not Belle, it just sort of became a thing as such things do during high school lunch hours. In any case, I have a special affinity for Gryffindor seeker Katie Bell. (No E, mind. Bell is just her last name. Of course my ACTUAL last name is also a first name- the world is a confusing place.) This girl has it rough. Peeves poured ink all over her head. She gets a weird eyebrow curse from a Slytherin (giiiiiirl, I feel you on that one. Without wax I’d have the eyebrows of Sam the Eagle from the Muppets.) AND she’s going to end up getting cursed by a necklace? This poor girl!
  • Lifetime. Quidditch. Ban. UMBRIDGE!!!!!!! YOU ARE EVIL!!!!!!!! ::Shakes fists toward the heavens::
  • And now Hagrid is back, and we must pause. Simply too much still to come!

Whew, what a ride! I know Harry’s “nobody gets me” stuff gets a little annoying, but that’s what I love so much about Rowling’s writing. I didn’t attend Hogwarts and I’m (depressingly) a muggle, but all those adolescent feelings are so perfectly depicted. We all had those days at 15. Jo’s special magical ability is bringing it back to life.

What is the moment in the HP books that most reminds you of your adolescence and/or teen hood? 

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission. I will probably spend it on tech support because I am astonishingly bad at attempting to fix anything that goes wrong with my website.*

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Dec 17

Wind Blows Cold When I Think of Winter (Winter by Marissa Meyer)

Fairy Tales 6

Howdy Bookworms,
I don’t know what my problem is, but every single solitary time I think about the final installment of The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, I get Tori Amos stuck in my head. I can’t complain because “Winter” by Tori Amos is one of the most beautiful songs of all time, but it has absolutely nothing to do with the spacey robot-tastic fractured fairy tale epic. That’s right, kids, the final installment of The Lunar Chronicles happened and I’m here to tell you about it. Well. At least enough about it without ruining all the things. Since that’s nigh on impossible without discussing earlier books in the series, I recommend that you read Cinder (review), Scarlet (review), Cress (review), and Fairest (review) before reading this review of Winter… Or just accept my big fat SPOILER ALERT right here. Proceed at your own risk.

winterWinter is our resident Snow White. If Snow White lived on the moon and was driven half mad by her refusal to use her man brain manipulation skills, that is. She is known for her beauty which is all the more spectacular since she doesn’t go around bending everyone else’s perceptions to make them think she’s fabulous. She’s got the wickedest stepmother in all the land and she’s madly in love with her childhood pal/palace guard/highly unsuitable mate Jacin.

Luckily, she’s also got some super cool new allies in Cinder (cyborg/long lost princess), Scarlet (farmer and organic produce enthusiast), and Cress (computer programming genius/socially awkward girl recently sprung from captivity on satellite.) Are we all caught up? Oh yes, we can’t forget their various beaus, Kai (Emperor/resident Prince Charming), Wolf (genetically modified super soldier), and Thorne (impossibly handsome rogue criminal mastermind.) Will they be able to defeat Levana? Will they all achieve their various “happily ever afters”? I’m not going to tell you because of spoilers. I will, however, tell you I thought this book, though long, was a quick read, a fun romp, and a worthy end to the series so many have fallen in love with. If you’re a fan of fairy tale retellings, I highly suggest you check out The Lunar Chronicles. Now. If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go listen to some Tori Amos and make sure the entire range of my feelings are in working order. (You know that scene in Love Actually where Emma Thompson tells Alan Rickman that Joni Mitchell taught his “cold English wife to feel”? That’s me. But with Tori Amos’s Little Earthquakes.)

Talk to me, Bookworms! Have you been reading The Lunar Chronicles? Do you have a feelings album? 

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

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Dec 15

Thoughts on Revisiting Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: Part 2

Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction 10

Greetings Bookworms!

I know it’s been a full week since my last post. I am seriously burning the candle at both ends. The holidays, you guys. They are fun and exhausting in equal measure. So much living to cram into such a short amount of time. It’s times like these I could reeeeally use a time turner. Or the ability to apparate. Man, apparating would make everything so much more awesome. Can you imagine? It wouldn’t matter where your friends and family lived. You could just pop in for a visit whenever and go home to sleep in your own bed. Please excuse me while I lament (for the billionth time) that the wizarding world is not real. It’s time to carry on with the Potter Binge! We left off halfway through my rambling thoughts on Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire. Now it’s time to tackle part 2. Shall we?

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  • I really hate when there’s trouble in the great Harry-Ron Bromance.
  • Can you imagine if celebrities had access to invisibility cloaks? They’d foil all the paparazzi!
  • I bet Sirius had to deal with a lot of homonym jokes growing up. No really, I’m SERIOUS, SIRIUS.
  • In a classic case of Hollywood being Hollywood, they made Viktor Krum a lot more attractive and a lot more adept at back flips than he was in the book. He was supposed to be schlumpy and duck footed… Though, I’m pleasantly surprised to find out the actor was, in fact, Bulgarian.
  • Neville’s got a really good sense of humor for a kid that’s the butt of other people’s jokes so often. I mean, laughing at himself with the canary creams? He’s a good egg.
  • “Percy wouldn’t recognize a joke if it danced naked in front of him wearing Dobby’s tea cozy.” Too true, Ron.
  • The Yule Ball antics confuse me a little. I mean, I know MY 14 year old self would have been giggly and blushing madly during the whole thing, but I always thought I was just a late bloomer and horrible at dating. It seemed to me the reactions of the dating pool seemed a little younger than their ages would have suggested, though. I’ve probably seen too many lifetime movies. Which of course, now has me wondering about wizard birth control.
  • McGonagall should win best dressed for the Yule Ball. I mean, red tartan and a thistle crown? Girl knows how to represent. SOMEONE GET THE BAGPIPES!
  • I want the prefect’s bathroom in my house. Minus Myrtle the voyeur. The hazards of teenage ghosts, I guess. Though speaking of bathrooms, why is this one so far away? I know it’s just for the prefects, but it seems inconveniently located. They’ve got to have toilets in the dorms somewhere, don’t they? I mean, since students aren’t technically allowed out at night and all?
  • Molly and Bill showing up to be Harry’s “family” guests during the third task warms my heart. It also (with the benefit of hindsight) provides us with the first encounter between Bill and Fleur. Bow chicka bow wow.
  • You know, if Harry had let Cedric be his true Hufflepuff self, Cedric never would have died. He tried to give up the cup but noooooo Harry just had to let his noble Gryffindor-ness overpower Ced’s selfless Hufflepuff-ness.
  • Long-ass speeches will be your downfall, Voldy. The HUBRIS of this guy. Bleh.
  • Mrs. Weasley’s hugs probably cure as many things as phoenix tears.

Oh man, the end of this one always hits me like a punch in the gut. It’s not like dangerous adventures don’t abound in the first three books, but this book is when shit gets real. I mean. Cedric. Gone. Poof. Why must we grow up so fast?! We’ve still got three books to go, y’all. I hope you’re hanging in there with me, because I’m seriously going to need the moral support!

Talk to me, Bookworms! Do you ever get weirded out thinking that ghosts can see you in the shower? That’s a totally normal thing, right?

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

 

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Dec 08

Thoughts on Revisiting Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire: Part 1

Fantasy, Readalong, Young Adult Fiction 2

Hello my Darling Bookworms!

We’ve reached the midpoint in the glorious Harry Potter Re-Readalong with The Estella Society. I’m working my way through Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire. Now. As you are all aware (I assume, because HARRY POTTER) after Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (review) the books start getting a lot longer. Because my audio book files were split into pieces, I’m going to do my reactions to the remaining books in two parts a piece. It seems fitting as I want to discuss all the things and I’d feel the need to edit myself if I tried to review the whole darn thing in one go. Fasten your Firebolts, people, we’re doing this.

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  • When you have to be kept alive by milking your enormous horcrux snake, you should question your life choices. (Cough, cough, VOLDEMORT.)
  • I really hate Dudley but I get unreasonably sad for him when he’s put on that diet. Diets are hard, Dudders. I get it.
  • I will NEVER block up my fireplace. Aside from it being lovely and adorable, you never know. Floo Network, FTW!
  • Fudge’s encounter with the Bulgarian Prime Minister makes me feel better about being monolingual. It’s pretty hilarious that the Bulgarian PM pretended not to speak English all day just so that Fudge would keep playing charades to get his point across. You’d think there would be some sort of translating spell, though. Maybe there is and Fudge is too pompous to learn it. Seems like a very Fudge move.
  • Wizards are TERRIBLE at secrets! Good heavens every single person EVER hinted at the tournament. It makes me question the Potters’ decision to employ the secret keeper charm in the first place. Obviously it was a tragic mistake to trust Pettigrew, but Sirius was so bombastic and ridiculous, you know he’d have been waving the “I know something you don’t know” carrot in front of the Death Eater’s noses. They must reeeeeeeeeeeeeeally have been out of options.
  • There is no better moment than when (fake) Moody turns Malfoy into a ferret. But it begs the question. McGonagall can turn into a tabby cat, and a tabby cat is also her patronus. Do you think Moody’s spell specifically demanded he turn into a ferret, or the animal his personality most mimicked? What I really want to know is if Malfoy’s patronus is a ferret. If it is indeed a ferret, do you think that if it were to fight Mr. Weasley’s weasel patronus it would lose? Weasels seem scrappier than ferrets for sure, but a Malfoy ferret would fight dirty. My money is on Weasley’s weasel to win the day. Say that 5 times fast.
  • The Beauxbatons horses only drink single malt whiskey and baby dragons need whiskey and chicken blood… Are all magical creatures lushes?
  • For a teacher who wants to spend as little time with Harry as possible, Snape doesn’t go light on the detentions. Isn’t it also a punishment for him to have to spend more time with Harry and Ron? Or is it fun because he can torment them? I wouldn’t know, I’m not that mean. Ugh.
  • Rita Skeeter or Gilderoy Lockhart: Who is more annoying?

And there we have it, Bookworms! The first half of Harry Potter And The Goblet Of FireHave y’all been enjoying the Harry Potter binge? I know I have!

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

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Dec 07

The Further Adventures of Ebenezer Scrooge by Charlie Lovett: Review & GIVEAWAY!

Classics, Giveaways 8

Haul Out the Holly, Bookworms!

Nothing gets me in the holiday spirit faster than a viewing of The Muppet Christmas Carol, cinematic gem that it is. Perhaps the only thing I’ve found to rival Gonzo as Dickens is the latest book by Charlie Lovett. I’ve discussed my adoration for the Dickens classic A Christmas Carol (here!) and my enthusiasm never wanes (although my greatest wish is that I could locate photographic evidence of myself in my Ghost of Christmas Present costume from my 4th grade production. SANTA, hook a girl up! Or, you know, anyone from Mrs. Wilson’s 4th grade class.) *I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for review consideration. This in no way affects the integrity of my review. The fact that I would prefer not to be visited by three ghosts, however…*

furtheradventuresofebenezerscroogeThe Further Adventures of Ebenezer Scrooge by Charlie Lovett picks up 20 years after our dear Ebenezer has his change of heart. The metamorphosis from vile curmudgeon to lovable eccentric is complete and true to his word, he’s spreading Christmas cheer all year long. Literally. Like, it’s hot and June and he’s talking about figgy pudding. In fact, it’s long since started getting on the nerves of his nearest and dearest. Fred, Bob Crachit, and his solicitor colleagues are kind of over his whole transformation. However, when Scrooge is visited by his old pal Jacob Marley (as he is periodically) he sets off on a mission to help him shed his chains a bit more quickly. He enlists the help of the three spirits who visited him so long ago, and by then end have spread all sorts of seasonally inappropriate Christmas cheer. It is nothing short of adorable and heartwarming, and the perfect holiday read.

Which brings me to the EXCITING part! The good folks at Viking/Penguin are sponsoring a GIVEAWAY. Not only will you receive a copy of The Further Adventures of Ebenezer Scroogeyou’ll also receive a gorgeous Penguin Hardcover Classic edition of A Christmas Carol.  Is there any better way to kick off your holiday season? I think not! Enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

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