Category: Readalong

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? 

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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?

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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 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.

gobletoffire
  • 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!

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Dec 02

Thoughts on Revisiting Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban

Fantasy, Readalong, Young Adult Fiction 7

Hallo, Bookworms!

Imagine that in a Hagrid accent, would you? I’m still working my way through the Harry Potter series along with my favorite people at The Estella Society. POTTER BINGE! I’ve just finished up Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and as you know, I have some thoughts, reactions, and the like. Get your time turners ready… HERE WE GOOOOOOO!

prisonerofazkaban
  • Seriously, Errol. Sometimes I wonder if he’s not so much decrepit as the Drunk Uncle of the owl world…
  • I know assume that Molly home schooled her brood before they went to Hogwarts, but I have to wonder why, once Ginny left, she didn’t decide to get a job outside the home to help with the finances. I don’t suppose she had a whole lot of time to do so between Ginny going off to school and the second rise of Voledemort… And I really have no idea what the wizarding job market was like at the time, but the state of their Gringott’s vault makes me want to cry… Then again, I think they had chickens and stuff. She was probably like the original witch homesteader. I bet she grew organic mandrakes and kept livestock and whatnot. STOP JUDGING MOLLY WEASLEY, KATIE. SHE IS THE BEST.
  • Speaking of drunk uncle, how’s about drunken Aunt Marge? The worst.
  • The Knight Bus sounds like a dreadful way to travel, all things considered.
  • Chocolate! Cures what ails you… Especially if dementors are what ails you.
  • Hermione could give any internet skeptic a run for their money. Girl throws serious shade at Divination.
  • Snape as Granny Longbottom. It never gets old!
  • The Great Hall has 12 Christmas trees. #LifeGoals
  • Nose biting teacups are truly a gift for all occasions.
  • Malfoy’s glee at having Buckbeak executed is troubling. Isn’t cruelty to animals a sign of a sociopath?
  • I GET that Snape hated James, but what kind of person bad mouths an orphan’s parents to their face? Seriously douchey move, Snape. Probably why I can barely muster any sympathy for the man. Ever. Besides. Everyone knows that the best revenge is making the child of your enemy think you’re cool. Duh.
  • Lupin’s guilt trip game is ON POINT.
  • HERMIONE SMACKS MALFOY! BEST!
  • Lee Jordan’s Quidditch commentary kills me.
  • The rules of the time turner hurt my brain. For one, I keep getting Cher stuck in my head. Plus, how far back in time can it go? What happens if you DO change things? Why couldn’t they have used a time turner to stop Voldemort and/or reverse any number of unfortunate deaths? I’m just going to have to put my trust in Rowling that there are REASONS but they’re very dense like tax law and I just shouldn’t think too hard about it.
  • Oh Prongs. Remember that I time I told y’all about my patronus at great length?
  • A note to all four of my godchildren: I repeat! I WILL NEVER GET MYSELF LOCKED UP IN AZKABAN AND LEAVE YOU ALONE IN THE BIG BAD WORLD! (Jack, Nathan, Natalie, and Emma I love you all to tiny bits.)
  • “You think the dead we love every truly leave us?” I’m not crying. YOU’RE CRYING.

The further along we go in this project, the less sense I’m making. No matter, I’m having all the fun. How about you, Bookworms? Anybody else think that the Weasley’s old decrepit owl Errol is a fraud and a drunk?

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Nov 24

Thoughts on Revisiting Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets

Fantasy, Readalong, Young Adult Fiction 10

Great Maggoty Haggis, Bookworms!

I’m trying to work that phrase into my lexicon because I like coming up with alternatives to swearing. Not that I have a problem with profanity, because I don’t, I just prefer my language to be a bit more colorful. The Harry Potter books never fail to supply me with entertaining phrases. Which brings me to the point! I’m still trucking along with The Estella Society’s #PotterBinge re-read-along and it has been delightful. Since I had so much fun logging my thoughts with The Sorcerer’s Stone, I thought I’d continue the concept with Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets. Ready?!

chamberofsecrets
  • Oh Dobby! The self flagellation! He’d fit right in to one of those penance parades they had in The Seventh Seal. Yeesh.
  • I love me some lock-picking Weasley twins.
  • I am still desperately ashamed that GIlderoy Lockhart was a Ravenclaw. Ugh.
  • Ginny almost forgot that blasted diary at The Burrow! If only she’d left the darn thing!
  • For some reason imagining a pair of 12 year old boys driving a car on the road seems much more insane than a pair of 12 year old boys flying an enchanted car through the air…
  • Fred and George never got caught with the car despite having taken it out a number of time. It proves, once again, that they are criminal masterminds working for the greater good and general mischief.
  • Oh, Errol. You poor, ridiculous owl.
  • I want to punch Lockhart ALL. THE. TIME.
  • The earmuffs in the mandrake scene made me think of Scream Queens and that girl who always wears fancy designer earmuffs. Apparently there will be a scripted reason for her doing so at some point, but since the actress is Carrie Fisher’s daughter (!!!) they thought the Princess Leia homage would be funny.
  • Alright, you guys. Cornish Pixies. Is it not more correct to call them “piskies” in the Cornish dialect? Did they get translated to “pixies” in the American version or is it like that in the British version too?
  • Peeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeves! That punk never made it into the movies, but I forgot that he was the one who broke the vanishing cabinet Draco ended up fixing to cause all that trouble later on!
  • Even the Hufflepuff ghost is cheery. Go out and hug a Hufflepuff! I bet they give the best hugs.
  • “Great Maggoty Haggis” is my new catch phrase. (See? I’m already putting it into practice.)
  • Hermione steals from Snape. Classic. Badass.
  • Dear Ginny, since when are fresh pickled toads in any way romantic?
  • “When in doubt, go to the library”- sound advice.
  • Dude, Harry can put together crazy clues about the Basilisk and reflective surfaces but it takes him FOREVER to figure out that Tom Riddle is up to no good.
  • Who does wizard laundry if house elves can’t handle clothes? I have a hard time imagining Narcissa Malfoy scrubbing anyone’s under drawers… This has been bothering me for years.
  • A pajama feast is obviously the best way to end a story.

There we have it, Bookworms. My thoughts on the second installment of the #PotterBinge. Is anybody else playing along? I’m seriously pondering this laundry issue, I’d love to hear your theories on it. 

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Nov 16

Thoughts On Revisiting Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Fantasy, Readalong, Young Adult Fiction 23

Happy Monday Bookworms!

I know, I know. It sucks to start a brand new work week or school week or whatever. Heck, I’ve got a Monday fever, and the only cure is HARRY POTTER. I’ve been blogging for over 3 years and have talked about Harry and the gang plenty, but I’ve never done any sort of official review of the books. When some of my favorite bloggers at The Estella Society (Heather, Andi, Amanda, I love all your faces) announced a Harry Potter re-read-along, it seemed like kismet. There are few things that are guaranteed to lift my mood the way Harry Potter can. Since everyone already knows all the HP things (and if you don’t you probably don’t give a figgy pudding about spoilers) I thought I’d forgo official reviews with synopses and such and focus on my raw reactions upon re-visiting these books. Without further ado, I present my rambling thoughts on Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

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  • Dumbledore, I love you, I really, truly do, but WHO LEAVES A BABY ON A DOORSTEP?! Does the Wizarding World have any sort of Child Protective Services? Seriously, Ministry of Magic, you need to get your act together.
  • Harry didn’t even have a library card when he lived with the Dursleys. SOB.
  • “Hamburger restaurants” are mentioned repeatedly. I suppose in England not every single restaurant in the history of ever serves hamburgers? #cluelessAmerican
  • “I don’t like cats. They make me sneeze.” ME TOO, HAGRID!
  • Although, if Hagrid is allergic to cats, does that mean he can’t be around Professor McGonagall? Or perhaps only when she’s a cat? Are animagi hypoallergenic?
  • Dude, why are Olivander’s eyes silver? That’s pretty friggin creepy.
  • Molly Weasley is the BEST EVER. (And I’m so glad I named my car after her.)
  • I know that I have the American version of HP, as the British version was The Philosopher’s Stone (not Sorcerer’s), but it made me wonder. In the original when they referred to Harry’s hair, did they use the term “bangs” or “fringe”?
  • Rats are not on the approved pet list. Scabbers being banned from Hogwarts from the get-go would have been helpful, no? Hindsight being 20/20 and all. Cats, owls, and toads are the only pets mentioned in the supply list…
  • I WANT A WEASLEY SWEATER! Seriously, I can think of nothing more wonderful than opening up a lumpy, magically knit, monogrammed sweater for Christmas. Does Molly have an official fan club? Because I would join it.
  • Baby dragons thrive on a mixture of brandy and chicken blood, which explains why dragons raid liquor stores and chicken coops in equal measure. (I can’t back up that last part, but it makes me laugh.)
  • I wish my final exams had consisted of making pineapples tap dance. I would have owned that challenge. There’d have been sequins, you guys.
  • I get goosebumps EVERY SINGLE TIME Neville gets awarded those last ten points and Gryffindor wins the house cup! Oh Neville!

I’m kind of surprised by my reactions too. I mean, not a single ode to Hermione? I do love her, she just didn’t make my notepad for some reason. Oh well. The series is young. We have six more books in which I can fawn over everyone. Siiigh. It’s like visiting old friends.

Talk to me Bookworms! Do YOU think animagi are hypoallergenic? And do you think it’s advised that pregnant dragons drink alcohol, seeing how beneficial it is to the hatched offspring? I mean, if they’re not mammals then they don’t nurse, so what would wild dragon babies be eating? Chickens would be easy enough to come by, but brandy? In remote Romanian mountains? Hmmm….

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission. All proceeds will likely fund my expanding collection of Ravenclaw paraphernalia. #HOUSEPRIDE*

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Sep 29

The Sparrow Readalong Finish Line

Readalong, Religion, Science 17

Greetings Bookworms!

As you know I’ve been participating in a readalong of The Sparrow hosted by Trish of Love, Laughter, and a Touch of Insanity. I took a short break from reading this bad boy in the midst of Banned Books Week and Diversiverse, but now that those are in the history books, as it were, I was able to finish reading The Sparrow and what a ride it was! WARNING: If you hate animated gifs, run away now!

sparrow-Readalong

Where do I even begin? Thanks to some heavy foreshadowing, I knew how things were going to end up… In a manner of speaking. But the way they got there? Holy crap balls! I did NOT see that coming! As far as romantic entanglements I was like:

Rachel_shocked

 

After which I thought, “well, okay, that’s probably for the best then.” But then there were some journeys and some revelations once people got back and I was like:

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And THEN we found out the nature of the relationship between the very nice folks with tails and the rather suspicious folks with tails and I was like:

Shocked

Are you KIDDING ME?! And then the rest of the story came out and I was like:

Love-and-Other-DrugsSo basically, The Sparrow shocked, appalled, and ripped me to pieces. And I liked it! The hype is well-deserved, kids! Mary Doria Russeel is the real deal. Big thanks to Trish for putting this party together!

Let’s talk, Bookworms! What’s the last supremely well-plotted book you read?

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission. I will NOT be using it to attempt contact with alien life forms, unless I can be assured that they’re only the NICE FOLKS WITH TAILS.*

 

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Sep 15

The Sparrow Readalong Halfway Point

Readalong, Religion, Science 14

Take Me To Your Leader, Bookworms!

I know, I know. Cheap alien joke. I work with what I’ve got stored in the ol’ gray matter, and sometimes that ain’t much. Terrible jokes aside, today marks the halfway check in point for The Sparrow Readalong hosted by Trish at Love, Laughter, and a Touch of Insanity. I love Trish, and not just because she uses the Oxford common in her blog title (but let’s face it, that doesn’t hurt!) I’m actually on track with my reading, a fact which shocks me. So. How is it going so far?

sparrow-Readalong

The Sparrow started out kind of slowly for me. I’m not entirely sure why, perhaps it was just fatigue? Once I got rolling though, I was hooked. I can’t put it down. I hit the halfway point after midnight and forced myself to get some sleep. It was a work night, for heaven’s sake!  I NEED TO KNOW what happened on the mission! I NEED TO KNOW what becomes of the crew! I NEED TO KNOW if certain romantic tensions ever boil over! I also want to have dinner with Anne and George. Anne is easily my favorite character so far. She’s spunky and fun, smart and cynical.

I’m finding all the Jesuit stuff rather fascinating, too. I typically avoid discussing religion because it always turns into A THING, but having been raised Catholic, I’m connecting with this story in ways I didn’t expect. Characters are having crises of faith all over the place and I just want to jump into the pages and give them hugs! It’s refreshing because though the religious aspects are presented with a hefty dose of skepticism, I haven’t found it to be disrespectful. Irreverent, maybe, but never mean-spirited. Some of the lines are downright cracking me up, too, especially when the characters get all philosophical. Here’s one of the many reasons I love me some Anne:

Faced with the Divine, people took refuge in the banal, as though answering a cosmic multiple-choice question: If you saw a burning bush, would you (a) call 911, (b) get the hot dogs, or (c) recognize God? A vanishingly small number of people would recognize God, Anne had decided years before, and most of them had simply missed a dose of Thorazine.

Seriously, how could I not be loving this book? I can’t wait to tackle the rest of this bad boy. I’ll be in touch with a wrap up post in a couple of weeks.

Talk to me, Bookworms. Do you ever start a book slowly only to have it grow on you like gangbusters?

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

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