Category: Young Adult Fiction

Sep 03

2020 Weekly Wrap-Up: The Thirty Fifth

Audio Books, Romance, Supernatural, Young Adult Fiction 2

Hello, Hello Bookworms,

My brain is too fried to give you charming anecdotes today, BUT I finally finished reading some things, and I have THOUGHTS on them.

Wicked and the Wallflower by Sarah MacLean- Ah regency romance, I have missed you. I decided to start a new Sarah MacLean series because romance is a bright spot in this gloomy COVID landscape and hers are always so delightfully cheeky. Our titular “wallflower,” Felicity Faircloth, has been through some things at the hands of her fellow aristocrats. She’s been shunned by the cool kids (yup, Mean Girls know no time period, apparently) and is thisclose to being labeled an unmarriagable spinster. Our hero runs a crime syndicate in Covent Garden. He goes by “Devil,” naturally. The two run into each other at a ball. Felicity, hiding out on a balcony, encounters Devil there, who is in attendance to do a bit of blackmail. Paths cross, sparks fly, nefarious deeds are plotted. Honestly though, how is a smuggling crime boss to resist an aristocratic misfit with a penchant for lock picking? This book was an excellent diversion and I will definitely continue reading the series.

The Perfect Escape by Suzanne Park: Nate is a scholarship student at an elite private school. The son of Korean immigrants, his family has never been particularly wealthy, and Nate’s greatest ambition is to make buckets full of cash so he and his family don’t have to struggle. Kate is a theater enthusiast whose tech CEO father is very well off, but he’s usually absent and completely lacking in boundaries. An after school job at a zombie escape room introduce Nate and Kate (it rhymes, it’s precious) and they team up for a weird zombie survivalist competition to win a pile of cash. The villains in this book were almost cartoonishly evil, and there were kind of a lot of robots for a book that wasn’t sci fi. Still, it super fun and had definite Hunger Games vibes during the zombie challenge. While the villains and the robots didn’t make for the most realistic YA contemporary, the teenage likeage was SPOT ON. Suzanne Park tapped into all the nerves and euphoria I remember from being a teenager in like. I was so invested in this book that I stayed up entirely too late to finish it, which, to my mind, is always a ringing endorsement.

Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir- I… I don’t even know where to begin here. This book is absolutely bonkers, as was its predecessor. Like, I’m pretty sure that even if I made an attempt at giving a synopsis it wouldn’t make sense to anyone. But what a bizarre, entertaining ride! Your inner goth will love you for reading this book about queer space necromancers. There is a LOT of talk of blood and guts and viscera and bone but it’s in such a detached sort of way that it didn’t bother me nearly as much as I might have expected. (I’m not good with blood. Like, seeing a large-ish quantity of it makes me woozy. I don’t do well with donating blood or having blood draws done at the doctor, either. I mean, I CAN do both of those things, but it is very unpleasant and often leads to me needing emergency juice and cookies.) The audio version of this as well as Gideon the Ninth truly cannot be beat. Moira Quirk’s narration is SO immersive and her character voices SO distinct that it’s almost like listening to a full cast recording. Plus, there is nobody else on earth who could deliver lines like “you ensorcelled my jawbone” with such droll perfection. I still DO NOT UNDERSTAND ANYTHING but I cannot WAIT to read the final installment of this series, whenever that comes out. And by read, I mean listen, OBVIOUSLY.

This may be the strangest handful of books I think I’ve ever put into the same post, and now I’m snort laughing thinking about what would happen if any of the characters in any of these books met each other. Like, Harrow in Regency London. Or Harrow in contemporary Seattle. Really, I’m just going to think of how funny it would be to take Harrow out of context. With her exoskeleton and her necromancy. I realize this is way too obscure to ever become an SNL sketch, but I would watch the heck out of that. I digress. I’m still reading. I just started the audio version of Everfair by Nisi Shawl and eyeball reading Brazen and the Beast by Sarah MacLean. What are you reading, bookworms?

If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission. Links in the post above direct to Amazon, but if you’re interested and in a position to do so, please consider making a purchase from a local independent bookstore. IndieBound and Bookshop make it easy to do just that without having to leave your home!



Nov 08

A Nicola Yoon Double Play

Young Adult Fiction 6

Greetings Bookworms!

I am so far behind on reviews that I actually read a second novel by the same author and decided to group the two together. Because why not? It’s not like I have rules here or anything. It also just shows you how lovely Nicola Yoon is, since I jumped into a second novel of hers quickly after finishing the first. Of course, I read both of these like 6 months ago. Luckily I left myself some notes so my memory has been jogged sufficiently!

Everything, Everything I have to admit that every time I see this title, the Violent Femmes’ “Kiss Off” starts playing in my head, because snippets of songs have become so deeply embedded in my brain they may never escape. Not that I mind, really, because they’re usually delightful songs. But the book! So, it’s about a girl who has the “bubble boy” disease where she has no immune system and has to live in isolation. She doesn’t live in an actual bubble, but she’s confined to her home and has contact with only a few select humans. Then, you know, a boy moves in next door and forbidden love takes on a whole new twist. It’s excellent and heart wrenching and everything I wanted in a love story. But the ending… I have issues with it, for reasons I cannot discuss because spoilers. The issues weren’t enough to ruin the book for me, though, so it still gets a “y’all need to go read this” from me. (I have not seen the movie version yet, but I looooove Amandla Stenberg so I’d bet it’s a solid adaptation. She’s perfect for the part!)

The Sun Is Also a Star– One of my big pet peeves in YA fiction is when the two main characters fall in love instantly. You know, glances across a room, fireworks, they simply MUST be together forever? I don’t know quite HOW she managed it, but Yoon made a book about a pair of teenagers falling in love in a single day seem completely plausible and not at all shallow and lusty. Not that there isn’t lust involved, but it was much deeper than that. It simultaneously tackles complex issues regarding race and immigration, and it’s deftly handled. I’m happy to report that I didn’t have issues with this book’s ending in the slightest. In fact, I think she totally nailed it. This book hit me right in the proverbial feels, and I’ll admit to shedding a few tears.

There we have it. A whole post about books! Look at me, doing what I set out to do 5 years ago. High five, Katie. 

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission. I’ll probably spend it on cute stuff for my kid, which really just benefits you too as you’ll be able to see pictures of him in/with said cute stuff. Win-win.*


Mar 21

The Impossible Fortress

Young Adult Fiction 6

Greetings Bookworms!

I know I’ve been slacking in my book reviewing and I’m trying to catch up. Today I thought it would be a good time to take a trip into the not so distant past with all the glory of the 1980s and Jason Rekulak’s The Impossible Fortress. *I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. That said, a free book does not buy my integrity and I’ll give you my honest opinion. I have no manners. Every once in a while, that’s a useful trait.*

Who doesn’t love a super nerdy teen not quite romance featuring troubled youth in the 80s? I mean, there’s computer programming involved, yo! (I don’t necessarily find computer programming sexy, but shared nerdy interests as a possible romantic foundation is totally my jam.)

Let me rewind. It’s 1987, and a crew of 14 year old boys have set their obsessive teenage eyes upon acquiring a copy of the Playboy magazine that features Vanna White’s scandalous nude photos. They go to great lengths to attempt to procure a copy (or several) of said magazine, and their elaborate heist includes one of the boys pretending to seduce the daughter of a local merchant in order to gain access to the store’s security code. Needless to say, Billy, our unlikely Casanova, soon develops real feelings for one Mary Zelinsky as they program computer games together. Predictably, mayhem ensues.

The Impossible Fortress had some serious marketing push behind it, all the publicity dropping comparisons to Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One right and left (review). And, while I found it enjoyable (and I really did, it was a fun read) this book appeared to get way more attention than many of the other debut novels I’ve seen of late, particularly for a novel that’s based in nostalgia and not a literary heavy hitter. I think this led to me expecting more from it than it could realistically deliver. It also left me feeling a bit squidgy seeing how many female and minority authors have to hustle hardcore to promote their debut novels while this white dude seemed to get a ginormous budget. Like I said, The Impossible Fortress was good, it just didn’t seem SO AMAZING that it deserved all the dollars.

Alright Bookworms, talk to me. What time period is your personal nostalgia favorite? 

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




Mar 13

Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

Coming of Age, Young Adult Fiction 15

Howdy Bookworms!

It has been a BUSY couple of weeks, let me tell you what. First of all, I want to thank everyone so so so much for all your incredibly supportive and sweet comments regarding the impending arrival of Babysaurus Bookworm. I’ve been overwhelmed in the best possible way with all the love and spoiling this little dude has already received. Last weekend I visited with some of my favorite BEA Bookworms (Stacey and Julz wrote adorable recaps) and I visited one of my ride or die BFFs who made me the world’s best guacamole. Seriously, Chrissy. I’m still daydreaming about that guac. I’d love to write a sonnet to that guacamole, and one day I might, but in the meantime, I thought I should probably attempt to make a dent in the giant pile of books I’ve read that I haven’t yet told you about. So let’s start with a fun one, shall we? It’s Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy!

Willowdean Dixon lives in a tiny town in Texas where the biggest event of the year is a beauty pageant for teenage girls. Will (or “Dumplin'” if you’re her former beauty queen mother) has always been comfortable in her own skin, but she has also always known that her body type does not fit society’s standards of beauty. It’s not until she begins dating a super handsome jock that she begins to feel truly insecure about her size. But Will won’t go down so easily. Not with her best friend by her side, a dash of moxie, and an abiding love of Dolly Parton.

I loooove a book with a heroine with some meat on her bones, y’all. There are oodles of YA books out there full of impossibly beautiful teenage girls. Granted, they normally don’t realize they’re impossibly beautiful until a boy comes along, but I love the idea of a main character who couldn’t be played by a typical Hollywood glam girl in the movie version, you know? Because as much as I love me some cheesy 90s teen movies, glasses and a ponytail don’t actually make a gorgeous actress look awkward. Just one of the reasons I loved Dumplin’. Some of the other reasons are a bit more personal…

Did I ever tell y’all about the time I was in a pageant? Sorry, “scholarship program.” Yes, they used the same line that’s used in Miss Congeniality. My teenage self was a study in contradictions, because while I was busy wearing really huge pants and listening to the angstiest grunge the late 90s had to offer, I was also still very involved in dance classes and, to a lesser extent, high school theater. Which is why, for reasons twisty and confusing, I decided to compete in said “scholarship program.” This book brought SO MUCH of that back. So much. Whew. (In case you’re wondering, I did not win that pageant, I came in first runner up, which legitimately did net me enough scholarship money to pay for my first semester’s books in college. Also, the thought of my talent routine makes me cringe to this very day. It involved pig tails and tap shoes and Bjork. Because of course it did.)

Moral of the story? Read Dumplin’. And please, if you have an embarrassing high school story, share it. Because pig tails and tap shoes, you guys.

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



Nov 02

YA State of Mind

Young Adult Fiction 2

Greetings Bookworms!

I don’t typically read a ton of YA literature, but I’ve been on something of a kick lately. When things in life don’t go the way I’d like them to, sometimes I like to remind myself that at least I’m not in high school anymore. So, without further ado, let’s talk about some great YA fiction, shall we?


I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson: This book is about a set of teenage twins going through some major teen drama… And then some. Half the story is told from Noah’s perspective and half from his sister Jude’s. Noah is a brilliant young artist, though isolated and grappling with his feelings as he falls in love with the boy next door. Jude is a bit of a daredevil running with the popular crowd. Though the twins are as different as can be, they’re close. Which is why it comes as something of a shock to the reader to find that three years hence, the two are barely speaking. I’ll admit to taking sides in a big way, and not just because of the conflict. I just liked Noah’s whole story line better and his circumstances rang more true to me than Jude’s. Still though, it was a good read and smacked me in the feelings in a big way.

The DUFF: (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) by Kody Keplinger: Girl meets boy. Boy calls girl the DUFF (designated ugly fat friend) of her group of friends. Girl decides to use said boy as distraction from her rapidly-going-off-the-rails home life as a frenemy with benefits. As one does. While I loved most of what the book had to say about self image and romance and intimacy and life, I’m still on the fence about our dreamy jerkface turned nice guy. Ah well. It’s not like they got married at the end or anything. That would be ridiculous for a pair of teenagers in the here and now (side eyes Edward and Bella…)

Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina: Piddy Sanchez flew under the radar at her old school, but when her mother moves them from their crumbling apartment to a new place, Piddy’s new school leaves something to be desired. That something being one Yacqui Delgado, who, for reasons unbeknownst to Piddy, has chosen to harass and threaten her. Because keeping up her grades, working a part time job, and working up the courage to confront her mother about her absent father isn’t enough to deal with. SUCH A POWERFUL BOOK. GAH! Bullying is the worst.

So yeah. YA books. I’m gobbling them up at the moment. It’ll pass, I’m sure, but in the meantime I’ll enjoy being reminded that I’m not 16. Talk to me, Bookworms! What’s your favorite thing about being a grown up? (If you’re a teenager, my condolences. I am giving you the Hunger Games salute right now. You’ll make it, I promise.)

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


Jun 30

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Audio Books, Coming of Age, Young Adult Fiction 22

My Dearest Bookworms,

You know how I really love audio books? And how I also really love Hamilton, and by extension, Lin-Manuel Miranda? I’m actually considering writing an entire post on the subject because I haven’t been THIS fangirly since high school. Because I’m fangirling so hard, I was checking Lin-Manuel’s IMDB just to see if he’d been in stuff I’d seen without me realizing it (which yes, yes that definitely happened.) BUT THEN. I saw that he was credited as having narrated some audio books. I remember seeing Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz floating around the blogosphere and thinking that I should read it one of these days, but when I saw that LMM narrated? It jumped straight to the top of the list.

aristotleanddanteI’m just going to give you the abstract from Goodreads because I can’t form a coherent synopsis of this book:

Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.

Holy crap. Holy freaking crap, you guys. How do I love this book? Let me count the ways! First, Sáenz absolutely NAILS teenagerdom. That summertime listless boredom? It brought me back in a big way. Second, I absolutely adored these kids’ parents. They’re not perfect by any means, but both sets are so loving and compassionate. I don’t know why that struck me as so rare in a YA novel, but I wanted to give everyone a big fat hug. I can’t really tell you some of the other reasons I loved the book so so so much because they’d be spoilers, so you’re just going to have to trust me here. THEY ARE EXCELLENT REASONS.

I would have loved this book even if I’d read it with my eyeballs, but the fact that Lin-Manuel Miranda read me a story? Incredible. You guys! He casually dropped at least two mentions of Alexander Hamilton, which were written into the book and in no way referencing Hamilton the musical. It was so meta. LMM is a fantastic narrator (no surprise) and you could tell he adored the words he was reading which made it that much better. Although, he seems to adore a lot of things. Because he is basically the best humanity has to offer. Like, if aliens wanted to exterminate us? I think LMM could talk them out of it. (I pray nightly that he doesn’t end up having some hideous dark secret or massive scandal somewhere down the line, because I just don’t think I could handle having my heart broken like that. No pressure, Lin. But behave yourself… Mostly.)

Wow. It’s been a while since I’ve been this gushy about a book. Fittingly, I’m wearing a t-shirt that says “hyperbole” with an exclamation mark graphic. I am VERY EXCITED about this one. Go forth and read Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. Or have Lin-Manuel Miranda read it to you. If you ask really nicely, maybe I’ll do an interpretive dance of it for you. I hope you like tap!

Whew. Time to chat, Bookworms. What’s the last book you were ridiculously enthusiastic about? 

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


May 02

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Coming of Age, Fantasy, Humor, Vampires, Young Adult Fiction 12

Hello Bookworms,

I’ve told you how much I love Rainbow Rowell before, right? In case you missed my reviews of Attachments, Eleanor & Park, Fangirl, and Landline, you can check them out here, here, here, and here. After devouring Landline much too quickly, I decided I’d wait on reading Rowell’s next release. Instead of begging the publisher for an advanced copy, I put myself on a seemingly endless library wait list so that by the time I read it, the wait for the next book wouldn’t seem as long. I probably won’t do that again because it kind of sucked, but I thought I should try it. The good news is that the library wait list eventually ended and I got to read Carry On!

carryonCarry On is the story of Simon Snow. Yes, THAT Simon Snow. The one Cath and Wren were totally enthralled with in Fangirl? Of course, it’s the fan fiction version of Simon Snow, not “canon” (which doesn’t actually exist. Wow. This is harder to explain than I thought it would be.) Okay, so. You don’t HAVE to have read Fangirl to enjoy Carry On because I think it can stand alone, but you should read both regardless because they’re delicious. Back to Simon. He’s a magician who attends a magical boarding school and he just wants to get through his final year without any of the life threatening shenanigans that have plagued his school career up to this point.

Unfortunately, his mentor wants him to hide out in the mountains, his roommate is missing, and his girlfriend just broke up with him. Ghosts are coming out of the woodwork, vampires are a thing, and don’t get me started on the super villain. Suffice it to say that our dear Simon probably isn’t going to get his wish for an uneventful school year.

I love Rainbow Rowell. This book was such a playful take on Harry Potter-esque stories, what with the punny spells and such. Plus, it’s a bit of a swoony love story. It’s not a spoiler for those who have read Fangirlbut it becomes apparent quite early on in Carry On that Simon and his roommate/potential vampire Baz have some serious sexual tension happening. Which means, yes, there are boys falling for other boys. Which is, in my opinion, pretty awesome. Even if the dudes in question are magicians/potential vampires, it’s nice to see some LGBT representation in YA literature.

Talk to me, Bookworms! If you were to write fan fiction, what would be your fandom of choice?

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


Feb 29

I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak

Coming of Age, Young Adult Fiction 11

G’Day Bookworms!

I had sooooo much fun during Book Blogger Appreciation Week, but let me tell you something. It wreaked absolute havoc on my TBR list. I don’t even remember where I saw it, but somewhere in the blog hopping I was reminded that I’ve only ever read one Markus Zusak novel (The Book Thief, natch. Which duh. Read about it HERE.) I Am the Messenger came highly recommended from this mysterious unnamed source I cannot remember so I decided I ought to read it. And thus, I did. It seems pretty unfair to the rest of my TBR pile that I randomly jumped to this one, but I am a capricious sort of gal sometimes.

iamthemessengerThe book opens in the midst of a bank robbery. Ed Kennedy and his friends are caught in the holdup, and they make a rather motley set of hostages. Ed is an underage cabbie living in a less than stellar suburb of a major Australian metropolis. At 19 years old, he’s spending his life in a holding pattern. He plays cards with his friends, works at a dead end job, and can’t pluck up the courage to tell his best friend Audrey that he’s butt crazy in love with her. He lives alone with a maniacally stinky geriatric dog named the Doorman. (If ever a stench could be called maniacal, I imagine the Doorman’s would qualify.) Nothing is great, but it’s a peaceful existence Ed has carved out for himself. Shortly after the robbery, though, Ed’s life is thrown out of the comfortable pattern he’s used to when he starts receiving mysterious messages in the mail. He is sent on a quest by persons unknown to help (or hurt) the deserving in his hometown. But who is behind these messages?

I have mixed feeeeeeelings about this book. I loved Ed and his friends and their insane card games. I LOVE LOVE LOVED THE DOORMAN. This is the single greatest dog in all of literature! He’s really old and decrepit, so you can’t fault Ed for indulging him with coffee and the occasional ice cream cone. I have a soft spot for stinky old man dogs, okay?! There was a lot of humor injected into the novel and that is the sort of thing I gobble up. Ed’s self deprication? His banter with pals? His deep philosophical discussions with the Doorman? All brilliant.

Ed’s missions though… Some of them are awesome and some of them are rather bizarre. I like the idea of helping out one’s fellow man and all that, but I’m not sure how I feel about the seemingly random vigilante-ism that goes on. Plus, I was less than thrilled with the way the book wrapped up. Like… The mystery behind the missions? I just don’t buy it. Probably because I am old and cynical and lacking in heart. But there you have it. I’m a muddled mess of opinions with mad love for an ancient, fictional, odiferous canine.

Talk to me, Bookworms! What are some of the coolest pets you’ve ever read about? 

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission. It won’t cost you any extra, but it’ll help keep me up and running. So yay. Thanks!*


Jan 18

Thoughts on Revisiting Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2

Audio Books, Coming of Age, Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction 7

Oh Bookworms,

It’s time. We’ve reached the very last half of the very last book of the Potter Binge. I want to thank the Estella Society for hosting this re-readalong. I’ve had so much fun reliving the magic. It’s worth every minute of the Harry Potter hangover I’m about to endure. My emotional stability is about to be tested and found inadequate. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallowspart 2, is happening right now. SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER. You’ve been warned.

  • The Tale of the Three Brothers is pretty creepy, but reading the original versions of muggle fairy tales show a serious creep factor, too. Apparently traumatizing children is a tradition we share with our magical counterparts.
  • Oh Hermione. Every once in a while your rationality is a terrible hinderance.
  • Ted Tonks doesn’t make it. So sad. But Dean escaped, so that’s something. I like to think that Ted and Dirk Creswell protected Dean in the end.
  • The wizarding broadcast is such a bittersweet moment. Lupin’s message to Harry makes me cry (as does most of this book.) Thank heavens for Fred and George. Comic relief is so necessary. I do hope Lee Jordan continued his broadcasting career on the Wizarding Wireless post war.
  • DAMNIT HARRY! The name is TABOO you fool!!!!!!!!
  • Hermione’s stinging jinx saves the day. (Well, mostly anyway) Because Hermione always saves the day. For heaven’s sake, that girl is BRILLIANT.
  • Dobby to the rescue. But I know how this ends. And nooooooooooooooooo!
  • Well, Wormtail, you had it coming buddy. Can’t say I’m sorry to see you go.
  • Hasta luego, Grindelwald. THE BODY COUNT is NUTS.
  • DOBBY!!!!!!!!!! Why can’t they save youuuuuuuuuuuu??? If only Madam Pomfrey had been on hand. Then again, if he’d been stabbed right in the heart (which it appears he was) it may have been too late for him to be saved, even with an ultra skilled healer. I love you, Dobby, you glorious free elf!
  • Damnit. Crying again. That was such a heartfelt little funeral. Dobby would have been pleased.
  • I wonder if Fleur cooks only French food or if she mixes it up with some English dishes. She seems quite adept at household spells, though.
  • The baby!!!! Lupin and Tonks and Teddy! Yaaaaaaaaaay! AND LUPIN HUGGED HARRY!!!!!!!! He asks Harry to be Teddy’s godfather and then he gives him a REAL hug! FINALLY!
  • The lack of a wand completely crippling wizards troubles me some. I mean, kids accidentally do magic before they have wands all the time. Maybe involuntary magic children do is schooled out of them? Regardless, it would really really suck to lose your wand if you were so dependent on it. Just think of how frustrated you’d feel to be completely without your phone, am I right?
  • Harry, Ron, and Hermione escape from Gringotts via dragon. Our trio has style, no doubt.
  • Aberforth’s patronus is a goat. Because of course. That man and his goats.
  • Neville just keeps on fighting. Hot damn, Neville. You are something else. Rebel. And Granny Longbottom kicking Death Eater ass and going into hiding? Ooooh goosebumps.
  • I should just buy stock in tissue. For the love, this whole book just tears me apart. The remaining DA members in the Room of Requirement. Now the supporters are flooding in. Luna and Dean. Ginny and the twins and Lee. Cho shows up. I’m misty as all get out.
  • Enter Minerva Raging Badass McGonagall and her triple cat patronus. She doesn’t even scold Harry for using an unforgiveable curse on the Carrows, and then busts out with one of her own. Nobody spits in McGonagall’s face and gets away with it. Nobody.
  • God help me, I love Flitwick. And Sprout. And bringing Peeves into the fight. Brilliant.
  • And then EVERYONE is there in the Room of Requirement. Oliver Wood, Katie Bell, the whole gang. The Order. Again with the tears. Damnit. Ginny arguing about leaving her family kills me every dang time.
  • Just when I think I can’t be any more of a mess, Percy shows up. Finally. I am sobbing all over the place. It’s going to be a complete shit show from here on out.
  • The Grey Lady, what whaaaaat?! She gives a back story to the Bloody Baron too. Scandalous. AND IT EXPLAINS ALBANIA! I hadn’t paid super close attention to why Albania had been Voldemort’s hiding place in the past, but now I know all the things. It only took … Well. A few read throughs. It’s an intense portion, I can’t be expected to grasp details when I’m this unhinged.
  • Neville battling with Mandrakes is awesome. Dude’s a gardener through and through. Herbology, FTW!
  • Ron opens the Chamber of Secrets by mimicking parseltongue. Ron and Hermione, I love you so so so much.
  • I love that Granny Longbottom comes to help, and that she finally seems to appreciate the awesomeness that is Neville. Took you long enough, Granny. We’ve known it for ages.
  • Ha! Crabbe’s own stupid dark magic destroyed that horcrux. Serves you right, jerk. Fiend fire.
  • FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED. He went out the way he’d have liked it, though. Fighting and joking. Respect.
  • I’m crying anyway.
  • McGonagall has a herd of galloping desks. OF COURSE SHE DOES. Don’t mess with Minerva.
  • I’m surprised the Patil twins were still at Hogwarts. I know it became mandatory, but their mom tried to keep them home at one point in an earlier books. I’d have thought she’d have taken them into hiding, but maybe she’s made of sterner stuff.
  • Does Lavender Brown actually die? She’s feebly moving when we last see her, so one must wonder. Does she become a werewolf? I would totally read The Adventures of Lavender Brown: Fashion and the Full Moon.
  • Luna, Seamus, and Ernie with the patronuses rescuing a badly disheartened and traumatized Harry, Ron, and Hermione. Again with the tears. I CANNOT EVEN.
  • I wish I could say I was devastated by Snape’s death scene. I mean, he does redeem himself (more or less) but he was still a big mean bully. I’m… Conflicted.
  • But what DOES devastate me? Tonks and Lupin. THEY JUST HAD A BABY. And the grieving Weasleys? I just can’t take this.
  • Hearing that Harry is to be a sacrificial lamb is a punch in the gut.
  • Aaaaaaaaaand the mystery of the silver doe is solved. Heart = Broken. Snape, though hideously flawed, has one saving grace. He was able to love. Only one person, but he really did love her.
  • RIP Colin Creevy. You were such a sweet kid. Poor Dennis is going to be devastated.
  • Harry facing his own death is just so… I don’t even know. SO MANY FEELINGS.
  • And now the Resurrection Stone. Good heavens, I can’t take it.
  • My brain is too full to really comment on the conversation between Harry and Dumbledore in the peaceful great beyond.
  • “Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry. But why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” Ooooh Dumbledore, you and your wisdom.
  • And now for Narcissa Malfoy’s redemption. For selfish reasons, of course, but still. Better than nothing.
  • Voldemort, you are SUCH a douchebag. Ugh.
  • God love you, Neville, you are the BEST EGG. “I’ll join you when HELL freezes over!” And then he gets the sword of Gryffindor. Nobody ever deserved it more, buddy. Is there a Neville Longbottom fan club? Can we start one?
  • Thestrels and Hippogriffs and Centaurs, oh my!
  • And then the reinforcements arrive! EVEN SLUGHORN! A Slytherin. Seriously, they aren’t ALL bad. Good on you, Slughorn.
  • For the love, the house elves led by Kreacher! I’m crying again. Damnit.
  • “NOT MY DAUGHTER, YOU BITCH!” –Molly Weasley, Queen of the Universe.
  • Voldemort had a serious case of James Bond villain syndrome. He and Harry have quite a long conversation before either attempts to cast a spell, most of it Voldemort posturing and over-explaining himself. Why don’t you just throw Harry into a tank of sharks with frickin laser beams on their foreheads?
  • Voldemort is killed by his own rebounded curse. Serves him right.
  • Using the elder wand to repair your wand. Nice move, Harry.
  • I don’t care what anyone thinks, I effing love the epilogue. I love every little thing about it. I like hearing that Teddy Lupin comes to the Potter house for dinner several times a week. I like hearing that he’s dating Bill and Fleur’s daughter. I like that Ginny and Harry ended up together and that Hermione and Ron have a family. It is utter perfection to my mind and nobody will ever convince me otherwise.

I can’t believe it’s over. I’m going to be suffering a severe Harry Potter hangover for a while, but it’s wonderful to revisit my old friends. Thanks for bearing with me through these incoherent posts. I’m toying with the idea of creating a top ten list of my favorite random insights from the Potter Binge as a sort of last hurrah.

Tell me Bookworms. Did anybody sob as much as I did through the entirety of this book?!

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


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.

  • 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.*