Tag: Re-Readalong

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 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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