Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Parts 1 & 2

29056083Goodreads Synopsis

Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

I was really excited to get this book – like really excited. I mean what Harry Potter fan wouldn’t be excited to read a new Harry Potter story for the first time in NINE YEARS. You may be thinking, “But Shelby didn’t you just read The Hogwarts Library?” Why yes I did. But here’s the thing. Those three short books didn’t have anything to do with Harry Potter, those were just the text he read while attending Hogwarts. Cursed Child was my chance to read a Harry Potter book for the first time in nine years.

I wanted to love the book so bad. I truly did, but there were parts (I am praying Queen Rowling did not write) that I simply could not wrap my head around. At the end of the review I will post my spoiling rants about these parts, and you can rant along with me. Until then, let’s focus on the good things.

Believe it or not, I actually enjoyed reading the screenplay format. I love stories with a lot of dialogue and characters who like to talk a lot. This was a quick easy read. I think it was easier to read than other plays simply because as a Potterhead, I have already been transported into the Wizarding World, and I had no problem imagining the settings and storyline. Granted, I would love to see the play in person, but that is definitely not in the books for me any time soon #BrokeCollegeStudent

The “good” parts, I cried at. We see all these tumblr posts about what if this and what if that, that it was truly magical to see that some of our deepest wishes had come true in this play. Our memories of the Golden Trio were livened by these good parts, and I loved seeing how they turned out as parents. I also loved seeing the connections between the children and how friendships did or didn’t form.

And while I didn’t like specific events in the books, I loved the “new” characters. I want a whole series dedicated to the next generation of Potters, Weasleys, and Malfoys. But we all know I want a Marauders series as well. A girl can dream.

PLEASE STOP READING IF YOU DON’T WANT RANTING SPOILERS

Enjoy some funny gifs before continuing to the rant

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Now onto my rant.

  1. Trolley Witch: Um, you cannot turn the beloved trolley witch into a psycho, mystical being with weapons as hands and her sole purpose is to ensure students remain on the train at all times… Deep in my heart I know that Queen Rowling did not write this tidbit.
  2. Adult Harry: We had SEVEN BOOKS show us that he respected Professor McGonagall 110%, but this book throws that out the window when he acts like a frickin’ jerk to her. Shame on you adult Harry – McGonagall is queen. Also, I found it ridiculous that Harry literally told his own child that he wished he wasn’t his dad. Excuse my French, but WHAT THE ACTUAL F*@K. He spent how much of the original series wishing to know his parents and he’s just going to flat out say he wishes he wasn’t Albus’s dad. Screw you Harry. You’re parents would be ashamed of this behavior.
  3. Voldemort & Bellatrix’s Secret Love Affair Resulting in Secret Love Child: This came completely out of left field and is another WTF moment. What is this fanfiction??? How can you even okay that sort of storyline, Queen Rowling? Why??? Also, I did not need that image to EVER be made. No thank you. Never again.
  4. Luna/Neville: Excuse me, but wee spend an entire series growing attached to these characters. Where are they and why aren’t they merely mentioned? It’s okay to mention, but not be present, but to entirely ignore that the heart of Dumbledore’s Army isn’t mentioned is purely wrong.
  5. Hermione and Ron Never Getting Together, and Hermione Becoming an Evil Shrew/DADA teacher: Hermione’s worth is not determined by a boy, thank you very much. I have a really hard time believing that Hermione would become evil after not ending up with Ron. Even if they didn’t end up together, I imagined they would always be friends seeing as they went through some pretty tough stuff together. I also find it highly unlikely that Hermione would never become Minister of Magic simply because she didn’t end up with Ron. There is no way feminist Queen Rowling wrote this part.
  6. After the book came out, everyone shipping Albus and Scorpious: Why can’t people just be friends? Why does everyone have to automatically assume that they secretly had the hots for each other and should be boyfriend and boyfriend? I’m not saying that there is anything against this, but why do we have to make every book about someone’s sexual orientation?

Rant Over

Ahhh, that was relaxing to finally vent to people who know what I’m talking about. This post comes just in time for the soon-to-be-released screenplay of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. I look forward to seeing the movie at 10:05 p.m. on Friday November 18th (already purchased my tickets and the only time that would work with my busy schedule!) I look forward to sharing that wonderful review with you in the very near future.

The next review coming your way is Four: A Divergent Story Collection by Veronica Roth. Until next time bookworms.

 

Allegiant: Book vs. Movie

17383918Goodreads Synopsis:

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered – fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningliess. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend to complexities of human nature – and of herself – while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

Okay, so you all very well know that I always pick book over movie, but this is one of the very rare occasions where the movie was actually better than the book. Although there are definitely things I did not like in either book…

To start, the book is written in dual perspectives, flipping between Tris and Four. In the book, the group ventures outside the outer wall and discover what has been controlling this faction-filled city.

The book as a whole was weird. The ending came too quickly and I am still baffled at how the ending came to be. Don’t get me wrong, I admire their bravery, but I still am confused how the whole thing had come about. I felt like this book was just a bit disappointing.

Now as for the movie, I enjoyed it more than the book – weird, I know. This is how I feel typing those words:

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For me, the book was just too bizarre and literally came out of nowhere. Also, everything in the book happened way too fast – especially the ending. Whereas the movie, decided it wasn’t going to go with the book ending. Oh and by the way, instead of a happily ever after or the book ending, they decided to make it a cliffhanger so they can create a WHOLE OTHER MOVIE. Ascendant, coming to a TV SCREEN near you in June 2017. Yes. You read that right -TV SCREEN. Yay! Not…

The ending to this franchise in both the book and movie was kind of a let down. It also doesn’t make me inclined to watch Ascendant when it gets released, but knowing me, I must know how it ends, so I’ll probably end up watching it anyways. Which meas I’ll probably write a review of it too. Oh, well.

Next up is the the sought after Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I can’t wait to share my opinions with you all. Have a great week bookworms!

Life Update + Insurgent: Book vs. Movie

Hello bookworms! As you can tell I have been on a slight hiatus due to school – it is kicking my butt! On a happy note – my first session of grad school is over and I received a 4.0! So excited! I finally have a break, so I am catching up on all of my blogging from August (sadly only textbooks were read during September and October). Now time to catch up!

11735983Goodreads Synopsis:

One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris’s initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

When I finished Divergent and started Insurgent I tweeted:

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I got addicted to the first two books fast because Insurgent picks up from the exact spot Divergent ended. I do have to say I enjoyed Divergent just a little bit more than Insurgent. Insurgent was full of twists, turns, and completely action packed. The story focuses on Tris and her search for answers to all questions about divergence. We also see her relationship with Four blossom during this difficult time – and it gives you all the feels! Like this:

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And this:

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However, there was another cliff hanger ending – and we all know how I feel about cliffhangers:

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Movie Insurgent had some changes, but didn’t sway from the book too much. I still choose the book over the movie! I love Miles Teller but I hate him in this series. I just want to punch his smug little face in every time his face was on the screen. Also, Theo James is beautiful with his deep, husky voice –> Theo James Speed Dating Questions

That’s all for now. Look for my next blog post on Allegiant! Keep reading bookworms. Have a great Veterans Day weekend!

 

 

 

Divergent: Book vs. Movie

8306857Goodreads Synopsis:

In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue–Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is–she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are–and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

I’ve been trying to switch up my reading recently. I felt like I needed something new, but I didn’t know what exactly. I decided it was finally time to read the Divergent Series as it has been sitting on my bookshelf since March of last year. Plus, I felt like it was a very hyped up book, and I didn’t want to be disappointed if it didn’t live up to the hype like others I have read recently.

I was thoroughly surprised when I started reading. This dystopian novel was refreshing. Personally, I didn’t align myself with Tris, but I was extremely attracted to Four, or I prefer to call him, Tobias. He was everything you wanted from a book boyfriend, and the best part was that there was no ever-popular, messy love triangle!

Tobias’s character made me feel very…

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as well as…

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this…

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and finally…

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Even movie Tobias/Four was dreamy – Theo James was an excellent casting. If you don’t know who he is, feel free to observe below.

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I went into this book and series not really knowing what to expect. I hadn’t read any reviews. I hadn’t seen the movies. All I knew was that it was within the dystopian genre and everyone within the bookstagram community was in love with it.

I enjoyed following Tris from her home in Abnegation – a faction that believes selflessness is the way the world should be – to her new home in Dauntless – a faction that believes bravery is the most important thing in the world. She has spent her whole life being conditioned to think selflessly and be selfless. In Dauntless, she can think freely, ask freely, and become her own person. It just goes to show that a change in environment, can drastically change a person and their outlook on the world.

For those who are new to the blog, I am a firm believer in the idea that the book is always better. In the case of Divergent by Veronica Roth, I can say that the book was 10,000x better than the movie. Go figure.

The movie wasn’t bad. There were things added that weren’t in the book while some things in the book weren’t in the movie. I thought the casting was good [see Theo James casting above]. One thing I did not like was Kate Winslet. I am a huge Kate Winslet fan and I absolutely hated seeing her play the worst [as in evil and demented] character in the entire series. It broke my Kate-Winslet-loving heart.

To end my first post on this series, I thought it might be interesting to see which faction I belong in. Here are my results from the Official Divergent Aptitude Test found HERE .

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Next up on the Review To-Do List is Insurgent: Book vs. Movie. Until next time bookworms. Happy reading!

 

August 2016 Wrap Up

Hello lovelies! August has been jam-packed with fun and more reading than usual! Granted, I’m nowhere near my goal, but it’s okay. This month I traveled to New York with my boyfriend to go to our friend’s wedding in upstate New York and celebrate my 22nd birthday in New York City! We took a detour through Hyde Park on the way from upstate to NYC. There I found my dream home and dream school to teach at – they were beautiful! Only downside, no Target 😦 I have also started grad school at Brandman University for my Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, as well as recentl turning in my application to become a substitute teacher. But it is really exciting to be taking the next step towards my career! I can’t wait to see where September takes me.

Books Read:

  1. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne
  2. Allegiant by Veronica Roth
  3. Four by Veronica Roth
  4. Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy
  5. Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin
  6. Me Before You by JoJo Moyes

# Of pages for the month: 2,176

Goodreads 2016 Reading Challenge: 27/100

# Of books read since start of blog : 113

The Help

6588662Goodreads Synopsis:

Three ordinary women are about to take one extraordinary step.

Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.

Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken.

Minny, Aibileen’s best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobody’s business, but she can’t mind her tongue, so she’s lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own.

Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. And why? Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed.

In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women—mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends—view one another. A deeply moving novel filled with poignancy, humor, and hope, The Help is a timeless and universal story about the lines we abide by, and the ones we don’t.

Literally the synopsis from Goodreads is all you need to make up your mind about this book! I was hooked from the beginning.

I had seen the movie before reading the book. I loved the movie, but was skeptical to picking up the book because I wasn’t sure if they had made the movie funnier or if the lightheartedness of the movie would be the same in the book. I was so wrong to be skeptical! Despite the book depicting a controversial time in American history, Stockett created the same kind-hearted, realistic story for all to enjoy. It’s no wonder that it is a NYTimes Bestseller!

One thing I liked most about the book was that it didn’t solely focus on Skeeter and her journey to expose how black maids were treated by white families. We were also introduced to two of the maids featured in Skeeter’s book – Aibileen and Minny. The weaving of all three stories and point of views was seamless.  I never felt confused or had to back track and I genuinely cared about the characters.

This is also the first historical fiction I have ever read and I can say that I really enjoyed it. I hope to add it to my genres in the future! If you’re looking for a book to read on a long flight, this is definitely the one for you!

I’m not going to review Stardust by Neil Gaiman or Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin, because I honestly did not like either of them enough to put anything into words for a post. However, or my next post I’m diving into Divergent by Veronica Roth! Happy reading bookworms!

The Hogwarts Library

The Hogwarts Library is by J.K. Rowling and features the books Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Quidditch Through the Ages, and The Tales of Beedle the Bard. 

41899Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

A copy of Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them resides in almost every wizarding household in the country. Now Muggles too have the chance to discover where the Quintaped lives, what the Puffskein eats and why it is best not to leave milk out for a Knarl.

Proceeds from the sale of this book will go to Comic Relief, which means that the pounds and Galleons you exchange for it will do magic beyond the powers of any wizard. If you feel that this is insufficient reason to part with your money, I can only hope that passing wizards feel more charitable if they see you being attacked by a Manticore.

– Albus Dumbledore

Let me start off by saying that I am really excited this book is getting turned into a movie – even though I wasn’t entirely convinced that they could turn this “textbook” into a full length movie, let alone the announced THREE movies. If you haven’t seen the trailer you can see it here –> Fantastic Beasts Trailer . If Eddie Redmayne can’t convince you to read this book or see the movie, then you’re missing out! Also, I pre-ordered the bound version of the script that is being released in November!

There is only one way to describe this book – pure magic. It lets readers indulge in a small part of the wizarding universe. I think what makes it more real is that this particular copy is property of Harry Potter, so there are small scribbles and notes throughout the book that add so much more character and depth to this  very “nonfiction” book. I enjoyed this very short book very much, but there are so many creatures, I can’t pick a favorite. Although I am secretly hoping that they create a HarryPotterGo app, because I would catch these fantastic beasts all day long!

111450Quidditch Through the Ages

Did you know that: there are 700 ways of committing a foul in Quidditch? The game first began to evolve on Queerditch Marsh – What Bumphing is? That Puddlemere United is oldest team in the Britain and Ireland league (founded 1163). All this information and much more could be yours once you have read this book: this is all you could ever need to know about the history, the rules – and the breaking of the rules – of the noble wizarding sport of Quidditch.

Like Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, I enjoyed this other glimpse into the wizarding world! It is amazing that Rowling has an explanation for everything! Everything you need to know about the history of quidditch is in this book. Other insights include why brooms were chosen and why they were made a specific way; teams around the world; different “broom games”; and rules and regulations of the sport everyone (witch, wizard, and muggle) has come to love and appreciate!

16122245The Tales of Beedle the Bard

The Tales of Beedle the Bard contains five richly diverse fairy tales, each with its own magical character, that will variously bring delight, laughter and the thrill of mortal peril.

Essential and enjoyable reading for Muggles and wizards alike,The Tales of Beedle the Bard is a uniquely magical volume. With illuminating notes by Albus Dumbledore.

We first hear about this book in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows when Hermione receives a copy from Dumbledore’s will and then we later hear the story of the The Three Brothers.

It’s a little weird how this is seen as children’s literature, but these are the “fairy tales” for the wizarding world. The tales are surprisingly creepy, but extremely well-written and fully developed. Just like the previous two, this is a wonderful addition to my Harry Potter stack of books.

 

Truth be told, I kinda wish I was a wizarding child. But let’s be real, I’ve been waiting for my Hogwarts letter since I first read Harry Potter in third grade. I simply adore that J.K. Rowling didn’t write these three book to earn more money, but rather for a purpose. Proceeds from the sale of these three books are donated to Lumos, a charity working to transform the lives of disadvantaged children. Great books for a great cause and for a Potterhead looking to indulge in more of the wizarding world.

Up next on my blog, I’ll be reviewing NYTimes Bestseller, The Help by Kathryn Stockett! Until next time bookworms!