Harry Potter and the Cursed Child book review

It’s Harry Potter time!

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I cannot tell you how I’ve been dreading this review. I’ve read plenty of reviews of this book and it almost feels like a broken record. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child came out this month and it’s been taking over the internet. I think we all know the plot line of this book so far, but I’ll give my own summary of it.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child follows Albus Potter and Scorpious Malfoy as they take on the legacies of their famous fathers. Albus, feeling lost and alone, befriends Scoprious, who everyone believes is Voldemort’s son. These two kids form a bond. As they progress in the school of Hogwarts, Albus starts feeling resentful of his father. So he steals a time turner and goes into the past with Scorpious to save Cedric Diggory.

I wasn’t really that enthused with this new book. I had a feeling that it wouldn’t live up to the other seven books, and I feel like I was partly right. But more on that later.

I actually didn’t preorder the book until two days prior to the release. I was waiting for this book talk with this author, Owen Sheers (“I Saw a Man”) when I just felt the urge to get the book. It was literally like someone spoke in my ear and told me to do it. Well, I would hardly call it magic since I have a problem with walking into a bookstore without buying a book.

The release party was really dull. There was a scavenger hunt but it didn’t really prove to be a challenge. Funniest part was when I had a group of people following me because they said that “I look like I know what I’m doing.” Hahahaha! Not exactly what I remembered for the other novel releases. But what did I expect? Nothing could compare to the releases of the original Harry Potter books.

On to the review!!!!

This book was great… until part 2. Honestly, this review is going to be about a lot of the feels and excitement I had. So be prepared!

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I love Albus and Scorious! Seriously, it’s like they changed the plot of Harry Potter and just made it about Harry and Draco.

Did this story seem a little familiar? I’m sure Back to the Future would have a say on that. (I only remember the first movie so you guys will have to help me out on which one I’m talking about.) And the friendship of Albus and Scorpious sounded a lot like Simon and Baz from “Carry On” by Rainbow Rowell. Or does Carry On sound like Harry Potter? Seeing as Harry Potter was first, I’d say the latter.

But comparing this to “Carry On” is actually a great way to summarize my feelings for this book. It was great fanfiction, but it seemed lacking in parts. Although I did love “Carry On” more than this book, which is saying something.

Anyways, the relationships are the best part of this book/play. It was great seeing Dumbledore’s Army all grown up. I’ve read a few reviews where people question the role of Ron in the play. I actually really liked seeing Ron, because he was my favorite character, besides Neville or Luna. Seriously, the scenes in the Ministry of Magic with “Ron” and Hermione were perfect!

I think the writing felt too much like terrible fan fiction and could have done better towards the end. The first part was okay, because there was a lot of relationship building, but the second part felt rushed and didn’t seem to serve that much purpose other than giving the story an ending.

This book was a quick read, so I powered through. I wouldn’t call it the best book or the worst book, but it’s definitely a book I would actually recommend for anyone still pining over the world of Harry Potter.

I understand that some people are upset that there will be no more Harry Potter after this, but the story is over. We all have to deal with it. If we go on and on about it, we will probably end up with something like this, where J.K. Rowling feels pressured by the fans to write more. And that doesn’t make for good literature.

It was fun seeing our old friends in this script, but don’t expect the best out of this book. Please go into it with an open mind and willingness to like something that is purely for entertainment than substance.

I’d give this book 3.5/5 stars.

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Weekly update 4: 6 books this week and a booktag!

Hey there readers! It’s weekly update time! So most of the time when I start a blog post, I go right into the book updates. But to get my writing juices flowing, I’m going to start with a tag! I love tags!

This is the opposite tag!

First book in your collection/Last book you bought.

I really don’t remember all that way back. But I’ll talk about the first book I bought here in Cardiff. It was actually “Carry On” by Rainbow Rowell. I walked into Waterstones for the first time and guess what book just came out that day?! Seriously, I did not even know it was the book’s release day!

The last book I bought was Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Definitely a great read. Will get to the book review once I get the motivation to do it.

A cheap book/An expensive book.

Well I grabbed “Jane Eyre”, “The Book Thief”, and “Dracula” for a pound. They were used copies and I got them for donating to this magazine.

The most expensive book I have on my shelf is “Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief”. I got the anniversary edition and it was about $25. It’s on my shelf back home, but still.

A book with a male protagonist/One with a female protagonist.

Male: Magnus Chase by Rick Riordan. Definitely one of my favorite of his series. The entire series is not out but I can tell I will love it.

Female: Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johanson.

A book you read fast/One that took you long to read.

I read Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead probably the quickest. It was really engaging to read and still one of my favorite series.

Game. Of. Friggin’. Thrones took me so long! I finally finished the fifth book last October and I am so relieved.

Pretty cover/Ugly cover.

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All of these were super gorgeous.

I don’t have a pick for ugly cover. I guess if I catch one, I’ll show you guys later.

A national book/An international book.

Not sure what this means, but I’ll go for an American setting vs. a foreign setting.

American: Mosquitoland by David Arnold I think this goes well with a national book, because it’s about a road trip around America.

Foreign: I Saw a Man by Owen Sheers.There will be a review coming up, so wait for that.

A thin book/A thick book.

Thin book: Soundless by Richelle Mead. I was a bit disappointed by how short that book was. But I definitely recommend this book.

Thick book: A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas I don’t know how many times I have to recommend this book till EVERYONE reads it. I loved it so much I have to brag about it to all of my friends.

Fiction book/Non-fiction book.

Fiction: Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare. Definitely the best Cassandra Clare book so far. Her writing has improved so much over the years. I’m hesitant to say it’s my favorite Shadowhunter tale, but it’s getting there. Honestly I can’t wait for the next book in the series.

Non-fiction: I don’t read much non-fiction, but my favorite one I’ve ever read has to be “My Foreign Cities” by Elizabeth Scarboro. It’s about the author’s life with her husband who had Cystic Fibrosis. It was so heart wrenching and when I met the author I just could not help but feel for her. I read it for a class, but I loved the book so much!

Very (way too) romantic book/Action book.

I really don’t do romance, so the closest I’ve gotten to that is A Court of Mist and Fury. Oh the feels!

An action book would have to be the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. The next book in the series is coming out soon!!!!

A book that made you happy/One that made you sad.

Happy: The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

Sad: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

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Not the most amazing answers, but it’s the best I can do.

So this week I’ve read a total of 6 books!

  1. Conjuror by John and Carole Barrowman
  2. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
  3. Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johanson
  4. Summer Days and Summer Nights edited by Stephanie Perkins
  5. The Shadow Queen by C.J Redwine
  6. I Saw a Man by Owen Sheers

I’m very impressed with what I’ve read so far. I’m currently reading “All the Light we Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr. I picked it up months ago, but couldn’t get past the first fifty pages. I just didn’t like the changing of the chapters and points of view. I’m still trying to figure out what the characters have to do with each other. Now that I’ve gotten a little further in the book, I’m enjoying it a little bit. But not exactly pleased.

My TBR pile is dwindling down to only four books. I think I can finish the three books next week and then I can focus all of my energy in finally reading “Pride and Prejudice”. I still have “Jane Eyre” and “The Book Thief” to read, but I’m unsure if I want to pick those up. I have to figure out what I’m going to do with all of my books I bought here in Cardiff. I’m going to try to send them all home, but if not, I might just sell some of the ones I didn’t like.

That’s my update so far. Check back with me next week to see if I can successfully finish my TBR pile.

The Shadow Queen by C.J Redwine book review

Seeing as how I’ve been writing several edits for my writing portfolio and reading, I thought I’d write more book reviews. So here is one about “The Shadow Queen” by C.J Redwine.

It’s another retelling of a fairytale story. I usually like those kinds of stories, but in regards to this one, I have very mixed feelings. I have an interesting thing on fairy tale stories, but that is for another post.

“The Shadow Queen” centers on this girl named Lorelei who is the true queen of Ravenspire. Nine years previous, her step mother, Irina, had brainwashed all of the kingdom to bow down to her. Lorelei, having similar powers, wasn’t subjected to this brainwashing. Irina thought she could trust her. Wrong. Lorelei worked a magic spell to stop the trance Irina had on the kingdom.

Once her father was aware of this, he ordered his guards to kill his wife. However, Lorelei didn’t think about how Irina would react to what she had done, so her family paid the consequences. Her father told her to look after her younger brother, Leo, right before he died. One of the palace guards, Gabril, helped the two kids escape, leaving Irina to believe they had both perished.

Nine years after this incident, Lorelei is preparing to take back her kingdom from the evil queen. The land is having a blight, which is caused by Irina’s insatiable need for power. Lorelei tries to slowly work her way up to overthrowing the queen when she comes across the mother and her kids. The woman she sees ends up murdering her kids and herself, to save them from the fate of starving to death.

Then she meets this guy named Kol, who is the King of Eldr. Eldr is a kingdom filled with dragons. They shift into dragon form and have two hearts. Their human heart governs their dragon hearts to give them empathy and justice. Otherwise they could easily just take control of every land.

Eldr is in grave peril when the Ogres start attacking. The dragons are having trouble keeping them out of the capital. The situation is so dyer that King Kol has to go to Ravenspire to seek help from the powerful witch, Irina. She makes a deal with him. His kingdom’s safety for the heart of the princess.

You basically know the rest of the story, if you’ve ever heard of Snow White.

This book had such a big hype around it and so I wanted to see if it was worth it. After finishing it, I have to say that I was very disappointed. The beginning did not grab me and I had to force myself to get into it. Halfway through I did get hooked, but near the end I just wanted it to be over.

It didn’t have that many good qualities for me. The biggest drawback was that it was SO PREDICTABLE!!! It took a lot of YA tropes and put them into this book. This book was not original in the slightest and I’m a little peeved that it’s going to be a series. I thought it ended there!!

Also, I was confused as to the relations of Irina and Lorelei. It kept referencing the sister of Irina in the beginning and it didn’t stick with me that it was because Lorelei was the daughter of her sister. It was really confusing.

Overall, I would give this book a 3/5 stars. And that’s being generous. I liked Kol’s character and Leo, but Lorelei was a little… typical of any YA novel out there.

Book/series recommendations 2016

I’ve had plenty of people ask me for recommendations on series/books to read. So I decided to write a top 10 series/book recommendations. This is in no particular order.

  1. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

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This series is Young Adult science fiction. It follows this girl named Cinder who is a Cyborg. She lives with her step mom and two step sisters. She finds herself tangled with the prince Kai. This series is such an amazing read. Each book is based on a different fairy tale princess. Cinder: Cinderella. Scarlet: Little Red Riding Hood. Cress: Rapunzel. Winter: Snow White. I wrote a review for this series, which you can check out above.

2. The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

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A disease goes through the youths of the world. They end up with these freaky powers that leave the adults scared. They’re put into camps and mistreated. I loved this series, although it was hard to get into at first. But once you get into it, you can’t put it down. Again, I wrote a complete review above. I put this one on my list because it’s supposed to be getting its own movie, which I’m excited to see.

3. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

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This series follows a lady named Claire Randall in the year 1945. After the second World War, she goes with her husband, Frank Randall, to Scotland on their second honeymoon. However, things go awry when Claire takes a walk and ends up going through a stone circle called Craige Na Duine, which transports her to the year 1743. She is taken captive by the Mackenzie clan, where she meets Jaime Fraser. Claire must figure out how to get back, but along the way, ends up giving her heart to Jaime.

What I love about this series is the complexities of the characters. This is a historical fiction series with fantastical elements to it. I learned a lot about Scottish history and the Jacobites. This series brings history to life and you won’t be disappointed when it comes to the thrill of reading. I’m only on the third book right now and I can say for certain that I love this series. There are eight books out so far and two seasons of the TV show out. Definitely recommend to anyone who loves history or even Game of Thrones.

4.. The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater

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I just have to say that the fact that they are searching for a Welsh king made it so much more enjoyable while I’m here in Wales. I loved the characters and the plot line. I think this series has so much for everyone. The series is mainly character based. Meaning that the story moves forward with character development. You won’t be disappointed with this read. To find out more about what I have to say, click the link above.

5. The Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard.

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This book series follows Mare Barrow, a Red, who has some Silver powers. There are two kinds of people in this series. The Reds, which are people like you and me, who bleed red blood. And then there are the Silvers, who have magical powers and their blood bleeds silver. After falling in front of a royal court, Mare is thrust into this world of politics and power. She must marry the prince or be condemned to die. It’s a dystopian setting where the Silvers hold hierarchy over the Reds. There are two books currently out in the series and I cannot wait for the third one. The twist at the end of the first book though. I’m still shocked.

6. Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johanson.

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This series follows Kelsea Raleigh, Queen of the Tearling. She was in hiding for most of her life after her mom died and her uncle took over the throne. Kelsea must take back her throne and defeat the Red Queen, who is a crazy lady who only wants power. Kelsea’s mom made a deal with the Red Queen to send twice a year a shipment of her people to Mortemese. (I don’t think that’s how you spell it.) When Kelsea stops this shipment, she openly declares war with the Red Queen. Kelsea herself has powers and must learn to control them. The setting is centuries after the Crossing. Which was around the year 2080 or so. Basically, people went on a ship to find this other land and start a new life. Definitely worth a read. The third and final book is coming out at the end of this year.

One thing that was particularly different than most other stories of this kind is the absence of a love triangle or some guy holding the girl back. While there is some form of love or infatuation in the first book, and some in the second, the series does not focus on that. It focuses on the political portion of the plot. I didn’t really like the first book because it was really confusing. But the second book definitely gave more background as to the setting and answers a bunch of questions that I had about the Crossing.

7. A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas

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This series is just… ahhh!!! There is no other way to describe it. Along with “Throne of Glass” which I will talk about later, Sarah J. Maas has a way with words. This is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast… but with faeries and magic. Honestly, I wrote a great review on this series and I cannot start having feels again so soon. Rhysand!!!

8. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

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Basically this story focuses on this girl named Celaena who is an assassin. She is thrown into this game of the king’s to be his assassin. The king has banned magic and magical things keep happening around Celaena. Here’s the Goodreads synopsis since I’m apparently doing a horrible job at describing this series.

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for four years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her … but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead … quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

Definitely worth the read. The fifth book comes out in September and I’m super excited to read what’s in store for Celaena.

9. The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

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Definitely a summer read. I loved this book so much and was so glad that I did read it during the summer. If you want a summer contemporary book, this is the book for you. Read my review for more info and some great pictures.

10. “Carry On” by Rainbow Rowell

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So if you’ve read “Fangirl” by Rainbow Rowell, you will know that this is the book that Kat is so obsessed with. Don’t worry, if you haven’t read that book, you can still read this book. It’s very Harry Potter like. It centers on this kid who is a foster kid and his journey to this magical place. I feel like I’m forgetting a lot of the major details, but it’s all in the book review above. I loved this book so much and would highly recommend it to anyone who loved Harry Potter.