Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Book Review

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Finished reading

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Harry Potter #8)

by John Tiffany (Adaptation), Jack Thorne, J.K. Rowling

★★

Expectation

I was afraid of not liking this book a lot. Also I accidentally heard a spoiler while talking with a friend about it. I refused to believe what I heard and was perplexed by how absurd it sounded. Remembering the last scene from book seven and “feel good” vibes about it – except for making Draco slightly bald! I really didn’t like that part! – I was really into reading more from these stories. The fact that this book is written as a dramatic text made me apprehensive. I expected it to be okay and was settled for a mediocre reading experience.

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Summary

Getting into the story was easy to do. The background was familliar as were most of the characters. All the fast forwarding trough few years of Hogwarts experiences was understandable but I still did not like it. As many Harry Potter fans I love little quirks and details that were put into the books. Reading a script for a play made me feel cheatd out inner character input and descriptions. I was not watching a play but reading it; so there was definitely a whole dimension that was meant to be experienced visually missing.

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As for the characters, my mood was jumping up and down the whole time. The villain of the story was a character that annoyed me from the second scene it appeared. Grown up versions of book series protagonists seemed a bit strange and off from what I remember – though this also might be due to the script writing.

New characters, and here I primarily mean Albus and Scorpius; were interesting enough. The character of Albus suffered most from script writing syndrome. I would have loved to get more insight into his motivation and personal growth.

Scorpius on the other hand was an extremely lovable character. His geekines and quirkiy banter dialogue made me smile at every scene he was part of. Honestly I was mesmerized.

“SCORPIUS: I can’t quite believe I did that.

ALBUS: I can’t quite believe you did that either.

SCORPIUS: Rose Granger-Weasley. I asked out Rose Granger-Weasley.

ALBUS: And she said no.

SCORPIUS: But I asked her. I planted the acorn. The acorn that will grow into our eventual marriage.

ALBUS: You are aware that you’re an utter fantasist.”

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I think that the plot twist of this book exploits the messiest part of the Harry Potter universe. The one thing that the cynics point at as the loophole in the otherwise richly written world. I love that somebody addressed this issue and filled in some much needed gaps. As per usual I’m only hinting for fear of making spoilers for future readers since I think many people are cautious about this book.

Conclusion

I’m not a fan of drama texts but this one has brought me back some magic I’ve felt reading the Harry Potter books. Parts of it were kinda messy and had me on the edge of my seat while reading. The main villain could have used some more “screen time” to shine out. This way the whole backstory was put down in a few short sentences. Other parts were pure delight to read. I got to love some new characters and I got to be mopey about some old ones! Any Harry Potter fan will appreciate a new dose of magic it brings.
Also now I’m really interested in watching the play :/

 

 

Challenging challenges

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January is filled with people posting challenges. Every January I join the reading challenges craze and look for one I can challenge myself with. Sometimes I look for a way to keep my TBR monster under control but usually I’m just delighted to see what kind of challenging ideas people come up with. I’m not talking about challenges by number of books read. The thematic and weird reading challenges come to mind.

b0963-worldatwarreadingchallengeSome of the themes are totally out of my general reading scope and I could never hope to try them on. There is challenging oneself and then there is simply putting yourself up for a year of torturous reading.

What I really like seeing are smaller month-to-month challenges that make you to spell out a word or a theme. Recently I stumbled on one such challenge in one GR group. It made me reminiscence of few years back when I was a devoted Shelfari member and I did those group challenges successfully. It made me read 7-10 books a month that fit the letters I needed for the challenge. As much as I admire these challenges I am not confident I could really complete one anymore.

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I tend to read trough many different genres and searching out the book where “someone practices or teaches yoga, tai chi, or ballet” seems like a rather challenging bother on it’s own.

Getting the letters and numbers are doable for me but when it comes certain themes and plot twists I’m out of it.I believe this has something to do with the way I pick out books for my TBR monster. I see something I like I simply add it. Therefore I’ve concluded that these kind of challenges are for people who need ideas on what to read. I don’t need ideas since my TBR monster is quite chubby as it is.

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What I’m looking for is a way to trim my TBR and a way to organize how to do it. My TBR is rather versatile and thematic challenges are not a good choice for me. My reading choices vary from classics, graphic novels and manga editions to popular new editions, less known self published books and really obscure books never translated into English. Add to that a sprinkle of erotic genre which is not for sharing with most people and reading groups and I’m really struggling to find a reading challenge to fit my needs.

I get jealous when I see a really interesting thematic reading challenge since I know I could never really fit it in. Then there is a guilt trip for not trying hard enough which usually ends with not doing any reading done at all..

I’m actually torn up about reading challenges I can’t be a part of and on account of that I’ve made my search for organizing my reading with reading challenges a whole year round experience. I’ve stopped thinking about time limits and started perceiving it more about small victories and enjoying my reading.

So there, this was my reading challenge rant post for January to make up for not having an actual fun and interesting theme reading challenge to be a part of!

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Monthly reading review – December 2016

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Monthly reading review – December 2016

This December I have read:

Soumission by Michel Houellebecq ★★

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens ★★★★

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1. How many books you’ve read last month? Are you happy with the amount you read?

The picture above shows the December I would have liked to have seen. Alas there was no snow and the number of books I’ve read in December barely held together at two! I’m not pleased with the number but I doubt I could have made it much higher by sacrificing the time I had to invest in other things.

2. What was the best of all the books you’ve read in November? Any scenes or characters that made a lasting impression?

I was very delighted with A Christmas Carol. It is a great books for December reading and it lifted my spirits quite a bit. Our Book Club meeting was magical as well.

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3. Were there any not so good books for you last month? What made it hard or not enjoyable to read?

Soumission by Michel Houellebecq was kinda hard for me to read for several reasons. For starters I’ve actually started reading one edition and had to finish the last half of the book reading a completely different edition. The differences were stunning! And not in a good way. This gave me perspective and more appreciation for translators and their work. Second thing that made this book hard to read was the historical and literary details on French authors and political aspects the author obviously has much knowledge of. Since I’m not very interested in politics – something books like these are meant to keep me up with – nor am I French these things were not very familiar to me and I had to keep stopping my reading to Google this or that…

4. How did the books you were reading last month fit in your reading plans if you had any?

I scored with the book club book and the rest I kinda flopped out on…

5. Any updates on the series you are reading or are you starting any new series?

Complete bust in series department. Only promising thing is that I started reading some of the books I’m lugging since summer and they happen to be part of book series.

6. Would you like to recommend any books or authors you’ve been reading this last month?

While I struggle with some books like Soumission this December I realized I need to get out of my comfort zone every once in a while. This is my recommendation from December. It makes us remember and appreciate the things we love. It made me look forward to some books 

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January to do list

 

This year I decided to make a preemptive strike at each month with lists of books I want to read and things I want to do!

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Here is my list of things to do in January

 

I would like to keep my reading count around 10 books per month

Finish reading:

The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare

  • The Course of True Love [and First Dates] (The Bane Chronicles, #10)
  • The Voicemail of Magnus Bane (The Bane Chronicles, #11

Storm’s Heart (Elder Races book #2) by Thea Harrison

The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins by Irvine Welsh

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Read books:

Bonjour tristesse by Françoise Sagan – for book club

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child(Harry Potter,#8) by John Tiffany, Jack Thorne, J.K.Rowling

The Hammer of Thor (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, #2) by Rick Riordan

The Hidden Oracle (The Trials of Apollo, #1) by Rick Riordan

Half a King (Shattered Sea, #1) by Joe Abercrombie

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Play games:

League of Legends – get out of Bronze :p

Dragon Quest Builder – finish the first town

Mortal Kombat XL PS4 – win one tower

Elder Scrolls Online – get to level 15

Dance to one song on PS4 Just Dance 

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Miscellaneous

Finish the Fairytale Fantasia Puzzle

Finish watching Korean TV series K2

Make plans for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Croatian edition promotion

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Wish me luck!

Bookish meriment

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This year Goodreads has made a really neat My Year in Books summary for its members. As this year turned out to be not my best in the reading department I was still delighted to see the results.

Even though my reading has taken a back seat for a bit, I’m still happy with books I’ve been reading this year. I’ve been reading some classics I’ve been meaning to for years and I managed to squeeze some new books as well.

I liked that with many genres I’ve ventured into this year I still prefer YA adventure and urban fantasy. Also for the first time ever I had some really good books that I enjoyed and a book I rated with only 1 star out of 5.

While I love my books I also love gaming and other shiny pretty things. Here is the latest one: a puzzle I got this Christmas from a good friend I met trough a book club. I started on it at New Year’s Eve.

There are some books I have been lugging on “reading” shelf that I mostly ignored for months. I have started reading them again and I’m very optimistic with my progress.

As it turns out the last book I’ve read in 2016. was A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. And there is one rather ominous quote that can be applied to my monster TBR list.

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To reach goals one must set them first. And this is why I am making plans for my reading in 2017. With mandatory finishing books I started I decided to clean up my TBR a bit.

My To-Be-Read list is closing in on 400 books currently. My goal for 2017. is to get it close to 300. I plan on doing this by finishing some book series and getting to reading books I already own.

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To keep this plan up I decided to launch a preemptive strike at each month and make a list of books I want to read and things I want to do. I’ve been neglecting my blog because I’ve been having too much fun with some other things and it is time to start writing about them too.

So Happy New Year everyone! May you be blessed with interesting books and fullfilling lives ❤

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A Christmas Carol – Book Review

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Finished reading

A Christmas Carol

by Charles Dickens

★★

Expectation

This was my first reading of this little book. It was a book club assignment for December. Since lately work has been busy and reading has been scarce altogether I liked the idea of a short little book. Nevertheless I decided to read it in English in this quirky edition showed in the picture above.

“I HAVE endeavoured in this Ghostly little book, to raise the Ghost of an Idea, which shall not put my readers out of humour with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me. May it haunt their houses pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it. Their faithful Friend and Servant, C.”
― Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

Summary

As I began to read I loved the author’s dedication at the beginning of the book. It was the first thing about this little book that made me realize I’m going to love reading it! Lately I was in bit of a Scrooge mode myself and this one paragraph really struck a cord:

“What’s Christmastime to you but a time for paying bills without money; a time for finding yourself a year older; and not an hour richer; a time for balancing your books and having every item in ’em trough a round dozen of months presented dead against you? ”

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Only thing I’ve read by Charles Dickens before this was Oliver Twist as a mandatory reading in school. As an easily impressed child I found it to be quite depressing.

This time reading it in English AND with a bit more cheery topic I loved the authors writing style. Some catchphrases and metaphors had profound impact on me.

…fellow passengers to the grave…

…darkness is cheap…

…more of gravy than of grave with you…

…bachelor was a wretched outcast…

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Conclusion

I’m glad I’ve read this little book. It is a wonderful feel good book. If not for it’s Christmasy theme it might not be so easy to go over some parts of it. Just complaining over this tiny bit makes one feel like a Scrooge from the beginning of the book.

Book loot for the end of the year

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Last month I’ve been to a book fair and lately I’ve been hoarding unusual number of new books. Some were gifts and some I bought for myself. Most I just grabbed and wouldn’t let go…

I swear I’m like a bear getting ready for hibernation!

Here are the books that are new on my shelves!

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Half Bad (The Half Bad Trilogy, #1) by Sally Green

&

 Half Wild (The Half Bad Trilogy, #2) by Sally Green

Both of them I’ve read earlier this year and I’ve even bought a Croatian edition. Third book in this trilogy Half Wild in English I’ve gotten in April as a gift.

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 The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Also Croatian edition. This is one of the books I bought at the book fair in Zagreb. This book is relatively hard to come by. I was very happy to have found it. Yesterday I’ve seen the first photos and stills of the new miniseries based on this book and I’m even more glad to have gotten it!

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 The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly

  This is one of the books I’ve heard from my friend. She read the copy from the library and I was intrigued because it totally missed my radar when it first came out. Again Croatian edition. It has a dark and twisted feel to it and I hope I get to reading it soon.

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 Saga Omnibus by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples

Croatian edition is a chubby omnibus that collects first three volumes. It is really heavy and not cheap but I love it anyway! I was thrilled when I first read this graphic novel and hopefully next year t this time I’ll have the second omnibus as well!

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A Wrinkle in Time (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet, #1) by Madeleine L’Engle

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 A Wind in the Door (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet, #2) by Madeleine L’Engle

These are Croatian editions of a children’s classic I’ve been eyeing for years now. Sadly it is a five book series and there probably won’t be translations for the last three books A Swiftly Tilting Planet, Many Waters, and An Acceptable Time.  😦  I also found English edition of a second book A Wind in the Door hidden in my shelves o.o

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  Hammer of Thor (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, #2) by Rick Riordan

I loved the first book and when I’ve seen this one finally arrive I just grabbed it and wouldn’t let go. This is one of the few books I’m getting in hardcover editions as they come out. There are tons of pictures with American edition covers but not many with British edition covers I’m getting. I will try to snap a few good pictures when I do the review.

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The Hidden Oracle (The Trials of Apollo #1) by Rick Riordan

Only Rick Riordan’s books that did not sit well with me were Kane Chronicles. As for the rest of them I plan to get them all eventually.  I love the feel of adventure they bring to life in me when I read them! Maybe I’ll even give Kane Chronicles a new chance as well!

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Half a King (Shattered Sea, #1) by Joe Abercrombie

For the purposes of a book gifting in my book club I asked my boyfriend to take his Croatian edition of this book. I promised to replace it with a pretty English edition and I did. I’m actually hoping to get the whole trilogy eventually and read them as well!

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The Witch with no Name(The Hollows #13) by Kim Harrison

Last book of The Hollows series. I still have to read one book before it but wouldn’t start before I got this one. I ordered this one online and it is in the mail as we speak!

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Staked (The Iron Druid Chronicles, #8) by Kevin Hearne

This book series I need to catch up as well. Boyfriend read all before this book and will be happy to read it too. Ordered online and also in the mail!

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