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1.24.2015

Rereading The Goblet of Fire


It has long been known by those close to me that my least favorite book and movie of the Harry Potter series is The Goblet of Fire. The 4th year at Hogwarts just doesn't do it for me. I know a lot of people disagree and absolutely LOVE Goblet of Fire because of all the action, but for me, it just wasn't. The action is there for sure, but it just it too slow going for me. That probably sounds strange, since it isn't exactly a slow read.... I can't explain it any other way though. It just has always felt slow and muddled to me while reading. Granted, I still think it is a 4-star book... it is just a the 4 star in a series of 5 star, in my opinion.

After rereading it for the 10th time (literally), I still came away with the same feelings. I maybe enjoyed it a teensy tiny itty bit more than I have in the past - mainly because I was a bit more open to it. I went into it this time with as clean a slate as one can possibly have after reading it so many times. I think going in with the idea that this is not my least favorite and just reading it to read it, is what helped me see some of the pleasure it the book. The action is definitely there. It is an intense book and reading it without the filter of "I don't like this one" helped me acknowledge that it is a fun adventure from the get go. The Quidditch World Cup is really a fun adventure, I always seem to forget about it until I reread it. Detail and excitement are big as the troupe embarks on the event- not to mention the hysteria that follows. The romance is there too. I love the Ron - Hermione dynamic that unfolds with GoF.. but I could do without Lavender - although she does offer some comedic reprieve. I also really like that Hermione gets some outside attention as well - good for her! You can see a little confidence boost. The friendship squabbling is important too - I think it shows the reality of friendship more than we have seen in previous books. They're growing up, hormones flying, and together pretty much 24/7 - arguments are bound to happen and it is nice to see them act as foolish teenage friends every once in awhile. Brings it back to reality that they are just kids navigating a very adult problem.

Finally, the biggest thing I noticed after this reread was how drastically different the book is from the movie. I've always ranked GoF film as my least favorite for that reason, but rereading it again and then watching the movie almost immediately after really put the spotlight on the issue. I understand that it happens and is necessary is book to film adaptations, but damn does this one just piss me off. It is too far off the book for me.

So, fellow Potterheads... what are your thoughts on Harry's 4th year and the Triwizard Tournament? Do you love it or do you hate it? And how about that film adaptation - what do you think about the differences, both big and small?

Head over to Sheila's site to check out the other GoF reviews


write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow

1.23.2015

Those Who Remain (book 1) mini review

Those Who Remain by Priscila Santa Rose
August 2014
232 pgs
Won via Goodreads giveaway

About the book:
Hide your children, lock your doors, and load your guns because zombies are real and they are coming. Danny Terrence knows this better than anyone. He spent months preparing for the inevitable moment the disease would reach his small town. What he didn’t prepare for is the fact that nobody really believes him. Between a thirteen-year-old girl on a road trip from hell, a family of paranoid hunters having to deal with their feelings for the first time ever, a stubborn doctor butting-heads with a cold-hearted sergeant and an amoral British professor carrying the fate of humanity in his hands, Danny has it easy. Unless, of course, they all end up in his town, messing with his already messed up life. Follow these five people as their paths cross and their lives and hopes are challenged in this thrilling novel with brain-mushing humor and heart-breaking action.

My thoughts:
I won this book from the author on Goodreads and was very excited to start it. I really liked the design of the book - the way each character has a title and that is how the chapters are set up. I did struggle a bit with the dates, since they aren't sequential order, but got over it pretty quick. Three changing of the voices was more important than the dates and it all pieced together in the end. I also enjoyed how they all had a bit of a connection.
Those Who Remain is a fairly typical zombie story, but because of the style and design of the book it kept it interesting. I also really liked the government piece that plays out in the Geek and the Doctor chapters - definitely a good angle. 
Overall, satisfying and fun to read. Could end here as a stand alone, but I'm interested in reading further in the series to see how it all plays out.



write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow

Image and abbreviated book synopsis from Goodreads.

1.20.2015

Mommy issues!

Broadway Books // July 2014
paperback, 400 pgs
ISBN: 978-0385347259
source: Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review

About the book:
Josephine Hurst has her family under control. With two beautiful daughters, a brilliantly intelligent son, a tech-guru of a husband, and a historical landmark home, her life is picture perfect. But living in this matriarch’s determinedly cheerful, yet subtly controlling domain hasn’t been easy for her family, and when her oldest daughter, Rose, runs off with a mysterious boyfriend, Josephine tightens her grip, gradually turning her flawless home into a darker sort of prison.

Resentful of her sister’s newfound freedom, Violet turns to eastern philosophy, hallucinogenic drugs, and extreme fasting, eventually landing herself in a psych ward. Meanwhile, her brother, Will, recently diagnosed with Asperger's, shrinks further into a world of self-doubt. Their father, Douglas, finds resolve in the bottom of a bottle—an addict craving his own chance to escape. Josephine struggles to maintain the family’s impeccable fa├žade, but when a violent incident leads to a visit from child protective services, the truth about the Hursts might finally be revealed.

My thoughts:
Wow! I am so glad I finally got around to taking this off my tbr pile and reading. Mother, Mother is a twisted tale that will suck you in, chew you up, and spit you back out. The concept of a horrible mother is one that most likely shocks - not so much for me. My line of work involves dealing with the fallout from lots of sociopathic and narcissistic parents. Even still, I was on the edge of my seat and did gasp in horror at Josephine. She's a horrible human being and watching her unfold on the pages from the dual perspectives of her children was intense. This book is phenomenal- the trauma induced within is so real it's scary. I almost feel like I've suffered secondary trauma as a result! (No, I haven't really, but damn does it feel a bit like it. Maybe emotional fatigue is a better descriptor. Look them up, you'll see what I mean.)
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I say it is a highly recommended book and will suggest that fans of psychological thrillers and psychology in general should definitely read this. Oh, and anyone with mommy issues or Psycho fans.



write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow

Book image and synopsis from Amazon.com

1.12.2015

Bout of Books wrap up post

Another Bout of Books has come and gone. Hard to believe it has already been a week already - it flew by. It was fun and I am pretty pleased with my progress throughout.


I spent the day Sunday with Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles - start to finish it was an amazing book. I bawled like a baby too. Didn't do much with BoB aside from that, and I am totally okay with it because that book was awesome.

I had a great time this round of Bout of Books and even though I didn't get to spend as much time throughout the week reading, I feel like I made up for it yesterday. I'm glad I finished 3 books and pleased with myself for participating in 4 challenges. The challenges were fun, but my favorite was definitely the books in pictures.

So, how did you do with your Bout of Books readathon this time? If you didn't join in, did you see how much we had and decided you gotta join in next time? (pssst - it's May 11th - 17th) I know I can't wait for the next one!

Now, without further ado, let's recap....

Bout of Books 12 Totals:

Books completed: 3
     * Lovey by Mary MacCracken
     * Those Who Remain (book 1) by Priscila Santa Rose
     * Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles

Total pages: 667
Total time spent read: 11 hours 35 min

BoB challenges completed: 4
     * Book in Pictures challenge
     * Synopsis challenge (completed on Twitter)
     * New Years Resolution challenge
     * BoB Scavenger Hunt challenge (completed on Instagram)




write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow

1.11.2015

BoB12 - day 6 update

Time to share my day 6 of Bob12!

Blogging Stats:

Nada

Reading Stats:

Book(s) read: Those Who Remain book 1 by Priscilla Santa Rosa, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling
Pages read: 148
Time spent reading: 2hrs 35m

Bout of Books Totals:

Book(s) completed: Lovey by Mary MacCracken, Those Who Remain book 1 by Priscilla Santa Rosa
Pages: 355
Time: 5hr 45m
Blog posts: 11 (including this)
Challenges completed: 4


write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow