Rereading Harry Potter as an adult – Introduction

Rereading Harry Potter as an adult – Introduction

Hello fellow bookworms!

Did you read the Harry Potter books as a kid or were you already grown up when the books came out? How much do you remember from it?

I’m not sure how old I was when I started reading the Harry Potter books, but I remember being around 10 or 11 when the final book came out. At the time, my school was holding a competition to come up with a name for their new reading corner and the winner could name three books and they would receive one of them. Obviously, it wouldn’t be a very good story if I didn’t win the competition, so surprise, surprise: I won! (I would tell you the name, but it doesn’t really translate into English, sorry). The three books I put on my list, were:

  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows;
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and;
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Yes, I was a very annoying kid. But, I knew what I wanted and I made sure they gave it to me. So I was no older than 11 or 12 when I finished reading the series. I’m pretty sure I reread the Philosopher’s Stone and the Chamber of Secrets a couple of times, but after the movies started coming out, I’ve been more focused on those than on the books. I recently noticed that I’ve started to forget a lot of details from the books, especially those things that aren’t featured in the movies (such as Peeves) and all the things that they changed in the movies (“HARRYDIDYOUPUTYOURNAMEINTHEGOBLETOFFIRE”, Dumbledore asked calmly.).

A little while ago, I decided that I wanted to reread the whole Harry Potter series. I’ve tried doing this before, but I usually stopped reading halfway through the first book to start a book I hadn’t read yet. So, I thought it would be a good idea to take you guys along with me! This way I’ll have a very good reason to keep going (cause I don’t want to let you guys down) and you’ll hopefully enjoy reading about what it’s like to reread Harry Potter as an “Adult”. Harry Potter has truly been a lifelong obsession for me, so feel free to leave comments or e-mail me, because I will take any excuse to talk about Harry Potter in a heartbeat.

I’ll be starting the Harry Potter reread in the first week of January and do a weekly short update about it on my blog, so my first post will be out around the 9th of January. I’m looking forward to it!

Thank you for reading and I’ll check in soon with the first part of my rereading Harry Potter journey!

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From Fame to Ruin by Jina S. Bazzar – coming out on December 21st

From Fame to Ruin by Jina S. Bazzar – coming out on December 21st

Rating: 5 out of 5.
  • Fiction
  • Romantic thriller
  • Suspense
  • Ebook
  • 334 pages
  • Goodreads rating: 4.32

First of all, a great thanks to the author Jina S. Bazzar for gifting me a copy of her upcoming book From Fame to Ruin in exchange for an honest review.

From Fame to Ruin book cover, a romantic thriller novel that will be released on the 21st of December.
From Fame to Ruin cover, copied from goodreads.com

Carol is the sole heir to a broken empire, Ricardo the newest celebrity in the rock world. When they came together, their fire blazed. When their past caught up, they were left burned, scorched to the ground. When a psychopath decides it’s payback time, Carol is faced with an impossible choice – save her son or sell her life. Ricardo wants nothing to do with the woman who played him for a fool, but finds himself moored by circumstances, half truths, and memories of the past. They say time can heal anything. So far, time’s brought nothing but complications.

This book really took me by surprise. This was the first time I was contacted by an author to review their book and I was really flattered, but it also added a lot of pressure. What if I didn’t like it? I would have to give it a bad review and I really did not want to do that. I decided to take the leap and thank God, it paid off.

I didn’t know what to expect from a “Romantic thriller”, but now that I’ve read this book, I think it’s the most amazing combination of genres. Call me a girl, but I think the romance part of a book always just adds an extra dimension. In this book especially. The book constantly alternates between 4 years ago and today. The thriller part is happening in the today and the romantic parts of the story are (mostly) happening 4 years ago. This is the perfect recipe for a book that never gets boring. Usually the “4 years ago” is the boring backstory of how things came to be. That’s the part you have to plow through, because the information is essential, but you mostly just want to get back to the good parts. Now add a little (or a lot) romance and suddenly the backstory isn’t so boring anymore.

The choice of using a dual timeline was a really good one. The “4 years ago” chapters give your heart rate a little time to slow down again. I would be reading a chapter that happens in the “today” and then moving on to a chapter that happens 4 years ago and I would suddenly notice that I was clenching every muscle in my body. The best books are the books that give you high blood pressure, in my humble opinion.

From Fame to Ruin comes out on the 21st of December. I put the Amazon link below, so check it out if you’re interested!

https://www.amazon.com/Fame-Ruin-Romantic-Thriller-Novel-ebook/dp/B09HSGMFYC/ref=sr_1_1?adid=082VK13VJJCZTQYGWWCZ&campaign=211041&creative=374001&keywords=From+Fame+to+Ruin&qid=1639741832&s=books&sr=1-1

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My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

  • Fiction
  • Thriller/mystery
  • Humor
  • Paperback
  • 226 pages
  • Goodreads rating: 3.72

Rating: 4 out of 5.

“It takes a whole lot longer to dispose of a body than to dispose of a soul, especially if you don’t want to leave any evidence of foul play.”

Oyinkan Braithwaite, My Sister, the Serial Killer

Korede’s sister Ayoola is the favourite child, the most beautiful of the two and possibly a little sociopathic. Two of Ayoola’s boyfriends have mysteriously died before and now her third boyfriend is dead. Self-defence, apparently. It is also the third mess that Ayoola has left for Korede to clean up. Korede takes the burden of cleaning up the blood, getting rid of the body and stopping Ayoola from posting Instagram pictures while she should be mourning her “missing” boyfriend. After all, to Korede family always comes first. Until Ayoola starts dating the handsome doctor that Korede has been in love with for years. Korede is faced with the question how far she would go to protect her sister.

I enjoyed this book a lot. It had been on my shelf for years before I decided to pick it up, mostly because I thought it was a completely different kind of book. I finally picked it up after I coincidentally came across a review of the book somewhere and I realised it wasn’t at all the kind of book I thought it was. Why did I buy a book without reading the summary and then put it on my shelf for two years because I didn’t like the kind of book I thought it was, you ask? Well, I never said I was perfect.

“I dare you to find a flaw in her beauty; or to bring forth a woman who can stand beside her without wilting.”

Oyinkan Braithwaite, My Sister, the Serial Killer

I adored the characters in this book. They were hilarious and vibrant and there really wasn’t a dull moment. The book is written from Korede’s point of view, so you don’t really know what is going on in Ayoola’s head, but not knowing what she is thinking is a large part of the fun, otherwise it wouldn’t be a mystery. It was kind of a cliché that Korede is the “ugly duckling” and her sister is the beautiful, but naive one and that kind of bothered me a few times throughout the book, but I guess it also adds an extra dimension and I can’t really think of a different relationship that would add the same dimension to their interactions. So I guess I forgive her for the cliché.

The book was very accessible. The chapters were short and sweet, it wasn’t too difficult to read, the writing is smooth and witty and I went through it quickly, which made it very enjoyable. I hate mystery novels or thrillers where you have to wait endlessly for a clue or for someone to solve the mystery while the narrator takes it upon themselves to describe where a character got their completely unrelated and irrelevant dog Fluffy or the EXACT colour of the leaves on an even more irrelevant tree (I’m looking at you, George R.R. Martin). This is definitely not that kind of book. My Sister, the Serial Killer is fast-paced while always making you want to keep reading and if you love reading a book in one session, you’ll adore this book.

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Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella

Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella

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  • Fiction
  • Contemporary romance
  • Humor
  • Paperback
  • 496 pages
  • Goodreads rating: 3.84

Rating: 5 out of 5.

“Life is like an escalator. You see, it carries you on regardless. And you might as well enjoy the view and seize every opportunity while you’re passing. Otherwise, it’ll be too late.”

Sophie Kinsella, Twenties Girl

While Lara Lington is attending her great-aunt Sadie’s funeral, she is visited by Sadie’s ghost in the form a demanding girl in a 1920’s flapper dress. Sadie demands that Lara finds a necklace that had been in Sadies possession for seventy-five years, but was lost when she died. Lara refuses at first, being busy enough with her own troubles, having just been dumped by the love of her life and trying to keep her head above water as co-owner of her headhunting agency. Sadie keeps pestering Lara until she finally agrees on finding the necklace, uncovering some ugly secrets in the process.

This is the second Sophie Kinsella book I read. It’s also still one of my favourites (if not, THE favourite). The first Kinsella book I read is “Finding Audrey”, which is absolutely beautiful, but meant for a younger audience. I’ll write a review on that one soon.

Even though this book is 500 pages long, I literally devoured it. I love Kinsella, because her books are always light and easy to read. They really pull you into the story. She has a talent for making you feel like you’re really there. She doesn’t dwell on irrelevant things like the exact colour of a tree (which can absolutely be beautiful and relevant in a different kind of novel, obviously).

I loved the friendship between Sadie and Lara that evolved throughout the book. Lara started off being really annoyed by Sadie and naturally, I was really annoyed by Sadie as well, but Kinsella did an excellent job peeling off the layers of Sadie’s personality. Every time you learn something new, you start loving her a little more. The dynamic between Sadie and Lara is amazing. It’s enemies to friends, but Sadie also takes a role as a mentor. Being 105 years-old, she has a lot to teach Lara, though some of it is a little outdated…

“If a love affair is one-sided, then it’s only ever a question, never an answer. You can’t live your life waiting for an answer.”

Sophie Kinsella, Twenties Girl

There’s one theme that keeps coming back throughout the novel and that’s unanswered love. It wasn’t that obvious to me while I was reading the book and I really don’t remember it being featured so prominently. I only just noticed while looking up the quotes for this review. Nearly all of the quotes on Goodreads are about unanswered love. It’s Sadie telling Lara to stop waiting for her ex to start loving her back, that it’s not possible to make someone love you. She tells her to stop trailing after her ex. I didn’t mind the theme so much in this novel, but Kinsella does have a habit of making some of her main characters annoyingly dependent on men.

“Honestly, it’s so easy to get what you want from people if they think you’re a psycho.”

Sophie Kinsella, Twenties Girl

If you’ve never read anything by Sophie Kinsella before, consider this a sign to pick up Twenties Girl at your nearest bookstore and dive in. If you’re not really a fan of the paranormal element in this novel, I would recommend starting with “My Not so Perfect Life”. I’ll do a review on that gem soon.

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Heroes by Stephen Fry

Heroes by Stephen Fry

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  • Stephen Fry’s Great Mythology #2
  • Nonfiction
  • Mythology
  • Retellings
  • Paperback
  • 476 pages
  • Goodreads rating: 4.31

Rating: 4 out of 5.

“Such is the paradox of living. We willingly accept that we have no will.”

Stephen Fry, Heroes

Heroes: Mortals and Monsters, Quests and Adventures is the sequel to Mythos, in which Stephen Fry (re)tells classic Greek Mythology. Where Mythos tells the tales of the Greek Gods and their victims, Heroes focuses solely on, sorry for stating the obvious, the heroes of Greek Mythology. It tells the stories of Perseus, Heracles, Oedipus and many others. The Heroes kill horrible beasts, endure the wrath of jealous wives and complete impossible labours.

“Oh Icarus, Icarus, my beloved boy. Why couldn’t you listen? Why did you have to fly so close to the sun?”

Stephen Fry, Heroes

I enjoyed reading Heroes a lot. It definitely lived up to the expectations that Mythos had set. On the whole, the contents of the book appealed to me more than that of Mythos, since the adventures of Greek heroes interest me more than the gods’ pedigree. I read some reviews saying that Heroes is much more organised than Mythos and I have to agree. Heroes is organised by hero. All the adventures of a hero are bundled in chronological order in a chapter with the name of that hero, whereas Mythos was full of shorter stories and felt like complete chaos. What still kind of bothered me, though it isn’t really Fry’s fault, is the insane amount of names in this book. Every time Fry introduces a new character of creature, the name is spelled in capital letters, which happens pretty much every page.. luckily there is a List of Characters in the back of the book. It’s about 40 pages long, so I guess that tells you all you need to know.

Lessons I’ve learned from reading Heroes:

  • If you don’t like someone, just send them to kill some kind of bull and hopefully you’ll never see them again;
  • It is totally okay to throw your children off a mountain if the oracle vaguely tells you to;
  • All mythological creatures are dumb as hell, either insult or flatter them and you’ve practically already won;
  • If you don’t know who your father is, it’s a safe bet to assume it’s Zeus;
  • Don’t insult the gods, especially not by claiming you’re better at something than they are or by having sex on their altar;
  • Beastiality was completely normal in ancient times;
  • If you lay eyes on a handsome youth or girl, it is customary to tell them you love them within the first 10 minutes and then betray your family and risk your life to be with them.

“An unamused Hades cast them into stone chairs, their naked buttocks stuck to the seats, their legs bound by living snakes.”

Stephen Fry, Heroes

Heroes is exactly what you’d expect when you let a comedian write a nonfiction book. The information is definitely there, but you’re not always sure whether he’s kidding or not. I’m pretty sure he paraphrased a little, now and then.

Of course not every hero in Greek mythology is accounted for, but the biggest names are definitely there. It felt like Fry made an attempt to shorten the stories as much as possible to be able to fit more of them into a book, which affected the stories negatively, because a lot of detail was left out. I understand Fry’s choice in this, though, for the book is already 476 pages long and as much as I enjoy Greek mythology, I don’t think I would read an 800 page book about it.

Though this is technically the second book in a series of three (so far), it isn’t necessary to read them in that order. Heroes sometimes gives a reference to Mythos, but you usually get a one sentence summary of the story Fry is referring to.

TW: it may not really be a trigger, but there’s a lot of murder, familicide and sex with mortals, gods and animals, yes, animals, in this book. It’s not very descriptive, but nevertheless, I would recommend younger readers with a curiosity towards Greek mythology to start off by reading some Rick Riordan books, like the Percy Jackson, The Trials of Apollo or the Mark of Athena series. That’s about 15 books worth of kid-friendly fiction based on Greek mythology.

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