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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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Rereading Harry Potter – Week 17

Rereading Harry Potter – Week 17

Hi again my fellow bookworms/Potterheads! I’m ashamed to once again have to apologize for this post being late. Things have been crazy here lately with job changes and our search for a house, which has taken up a lot of my time. That being said, it’s time for another week of rereading Harry Potter! I had so much fun with this week’s reading again. Rereading these books has really been an amazing experience for me so far, so thank you for tagging along and reading these posts.

Last week, we read about the days that led up to the Quidditch World Cup. We’re starting today with Harry, Hermione and the Weasleys walking up to the Quidditch Stadium. The Stadium seats a hundred thousand wizards (where are all these wizards coming from? There are only 5 boys and 5 girls per year, per house at Hogwarts, where is the rest of them?) and the Weasleys are seated in the Top Box with the Minister of Magic, the Malfoys and Barty Crouch (not very likely, the movie version where they’re somewhere in the crowds is much more logical). In the Top Box they run into Winky the house-elf, who tells Harry that Dobby is demanding pay for his work now (how dare he), so he has some trouble finding a new position. Winky is Mr. Crouch’s house-elf and is being forced to save his seat, despite the fact that he is afraid of heights. Can you feel Hermione’s outrage yet?

The game starts and Ireland absolutely crushes Bulgaria. When Ireland is ahead by 170 points to 10, Krum catches the snitch to end the game. Seems like an illogical move to me, since they only need to score 2 goals (are they called goals?) to be able to win, but okay. Fred and George betted Ludo Bagman that Ireland would win, but Krum would catch the snitch, so they won quite some money from him. They tell Mr Weasley that they’ve got big plans for this money, so their mother will never hear about it. We all know that Fred and George start a joke shop after they graduate in the Order of the Phoenix, so I guess the money is going to that joke shop. Did Rowling already have their journeys planned out?

Harry is woken up by Mr Weasley shouting at him to get outside immediately. A bunch of wizards are setting fire to tents and floating the Muggle family who runs the campsite. They later discover that these wizards are Death Eaters, Voldemort’s followers. The trio run into Malfoy in the woods and he warns them that they probably wouldn’t want her getting spotted, since the Death Eaters are after Muggles and Hermione is a Mudblood. I’m not sure if Malfoy is trying to protect Hermione in his own weird way, or if he’s just insulting her. Maybe I’ve just read a few too many Dramione fan posts. They also run into some French speaking girl looking for Madame Maxime, who I’m guessing is Fleur Delacour’s younger sister. Hermione tells us that she is probably from Beauxbaton, this school of magic in France that we’ve never heard of before (same goes for Durmstrang).

The trio runs into Winky next, who can’t run properly because Mr Crouch hadn’t told her to hide (I kind of liked Barty Crouch, but not so much anymore) and one of the Veelas (the magical creatures that the Bulgarians brought with them for the opening show that resemble mermaids and have the power to lure men towards them), which did not leave Harry and Ron unaffected. They are hiding a bit farther into the woods when they suddenly hear someone Apparate near them and summon the Dark Mark. The Ministry appears soon after and of course assume that Harry, Ron and Hermione were responsible. Then they find Winky on the ground with Harry’s wand in her hand and they assume she is guilty. Harry’s wand was indeed the one used to conjure the Dark Mark, so it’s not looking good for Winky. Also, it’s not allowed for house-elves (or any non-human creatures) to carry a wand.

The Weasleys, Harry and Hermione go back to sleep for a few hours before returning home by Portkey. They spend the rest of their summer holidays playing Quidditch, waiting for Sirius’ letter and packing their trunks. Ron comes across his maroon velvet dress robes that make him smell like his great aunt Tessie. The dress robes are apparently on his school list for this year, though for unknown reasons (so far).

When they’re about to leave for the Hogwarts express, an urgent message comes in from the Ministry. Amos Diggery’s head is sitting in the middle of the fireplace and is talking to Mr Weasley. Apparently some guy named Mad-Eye did something he wasn’t supposed to and he is supposed to start his new job today (I wonder what that job might be). Since Mr Weasley has to go into work unexpectedly, Mrs Weasley and all of the kids have to take a Muggle taxi to King’s Cross. The train whistle blows and Harry, Ron and Hermione are off to another year at Hogwarts.

Well, that was it for this week! Next week (or this week, since I’m late again), we are finally going to find out about the Triwizard Tournament (spoiler alert). I’m looking forward to meeting Krum and Fleur and getting to know Cedric better! Have a great week and see you next post!

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Rereading Harry Potter – Week 16

Rereading Harry Potter – Week 16

Hello again my fellow Potterheads! First of all, I apologize for the tardiness of the post. It was my birthday this weekend and we got the news that we are officially moving this summer, so it’s been a bit hectic. It’s week 16 of Rereading Harry Potter and we’re starting on Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire this week. My favourite posts in this series are always the ones where we start a new book. Especially now that the books are getting longer and longer (GoF is over 600 pages in a teeny tiny font) and there is just going to be so much stuff to discover that was not included in the movies or that I’ve just forgotten about.

Speaking of thing that weren’t in the movies, chapter one of the Goblet of Fire is called “The Riddle House”. Now, we all remember the first scene of the movie where Wormtail and Voldemort are holding up in an old house and are being eavesdropped on by old Frank, the caretaker of the house. Now the house they’re holding up in is the Riddle House, inhabited by Mr and Mrs Riddle and their son, Tom. About 50 years ago, all three of them were killed. I think I’m missing a bit of information here, because last I checked, Tom was an orphan and was living in a muggle orphanage, so who is this other Tom?

So Voldemort and Wormtail (I only just noticed that Voldemort calls Pettigrew Wormtail, which just seems wrong, since Lupin, Sirius and James gave him that nickname) are hiding out here and there until the time has come to do some kind of ritual with Harry’s blood. Meanwhile, Voldemort is drinking Nagini’s milk to gain strength (yuck). Wormtail tries to get Voldemort to do the ritual without Harry, I guess because Harry saved Wormtail’s life last year (which answers the question I asked in my last post). They also kidnapped some woman called Bertha Jorkins (no idea who that is or what they needed her for, I have no memory of this woman whatsoever), tortured her for information and then killed her.Harry is getting all this information from a dream and doesn’t actually remember most of it, so he’s pretty useless again.

Harry is with his uncle and aunt for the first part of the summer, as usual. The Dursleys are on a diet (the school nurse finally interfered with Dudley’s weight, for he is the size and weight of a young killer whale now, according to Rowling), so Harry is being starved to death as well. Thankfully, he has been corresponding with Ron, Hermione and Sirius, so he has plenty of birthday cake to snack on (magical birthday cake, it seems, to last that long). Molly Weasley finally sends the Dursleys a letter to ask them if Harry can come to the World Cup with them and puts about a million stamps on the envelope. At the same time, he receives a letter from Ron to tell him they’ll pick him up on Sunday.

Sunday comes and the Dursleys are getting cranky that the Weasleys are late picking up Harry. Of course to go from bad to worse, the Weasleys decide to travel by Floo Powder and come barging out of the Dursleys’ fireplace. I’m guessing that won’t help the Dursleys’ hate against wizards and anything magic. Then Fred and George decide to leave some magic candy that expands your tongue lying around for Dudley to eat.

They arrive at the Burrow and Harry meets Bill and Charlie for the first time. Every time a character is introduced for the first time, I’m so confused and surprised that it is only the first time, since they feel so familiar to me. Anyone else? After the introduction, they go and visit Pig, which is Ron’s owl that he got from Sirius and is actually called Pigwidgeon. I’m not sure why, but I remember Pigwidgeon being Ginny’s pet, for some reason. I think it’s because of the Lego Harry Potter games, I think she has a pet in those games.

The time arrives to leave for the World Cup. Everyone is going by Portkey, except for Bill, Charlie and Percy, since they’re able and allowed to Apparate (I wasn’t aware that there was an exam to be taken before you’re allowed to Apparate). They meet Amos and Cedric Diggory at the Portkey. Amos tells them that the Lovegoods are already at the site. I love the foreshadowing! Luna appears for the first time in the 5th book, right? I don’t think she’s in this book yet. I do wonder whether Rowling already knew she was going to make a character called Luna Lovegood by this point, or that she’s just introducing names and families here and there so that she can pick one if she needs to create a new character.

My favourite part of fantasy books is always the world-building and Harry Potter is absolutely no exception. I love how J.K. Rowling gives us an entire new part of the Wizarding world every book that is described so vividly and thoroughly. In this book it is the Quidditch World Cup, which contains so many new kinds of magic and magical objects and all of the struggles that come with trying to keep the muggles from realising there are 100.000 wizards camping in tents that are bigger on the inside than the outside, in the middle of the UK. The entire World Cup story is just so exciting to read about. I also love how many seemingly unimportant side characters Rowling incorporates in her books, it really gives you the idea that this is a huge world that was really planned out down to the last detail. Her attention to detail never ceases to amaze me.

Just an afterthought, it only just dawned on me that when Voldemort tried to kill Harry, he of course used “Avada Kadavra” on him, so when that curse bounced, Voldemort should have died. The only reason he did not die, was because of the Horcruxes he had made! But then if Harry is the final Horcrux, did he become one because of the death of Voldemort, or one of his parents?

That was it for this week! I hope you enjoyed reading this post as much as I enjoyed writing it! The further we dive into the world of Harry Potter, the more excited I get, so with 4 more books to go, I might actually burst from excitement at some point. Anyway, thank you for reading! If you want to be kept up to date, click the subscribe button below. You guys reading the stuff I write is really what makes keeping this blog fun and I am so thankful. See you guys next week for a new Rereading Harry Potter post (or earlier with a different post).

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Review: November 9 by Colleen Hoover

Review: November 9 by Colleen Hoover

Rating: 4 out of 5.
  • New adult, contemporary romance
  • Fiction
  • Paperback
  • 310 pages
  • Goodreads rating: 4.34

The day before Fallon is moving across the country, she is saved from a disastrous lunch with her father by Ben, an aspiring novelist who is having lunch at the same restaurant by sheer coincidence. They spend Fallon’s last hours in L.A. together and decide to let each other live their lives, but meet up every year on the same date, November 9th. After 5 years, they will either stop or decide to be together, but a lot can happen in 5 years.

This was definitely NOT my favourite CoHo so far. Every new CoHo book I read is automatically my new favourite CoHo, except for this one. I thought it would be,I have been so curious about this book for ages and I was really, really looking forward to reading it. I did actually end up finishing it within 12 hours and it completely had me under its spell for hours and hours, BUT… the ending. I was so disappointed. But we’ll get back to that.

Let’s start with the dual POV; I loved it. CoHo is the queen of dual timelines and dual POV’s, she knows exactly how to use them to add extra drama and tension to the story and make sure you want to keep reading. Sadly, CoHo decided to incorporate a little miscommunication trope in this book, which I think is pretty common in dual POV stories, since you can see into the minds of multiple people. Miscommunication is one of my least favourite tropes because of the sheer frustration it comes with (“But she secretly loves you, why can’t you see that! Don’t run off with someone else because you think she isn’t interested anymore!”). So I wasn’t a big fan of that, but it is not the main trope, so I could kind of ignore it.

I absolutely loved the November 9 thing. I am a very impatient woman, so I love books that cover a larger period of time. That way you don’t have to wait 400 pages to find out what happens to them over the years. I mean, I want to know about Fallon’s life, but I like getting a recap more than having to read through an entire year of her life. I think it really kept up the pace of the book and made it fun to read.

Let’s talk about the plot. CoHo never ceases to amaze with the originality of the plot. She always seems to find the perfect balance between writing a romance worthy of envy and a story that is deeply disturbing on so many levels. In characters too, she finds the perfect balance between perfection and flaws. She managed to do it in this book as well for like.. 90%, until you get to the end and the level of toxicity just.. I don’t even have words for it. I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’ll just say that throughout the book, Ben gives off a few red flags that probably would’ve made me very uncomfortable and likely would’ve made me run for the hills. But since it’s CoHo, you accept it, because she probably has a completely reasonable explanation for all this.

Which brings us to the ending. Let’s just say the explanation wasn’t exactly reasonable. I personally feel like the ending is definitely on the wrong side of the toxic line. I really wish she had either changed Bens motives or had let Fallon make a different decision, because this was just disturbing.

I know a lot of people love this book, including the ending, but the ending was just too toxic for me. The entire book was a definite 5-star read, but the last few pages just ruined it for me. Maybe the 4 stars are still a little generous, but I really did enjoy reading the book very much. Except for those last 10 pages.

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Mini Review: The Twelve Dates of Christmas by Jenny Bayliss

Mini Review: The Twelve Dates of Christmas by Jenny Bayliss

Rating: 2 out of 5.
  • Christmas Romance
  • Fiction
  • Paperback
  • 433 pages
  • Goodreads rating: 3.63

Since this was a DNF for me, there’s not really a point in me writing a full on review, so I’m just going to keep this short. I DNF’ed at about 63%, I guess. The book really wasn’t at all bad, but it was literally the slowest romance I have ever read. I started reading this just before Christmas, but underestimated the length of the book, so I tried to finish it for about 4 months after Christmas, but I just couldn’t work my way through it. It’s like Bayliss thinks she is fricking Tolkien, describing every single snowflake and leaf in the book.

The concept of the book is pretty cool. Kate signs herself up for a program called “The Twelve Dates of Christmas”, which makes her do 12 dates with 12 different guys that have all been screened for compatibility. This sounds like a lot of fun, right? Yeah, except it takes FOREVER to get through the dates. Especially since I was pretty sure I already knew who she was going to end up with. I finally got tired of working my way through pages and pages of irrelevant information and decided to just check if I was right about the ending and then DNF. For the record: I was right.

The book was kind of fun, so if you’re a quick reader and you have plenty of patience, you would probably enjoy this. If that does not describe you, pick a different Christmas romance, something quicker and sweeter. I’ll make sure to recommend some before the Christmas reading season starts.

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Rereading Harry Potter – Week 15

Rereading Harry Potter – Week 15

Week 15! A little late because of Easter, but still, I guess this is kind of a milestone. That’s about 10 times as long as my longest diet and 5 times as long as my longest relationship (just kidding, going on 2 years next June). We read the finale to Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban this week, which I’ve been waiting for, for wat feels like forever!

We left off last week with Sirius revealing that it was in fact Peter Pettigrew who was James’s Secret Keeper and who betrayed them. I guess Rowling liked the fact that he was literally and figuratively a rat. Sirius and Lupin decide to go up to the castle with Pettigrew to clear Sirius’s name. Personally I would’ve tied Pettigrew up or something, make sure that he can’t escape or turn himself into a rat again, but no. They just point a wand at them and tell him to behave. For one beautiful, short moment, Harry and Sirius make plans for Harry to move in with him, but then of course they let Pettigrew escape and they can’t prove Sirius’s innocence, which kind of ruins their plans. Lupin forgets it’s a full moon and he didn’t take his potion, which kind of feels like a woman who’s been on birth control for 15 years “forgetting” to take it for a few days and “oh my, look at that. I got knocked up.” It’s just not very likely.

Sirius turns into a dog to save the rest from werewolf Lupin, which is how he eventually ends up at the lake with Harry and Hermione (they changed a lot about these last few scenes in the movie. Hermione doesn’t lure Lupin away by howling, instead she just third-wheels Harry and Sirius everywhere). At the lake, they get attacked by Dementors and “Harry’s father” saves their asses by casting a patronus (Harry’s really not very bright, is he?).

For the next few pages, Snape does his best to get Harry expelled, Lupin fired and Sirius killed. I am really starting to hate this man. He is such a pathetic little man and such a sore loser. It is really so hard to imagine him “doing everything to protect Harry, because he’s Lily’s son!”. Anyway, Dumbledore encourages Harry and Hermione to go back in time using the Time-Turner and save Sirius and Buckbeak, so they do. Harry doesn’t really get the concept of there being two Harry’s and I can’t blame him, it is rather confusing. Apparently they’re breaking one of the most important wizarding laws too, by changing time. I’m guessing the Aurors at the Ministry are not very good at their jobs, if they can’t figure out that Harry’s godfather and his favourite teacher’s pet mysteriously disappear and his best friend just happens to have a Time-Turner.

Harry and Hermione figure out that they should go to Hagrid’s hut first to save Buckbeak, so they watch themselves enter Hagrid’s hut and then leave again. Then they watch Dumbledore, Fudge and the executioner, Macnair, enter. I’m pretty sure I remember the name Macnair from somewhere and it’s not this scene. Is he a Deatheater or something? I guess we’ll find out as we go.

After rescuing Buckbeak from his execution, they hide out in the woods and wait for themselves to come out of the Whomping Willow. They see Lupin change into a werewolf and Sirius turn into a dog. They wait a while, until they realise that someone has to save Harry, Hermione and Sirius from the Dementors! Oh my, turns out Harry didn’t see his father after all (gee, really?), he saw himself cast a patronus in the form of a stag. I was wondering what determines the form of your patronus. I mean, James Potter could turn himself into a stag and Lily’s patronus was a stag, which is why Snape’s patronus was ALSO a stag, but do you (sub)consciously choose it yourself or does the spell choose it for you somehow?

After they saved themselves and Sirius, Harry and Hermione jump on Buckbeak to rescue Sirius from the castle. Remember in the movie when Hermione casts Bombarda at the gate and it explodes and they have an epic escape? Yeah, in the book she just casts Alohomora at the window of an office and pulls Sirius onto Buckbeaks back. I am kind of impressed by Buckbeak being able to carry three people, though. They fly up to the highest tower and say their goodbyes to Sirius, after which Sirius and Buckbeak fly towards the horizon together.

Hermione and Harry hurry back to the hospital wing so they’ll be inside before Dumbledore locks it. They make it in time and Dumbledore is all excited (I always hated how in the movies Dumbledore pretends like he has no idea what they’re talking about when they complete a task he has set for them). A while later, it is discovered that Sirius has escaped and of course, Snape blames it on Harry (although he has a point).

The next day, Hagrid tells the trio that Snape has “accidentally” told the entire Slytherin house that Lupin is a werewolf, so Lupin is in his study packing his stuff. It is the end of the school year, though, so I guess he should be packing anyway? Harry pays him a visit and begs him not to leave, but he won’t budge. Lupin gives Harry back his Invisibility Cloak and the Marauders’ Map. Harry tells him that he regrets saving Pettigrew’s life in stead of just letting them kill him, but Lupin tells Harry that the time will come when he will be very happy that he saved Pettigrew’s life. I’m not really sure what he’s getting at, though. This time next year, Pettigrew will have killed Cedric Diggory and have made Voldemort come back.

Since Gryffindor won the Quidditch Cup and the golden trio didn’t lose hundreds of points doing dumb stuff, Gryffindor also won the House Cup. I think this might be the first time they didn’t win it because Dumbledore awarded them a trazillion points at the very last minute. I’m so proud.

Sirius writes to Harry as they are leaving Hogwarts on the Hogwarts Express. He leaves this very adorable note that he gives Harry permission to go to Hogsmeade on weekends and lets Ron keep the owl that delivered the letter, since it’s Sirius’s fault that he doesn’t have a pet anymore. As they get closer to King’s Cross station, Ron invites Harry to stay with them during the summer and go to the Quidditch World Cup with the Weasleys.

That was the last part of the Prisoner of Azkaban! Next week, we’ll be starting on Harry Potter the Goblet of Fire. I’m so excited about the Quidditch World Cup and Cedric Diggory and Hermione and Krum dating! I already grabbed the book, so that I can start reading as soon as I press “publish” on this post. If you’re looking forward to it as much as I am, subscribe below to be kept up to date! See you next week (or technically the end of this week) with week 16.

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