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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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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Mini Review: The Comfort Book by Matt Haig

Mini Review: The Comfort Book by Matt Haig

Rating: 5 out of 5.
  • Nonfiction
  • Psychology/mental health
  • Paperback
  • 272 pages
  • Goodreads rating: 4.13

The Comfort Book is Matt Haig’s third nonfiction book about mental health and mental illness. Just like the first two, this book is autobiographical and contains a collection of stories meant to comfort you in an increasingly stressful world.

The Comfort Book definitely lives up to the expectations set by the title. Reading it literally feels like somebody is hugging for a few pages. You need to be present for the full experience, though. If you’re just flicking through, you’re not going to get the full effect. Even though the book is literally written to make you feel good/better, it’s not necessarily an easy, relaxing read. I zoned out every once in a while and I put down the book to pick up a little later, so that I wouldn’t just be reading to finish, but to actually learn and gain something (this is actually a theme that is mentioned in the book).

“It is easier to learn to be soaked and happy than to learn how to stop the rain.”

Matt Haig, The Comfort Book

I would recommend this book to pretty much everyone, at least everyone who is open to the idea of changing their mindset in order to be happier. While it is definitely a comforting book, it also encourages you to look at yourself a little critically. I am definitely someone who has a habit of being completely bummed out when it is raining (see quote) when I was planning to go outside, the rain could completely ruin my day. Since I read this book, I’ve been on a run while it was raining twice already, something I never thought possible. This book is already making me a better/happier person.

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Rereading Harry Potter – Week 14

Rereading Harry Potter – Week 14

Hi fellow bookworms! Thank you for clicking on the second to last Prisoner of Azkaban post. We are so close to the exciting finale that I pretty much know by heart (the movie version anyway). I decided to cut the final 130 pages into two posts, since it would otherwise become way too long. Let’s get started!

We left off at Gryffindor finally winning the Quidditch Cup. Wood and McGonagall are over the moon and so is pretty much everyone except Slytherin house. By now it’s June and everyone is getting ready to take their exams. The Astronomy exam is being held at midnight and how cool is that? I wish I had a class like Astronomy when I was in school, but no, it was all maths and geography for me. During History of Magic, Harry writes down pretty much everything that Florean Fortescue had ever told him about medieval witch hunts. That seems about right, I remember learning more French in one week of Duolingo than I did in 6 years at school. It seems like Hogwarts, sadly, has the same problem. Is this a dig at the school system? I don’t know about the school system in the UK, but the Dutch one could definitely use an upgrade.

The Divination exam with Professor Trelawney is next. She tests every student individually. When Harry is finished with his exam, Trelawney suddenly starts predicting the rise of the Dark Lord with the help of his servant’s aid, who will be freed TONIGHT. Boy, are we in for an eventful evening. The events from here on out have always been one of my favourites from the entire series. I’m so excited!

‘My boy, you may well be seeing the outcome of poor Hagrid’s trouble with the Ministry of Magic! Look closer… does the Hippogriff appear to… have its head?’

Professor Trelawney, Harry Potter and the prisoner of Azkaban

Meanwhile, Buckbeak’s appeal has taken place and sadly, Hagrid has lost, which means that Buckbeak will be executed at sunset. Despite the fact that Hagrid told them not to come, they decide to retrieve the Invisibility Cloak from the secret passage (or rather, send Hermione, because Snape will be ready to give them detention the minute they come near that statue) and go see Hagrid anyway. They find Scabbers in one of the pots at Hagrid’s house and Ron apologises to Hermione. Fudge, Dumbledore and the executioner arrive at Hagrid’s hut, so the golden trio slip on their Invisibility Cloak and start making their way back to the castle. When they’re halfway to the castle, they hear the swish and thud of an axe from the direction of Hagrid’s hut, which means that Buckbeak must have been executed.. Even though I know that it was just a pumpkin that lost its head, because naturally they are going to rescue Buckbeak (or going to have rescued or whatever), this moment still gets me every time!

Then Scabbers makes a run for it in the direction of the Whomping Willow. Enter Crookshanks and the Grim, two seemingly unlikely bff’s and also a very cool name for a pet store. The big black dog drags Ron into a tunnel at the base of the Whomping Willow. Crookshanks touches a knot at the base of the trunk, which makes the Whomping Willow relax all of its branches, so that Harry and Hermione can cross safely. They enter the tunnel and follow it all the way to a dark landing with an open door. They enter the room and find Ron, with Scabbers in his lap. But where is the dog? Plot twist! There is no dog! The dog is in fact Sirius Black!

Harry wants to kill Sirius asap, but Sirius makes him listen to the whole story of the betrayal of his parents first. Lupin barges in and interrupts Sirius, though (rude). He was looking at the Marauder’s Map and suddenly saw Peter Pettigrew appear, which was naturally a little odd, since he’s supposed to be dead and everything. I can’t help but wonder, is Hagrid’s hut on the map? Do you think Pettigrew was hiding in there because it isn’t on the map? Could be.. Lupin reveals that Scabbers is indeed not a rat, but a wizard by the name of Peter Pettigrew. How scarred do you think Ron is after finding out he has been sharing a bed with a middle-aged wizard for 12 years?

Meanwhile, Hermione proves yet again that she’s the brightest witch of her age by deducing that they must be in the Shrieking Shack and also, Lupin is a Werewolf. Frankly, I’m a little disappointed that she is the only one who figured out that Lupin is a werewolf, with Lupin getting sick every full moon and his boggart changing into full moon and everything. Lupin’s friends became Animagi to be there for him during a full moon, when he went up to the Shrieking Shack to sit out his transformation. If they went with him as humans, they would’ve probably died, but as animals, Lupin would not harm them. The Whomping Willow and the tunnels that lead to the Shrieking Shack were all put there for Lupin’s use, so that he could safely go to Hogwarts and not, you know, kill anyone.

Snape joins the party too, hidden under the Invisibility Cloak that the golden trio had left lying around. Earlier in the book, Snape told Harry that his father did indeed save Snape’s life, but only because he had put his life at risk in the first place. Lupin tells them the whole story: Snape had always been curious about what the four of them were up to and one day Sirius tricked him into going up to the Whomping Willow during a full moon. James stopped him from meeting his maker by the hands (claws) of a fully grown werewolf.

Snape tries to hand Sirius over to the Dementors, but Harry takes him out in stead so that Sirius and Lupin can finally finish their explanation. It is revealed that Sirius was in fact not the Secret Keeper, but had made Peter the Secret Keeper, because they would never go after him. With a flash of blue light, they make Scabbers transform back into Peter Pettigrew.

That’s it for this week! Next week will be the grand finale to Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I’m looking forward to it so much, the ending to this book is one of my favourites from the entire series. Subscribe if you want to be kept up to date on the rest of the series! I’ll see you all next week!

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