The Boy Who Lived, Will Always Live On

In my heart…

Is that too cheesy? Sorry, haha. But honestly people may be a bit worn out with all the continuing talk about Harry Potter after all these years, but not I. Always…remember? (still cheesy, sorry haha) The Harry Potter stories will always be relevant and meaningful to me. I have already mentioned before why Harry Potter means so much to me. But in short, I read them at a time in my life when I needed them the most. I was always a push over as a kid and all my friends were never really true friends. I always wished to have friends like Harry, Ron, Hermione, Neville, and Luna. They were kind, understanding and just lovely.  Reading their adventures filled me with something that I just wasn’t getting in real life. And the feelings I still get reading the books are indescribable.

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So yes, as a 27 year old, you might get the eye roll or laugh at still being obsessed with Harry Potter, but unless you’re a potterhead, you just won’t understand.

I am always excited to read new material from the Wizarding World, like the new writing by J.K. Rowling of the Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry (proud Pukwudgie!) and I’m really excited for the new movie, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. However, I still missed my favorite trio. So with the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child of course I was extremely excited and at the same time nervous.

So for those of you who don’t know, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a play written by Jack Thorne based on the original story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany. The script for the play was released in book form so that people who can’t attend the play in London can still somewhat experience the story. Now, when I first read the description of the play I was horrified. What were they doing to my favorite story!? I felt like they were tainting something that was pure and perfect!

“It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children. While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.”

I was worried that this story was going to sully everything I knew about Harry Potter and the wonderful world J.K. Rowling had created. The last words of The Deathly Hallows read “All was well.” But now with Harry Potter and The Cursed Child, we know things are not all that well. Without giving away any spoilers, I did thoroughly enjoy the read. But of course this is not the eighth book although it is the continuation of the story we all love. The script is not wonderfully detailed like the books and was never really intended to be. This is just that, a script to a play that would definitely be more enjoyed seen on stage rather than read. However, J.K. Rowling gave us 7 wonderfully detailed books and 8 visually stunning movies were made, so all we need when reading this script is to use our imagination.

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The story itself went into some dark places that can only be written for adults. There is a part about Harry as a child talking to his aunt Petunia that just made my stomach drop and heart break. Of course we know Harry suffered at the Dursley’s but Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone was written for children so it doesn’t really touch on dark issues. One of the things I really loved was Ron and Hermione’s relationship. It seemed very solid and loving, unlike what many people predicted it would be like for them. Harry and Ginny’s relationship though appearing pretty solid as well seemed a bit lacking in romance for me, but that’s maybe because most of the scenes they had together were in concern for their son Albus.

My favorite new character was Scorpius Malfoy, who reminds me of a mixture of Hermione with a bit of Harry and Ron, if that makes sense. Albus Potter on the other hand, is more difficult to describe without using any impolite words-haha. However, all the events that transpire are believable to the main story. A lot of people were saying this read like really terrible fan fiction, and I think that that is because it is not a book written by J.K. Rowling. It can take you days or weeks to finish a Potter book, whereas I finished Cursed Child in 4 hours. Most of what makes Harry Potter so special is J.K. Rowling’s ability to write amazingly, so amazingly that we believe her world. I love the movies, but one thing that was missing from them and from this script book is the awesome thing that the books had, which was that as the reader we knew Harry’s thoughts and reasons behind every word. We warmed up to Harry because we knew his mind. The books have wonderful layers that are just so intricate that it’s impossible not to delve right into their magical world and feel for the characters so much, as if they were real people. So it’s not fair to compare the Cursed Child to the rest of the Potter books.

One of the things the Cursed Child demonstrated was that no world has a happily every after, even a magical one. And it wouldn’t be fair to expect Harry to lead a perfect life, he is human after all. He was bound to have other struggles beyond Voldemort.  In my mind, having grown up with Harry, I just wanted his whole life to be perfect, even his children to be perfect! But how realistic is that? So in a way I am happy with the plot of this story because it brings more realistic issues into a very unrealistic world. Besides that, we meet lovely new characters and are reunited with some surprising old ones that for me made the whole story worth it :’).

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Those beautiful wonderful books helped me through so much, gave me courage when I needed it and still have a warm place in my heart that fills up a bit more each time I read them. Will the Cursed Child have the same effect? Maybe not. But it will have a place of honor in my mind for sure, if not my heart. And reading it is an experience every potterhead should take part of.

Until next time lovely readers, Jeannete x.

Book Review: the curious incident of the dog in the night-time

A bit of a reading slump was what lead me to the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.

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Up until I heard about this book, I had been trying and failing to get through Hollow City, the second installment of Miss Peregrines Home For Peculiar Children. I read through the first part just fine, in fact I found it very interesting and finished it in about a week. When I was almost done I ordered Hollow City and thanks to Amazon Prime, it arrived right the next day. I was so happy that I was going to be able to continue right away with the second part of the story. Much to my dismay, however, I have found that Hollow City is not a smooth read. I don’t know what it is, but I’m finding myself not caring about what happens to the characters and their adventure, which is very bad for someone who really liked the first part! I think my problem is that I really don’t like the main character, Jacob.  Anyway I have totally gone off topic now. I needed a good book, but I didn’t feel like reading anything on my shelf, and I just felt antsy to read something new and intriguing. I heard about the curious incident of the dog in the night-time through Marzia’s blog. I ordered it through Amazon Prime on Friday, and it arrived on Sunday around noon. I was so excited to read it because after I heard about this book I did a bit of research and it sounded like something I really might enjoy. So I began reading it right away; I’m glad the book arrived on a Sunday because I don’t know what I would have done had it arrived today for example and I had to go to work because I read and finished the book before Game of Thrones started (!!!) around 5ish the same day. The book is so easy to read and the way the story is written just makes you want to keep reading it to find out what the outcome will be.

The book is described as a mystery but it is much more than that. It is a window to the life of a teenager who has Asperger Syndrome, which is now part of the Autism Spectrum Disorder. I have never met anyone with this or any similar disorder so it was intriguing and heart wrenching to read a book that describes this disorder so candidly. Since the story is told in first person we are able to feel what Christopher (the main character) feels on a much more personal level. Looking at life through his perspective, it doesn’t seem at all strange that he would react the way he does to the world around him. As someone who is an introvert, I related to some of his feelings, however, I cannot imagine how horrible it must feel to be so crippled by doing “simple” day to day things. I found this book so full of hope despite its unlikely outcome.  I am someone who is optimistic and hopeful and I would like to believe that things will work out for Christopher. There are so many different little aspects of this book that really make you stop and think about how futile and insignificant some things we worry about really are. I feel like this book should be read by everyone. If there’s one thing the world seriously lacks is empathy. The ability to put yourself in others’ shoes and feel what they feel. I will be giving this book another read, because sometimes I read too fast and I want to take things slowly since I already know what happens. I give the curious incident of the dog in the night-time 5/5.

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Phew. I’ve never written a book review so hopefully you gained some insight about this great book, I didn’t want to go too in depth and give anything away, as many of the reviews on Goodreads did! I hope you enjoy reading it and learning from it as much as I did.

Until next time, Jeannete x