Harry Potter Moment of the Week


A weekly event hosted by Uncorked Thoughts.

26/02/2015 – Best DADA teacher?

I’m just gonna keep it nice and simple this week.


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No explanations needed.


Reading Challenge 2015 Updates (9/50)


Okay. So I did mention at the start of the year that I’m taking part in the 2015 Reading Challenge (click the link about it to find out more). I thought it was about time that I make an update post my progress so far. Which I’ll do monthly from now on. Basically there are 50 categories and 53 books in the challenge (one category is to read a trilogy). Here’s what I’ve managed so far:

1) Pulitzer Prize Winner –  Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides (read my review)

2) A book with more than 500 pages – The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (read my review)

3) Mystery/ThrillerGone Girl by Gillian Flynn (read my review).

4) Graphic Novel Blue by Pat Grant (read my review)

5) A book that was made into a film – Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (read my review)

6) A book set during Christmas – Landline by Rainbow Rowell (read my review)

7) Book by author I’d never read before – The Weight of Water by Sarah Crossan (read my review). I also read Sarah Crossan’s Apple & Rain (read my review).

8) Book written by author under 30 Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy (read my review)

9) Book based on the cover – Beware The Wild by Natalie C. Parker (read my review)

So, 41 categories to go! Pretty proud of myself so far. If you’re also doing the challenge, how are you going with it? 🙂

Wishlist Wednesday


A meme hosted by Pen To PaperRead the rules and join in!

I have so, so many books on my wishlist that I’d love to own! At the moment I am making do with the library. I love borrowing books but there are certain favourite books of mine I’d like to read and certain books I’d love to buy that I’m pretty sure I’m going to love. Because I like making lists with more than one item on it, I’m going to chose two books this week instead of just one. One book is one that I’ve read and desperately want to own but just haven’t read yet. The other is a book I haven’t read and would love to own. Okay, here goes.

The book I’ve read:

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell


What it’s about: An epic love story. About a guy who falls in love with a girl via reading her email (it’s his job back in the 90’s when the internet was a newer thing as a security monitor dude). It is brilliant.

Why I want to own it: #1: Rainbow Rowell is a brilliant writer and I want to collect more of her books! It belongs right next to Eleanor & Park and Fangirl on my shelf! #2: One of my favourite books. #3: Pretty cover. #4: All the obvious reasons, really.

The book I haven’t read:

Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer


What it’s about: A guy called Jonathan sets out to find the woman who may have saved his grandfather from the Nazis. He is accompanied by an old man haunted by the past and the war.

Why I want to own it: #1: It’s on my reading list and not available at the library! #2: The cover is so beautiful. #3: I want to collect more modern classics. #4 It sounds like a book well worth owning.

Well, that’s it from me this week. What books are on your wishlist?

Teaser Tuesday


A weekly meme hosted by Should be Reading.

The book:

We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver 


Eva never really wanted to be a mother – and certainly not the mother of the unlovable boy who murdered seven of his fellow high school students, a cafeteria worker, and a much-adored teacher who tried to befriend him, all two days before his sixteenth birthday. Now, two years later, it is time for her to come to terms with marriage, career, family, parenthood, and Kevin’s horrific rampage in a series of startlingly direct correspondences with her estranged husband, Franklin. Uneasy with the sacrifices and social demotion of motherhood from the start, Eva fears that her alarming dislike for her own son may be responsible for driving him so nihilistically off the rails.

The Teaser:

It was May, but crisp, with a whipping wind. Before I found out for myself, I might have imagined that in the aftermath of personal apocalypse, the little bothers of life would effectively vanish.

Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Heroines/Female Characters

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

For this weeks Top Ten: Favourite Heroines in Books I decided to include tv/film characters into the mix and also supporting characters. This meant that my list became a top 15 because I just couldn’t tie   it down to just 10. It was impossible. I mean, there are still so many other awesome female characters I couldn’t quite fit on. Mainly because I started listening the whole cast of characters from certain books or tv shows (Harry Potter, The Walking Dead, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Skins, a number of YA contemporaries etc, etc.) Also, these are not in any particular order, as I am far too indecisive to even try doing that. Anyway, that’s all you need to know. On with the list!

1. Ellie Linton (The Tomorrow Series)

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The Tomorrow Series by John Marsden is one of my favourite series of all time and Ellie Linton is incredible. I liked Caitlin Stacey’s portrayal of Ellie in the film a lot, but it’s nothing on what Ellie goes through in the 7 books and how she develops. She is brave and a true leader and often stronger than everyone else around her. I love her so!

2. Rae Earl (My Mad Fat Diary)

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Oh gosh. I can’t even explain how much I love Rae. My Mad Fat Diary got me through a tough time in my life and I owe everything to Sharon Rooney (and Nico Mirallegro’s Finn). Rae is wonderful. So funny, so vulnerable. I LOVE HER. Wish she was my best friend. Seriously. So excited for season three!

3. Jane Eyre (Jane Eyre)

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Jane Eyre is easily my favourite Classic novel and that’s mostly due to my liking of Jane Eyre. I can’t really explain it, but I’ve always felt like I could relate to Jane. We’re similar character types. Both a bit reserved, shy, stoic, stronger than one would think. Also, I just had to include at least one character from the classics 🙂

4. Luna Lovegood (Harry Potter)


Sometimes I wish Luna had appeared earlier in Harry Potter. She was an immediate favourite of mine in the Order of the Phoenix. She cracks me up. Completely brilliant in both films and books. I love how she belongs with herself, is comfortable in her skin. That’s always a good thing.

5. Willow Rosenberg (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

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Willow, Willow. She’s so cute and hilarious in the first couple of seasons. And then she gradually becomes an extremely powerful witch and it’s amazing. Sure, she annoyed the hell out of me in the beginning of season 6 of Buffy, but I still love her.

6. Margo Roth Spiegelman (Paper Towns)

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Yeah, I admit Margo is kind of annoying and that whole pixie dream girl thing is a little bit cliche. But I think there’s a lot more to Margo and I can really see where she’s coming from. I think she’s a really interesting character and in many ways I can relate to her. Not to the same extent, but I can.

7. Hermione Granger (Harry Potter)

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There’s no doubt that Hermione is one of the best female characters of all time. I’ve always felt like I could relate to Hermione more than I can any other character. For one, she likes to read about as much as I do (possibly more). She’s a strong character and I really admire her. I’m probably one of the minority that didn’t love Hermione in the films (I liked Emma Watson, but sometimes I found the representation didn’t fit as well with the book-Hermione). I can’t really explain why, but I kind of think movie-Hermione was made a little too perfect. Anyway. Whatever the case, Hermione is wonderful.

8. Johanna Morrigan/Dolly Wilde (How To Build A Girl)


A lesser known character by many, but definitely deserves a spot on my list. How To Build A Girl is an hilarious novel and I loved Johanna (and her invented self Dolly Wilde) heaps. She’s vulnerable and doesn’t feel like she belongs, but eventually finds a way to be herself in the world.

9. Buffy Summers (Buffy The Vampire Slayer)

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Oh, Buffy. Need I say anything? Buffy is the epitome of strong female character. She’s witty and spontaneous and has so many vulnerabilities and anxieties and emotional things she has to face and go through. She’s complicated. She’s an amazing character and I could go on! Buffy ❤

10. Emily Fitch (Skins)

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Okay, it was a difficult choice between all the female characters in skins. I went with Emily because she’s the first character that comes to mind (close ties with Cassie and Naomi and series 6 Mini). I’ve just always liked her. She’s so adorable, but she’s also a tough little cookie.

11. Eleanor (Eleanor & Park)


I love this book so much. Eleanor is a fantastic character. So complicated. Gosh. I’m getting a bit repetitive. It seems I like a lot of characters for similar reasons: that they overcome their insecurities and problems and try their best in the life they are given. I’d love for there to be a sequel to this novel, because I’d really like to see more of Eleanor and of course Park. She’s kind of smiler to Rae and Johanna I realise, but oh well. She’s still epic 🙂

12. Jude (I’ll Give You The Sun) 

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I feel bad, but I didn’t like Jude straight away when I read I’ll Give You The Sun. I found her kind of annoying and selfish. But as the novel went on and I saw more of Jude, I grew to like her and sympathise with her a lot. She’s a great character. I say that of everyone, I know. Unfortunately my fingers are super cold from typing – why is it so damn cold it’s still summer! – so I won’t get into all the reasons why I love her. Just know I do.

13. Lennie Walker (The Sky Is Everywhere) 

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More Jandy Nelson love. One of my favourite novels and one of my favourite characters. I love Lennie  (duh). Again, she’s complicated and has to face so much. I love her poetry so.

14. Michonne (The Walking Dead) 


Michonne is EPIC. That is all.

15. Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games) 


Duh. I mean, really. She needs to be on the list at some point. I like Katniss a lot. She’s great in the books and she’s great in the films. Jennifer Lawrence is pretty brilliant. If it weren’t for Katniss (and Peeta) I probably would have thought the Hunger Games was a bit of a rip-off. You know, the actual games and the world. It’s all a bit familiar… Anyway. Katniss is pretty rad.

Phew. That took forever. My fingers are so cold. And I was planning on writing today, too, now that I’ve finally got a quiet house to myself. Why cold, why??

Anyhow. Who are your favourite female characters?

(none of the pics are mine).

The Book Awards 2015

The Book Awards 2015

Such a great idea and I’m definitely going to join in on the nominations! Please join in too 🙂

The Writing Hufflepuff

a subtitle too (2)

What are The Book Awards?

The Book Awards are like the Oscars or any other award show, but for books! This coming month you will be able to nominate books, characters, etc. Those with the most nominations (so if you’ve noticed that you’re favourite book has already been nominated, do nominate again!) will go to the next round: the voting. The voting will go on for a longer time period, for how long I’m not sure yet. During this period I will (with the help of possible guest bloggers) promote all the nominees and tell you why you should vote for them. By the end of it all, the winners will be announced! There may or may not be any challenges along the way, I’m not too sure yet, but it does seem like a fun idea.

How does it work?

In this post I will list all the categories…

View original post 449 more words

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt: Book Review

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As ever (I don’t know what is wrong with me but lately I’m more and more speechless over particularly brilliant novels) I am astounded as to how I can possibly write a review that truly honours Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch. Yes, it won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize. It’s very highly acclaimed by many critics and readers. However, its had a fair share of people saying that it’s overrated and not worth reading (from what I’ve read on Goodreads and in published articles). To start, The Goldfinch definitely deserved the top prize as book of the year, in my opinion. But also, I can see why some people might not like it. I loved it, but it is by no means a perfect novel (even if my first impulse was to give it 5 stars) and there were times I got a tad pesky and kind of wanted the novel to just be a little bit shorter…but well, I enjoyed pretty much every moment reading this.

If you don’t know, The Goldfinch is a bildungsroman and basically a modern Dickens novel (or so I’ve heard as I’ve only read a third of Great Expectations myself). It covers several years of Theodore Decker’s life, from the day a catastrophe that killed his mother and ripped his world apart at the age of the thirteen and into adulthood. He becomes attached to a painting by Fabritius called The Goldfinch, which he sort-of-accidentally procures and which reminds him of his mother. Ultimately, his life is a meandering tale of pain, longing, heartache, crime, drugs – all lead on by his mother’s death, the painting and the greediness of others. I’m not so good at summarising novels, especially with a novel like this, where so much happens and the events are so complex and connected. That’s kind of just giving you a general idea without giving too much away.

There are a few things that make this novel so strong. Disregarding the plot as I won’t even try to comment on that without fear of spoiling. They are Tartt’s writing style, the characters and the overall message/moral. Tartt writes beautifully. Sometimes I had to stop and re-read passages over again to re-experience the feeling of reading such words. Yes, okay, Tartt sometimes verges on some cliches in her writing, but I think that’s completely on purpose. I think there just might be a purpose to it. In many ways, The Goldfinch is a novel that is critiquing art. It focuses on paintings, but I think Tarrt is trying to say something about all creativity. I haven’t quite grasped what exactly it is, but I think it might be something about the longevity of art, what art means, what it can tell us about ourselves, how art is never completely original. Cliches are cliches because they’re used too much, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t important or have some meaning. There’s just so much in this novel about life and death and the meaning of everything. Through Theo, Tartt brings a fascinating portrayal and analysis of the world, both the real and the literary. There are so many great pop culture references, including Fullmetal Alchemist, the Misfits and Harry Potter. I especially liked the Harry Potter references. 

But, moving on. I want to talk a bit about the characters because I thought they were incredible. No perfect, of course, but throughout the novel I definitely grew to like them a lot. Of course, I liked Theo immediately. Everything he feels, everything he does, everything that happens to him… all of it is so heartbreaking you cannot help but feel sympathetic and empathetic and to want to be on his side (even if you do wish he wasn’t throwing his life away so frequently). Sure, sometimes I found Theo a bit bleak, cynical, passive, withdrawn, but I could understand why he was that way and I liked him all the more for it. You know, he’s a complicated character and it was fascinating to be in his mind for the duration of the novel. (Fun fact: Theo is given the nickname Potter by a certain friend because he wears round glasses and has messy hair.)

The other characters I particularly liked are Boris (who is probably my favourite character of the lot), Hobie and Pippa. Pretty obvious choices for my favourite characters, but still. I also came to like Mrs Barbour and of course, I liked her son Andy, Theo’s childhood friend. I can’t go into a big discussion about the characters, because SPOILER ALERT, but I’m just telling you that if you do ever read this novel, the characters don’t disappoint. Boris, particularly, will keep you extremely entertained.

Like I said, I loved this novel. I thought it was a fascinating portrayal of…well, a whole heap of things, really, but of course, like all art, it focuses on life and death. You know, the big stuff. Fascinating. I found it riveting to read and I must say, the resolutions Theo comes to in the end almost had me bawling. And it’s also yet another novel that uses the word ‘jasmine’ in it. I always like finding my name in my favourite books, and let me tell you, it seems to crop up in many of them. But, don’t worry. I’m not being bias. I really did love this book and I hope you will, too.