Harry Potter Moment of the Week

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30/04/2015 – Character you would erase if you could 

This will be my last HP Moment of the Week post before I head off to Vietnam next Thursday! It’s a shame that I absolutely no idea how to answer the topic this week. I love all HP characters and then there are loads of characters we love to hate.

However, there’s one character I despise above all others:

Dolores Umbridge. 

But I’m not sure if I’d erase her because, even though she’s horrific, there is a purpose to her being in the story. Like Voldemort, she’s a kind of Hitler.

So, I thought a bit more and decided there was one character who I never liked, who was kind of unnecessary and pointless in the whole scope of things:

Pansy Parkinson. 

Sure, there were maybe a couple of “comical” moments with her and Draco or whatever, but still, I can’t think of any other character that I think could be erased from the books without really changing much of anything.

Top Ten Books Which Feature Characters Who Read Books

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly event held by The Broke and the Bookish.

At first I had absolutely no clue what I was going to do for this Top 10. I wanted to make it awesome because this will be the second last Top Ten Tuesday I’ll be posting before I go to Vietnam! (10 days omg!). I decided to go with Characters Who Read Books because I personally love it when characters talk about books or reference particular books I know of or that I’ve read. This doesn’t necessarily mean they read during the book itself, just that they are readers like me. (Apologies again if I seem like a broken record, because I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned most of these books a numerous amount of times, or at least once before…)

1. Cath in Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

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Okay, an obvious choice. Even if Cath is reading a book that, at the time, wasn’t a real book (but it will be soon when Carry On is finally released!). Whatever the case, Cath is the perfect example of a book fan in which the book becomes their whole world.

2. Charlie in Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey 

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You all should know by love for Charlie, Jasper Jones and Craig Silvey. One thing I loved about Charlie is that he reads and wants to be a writer. I mean. Every human who does is near perfect in my eyes.

3. Hermione Granger in Harry Potter by J.K Rowling 

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I love that Hermione loves to read. It’s one of my favourite things about her. She is just the type of female character that I’ve always been able to relate to and look up to.

4. Charlie in The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky 

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Another wonderful character who loves to read going by the name of Charlie. I love that Charlie’s english teacher gives him extra books to read. I can’t even remember what books they were at the moment, but I’ve always thought I should read them, too. I mean, I went as far to get every song mentioned in this book and I really should do the same with the books.

5. Oscar in The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz 

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Oscar is portrayed as a major geek who, when he isn’t watching films or playing video games, loves to read. He reads a lot of science fiction, classics and fantasy. Unless I’m totally wrong and just making it up, I’m pretty sure his favourite book is The Lord of the Rings.

6. Thursday in Thursday Next Series by Jasper Fforde 

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It’s not only Thursday that reads in this epic series in which literature has taken the world by storm. The characters not only read books, but actually go into books such as Jane Eyre. It’s brilliant. Granted, I’ve only read the first book, but I’m hanging on to read the rest.

7. Matilda in Matilda by Roald Dahl

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Obviously, I have to pick Matilda, the fictional character who I’m pretty sure read more books than any of us by the time she was 10.

8. Alaska in Looking for Alaska by John Green 

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I’m not anything like Alaska and I remember finding it hard to relate to her when I read Looking For Alaska. But I did love that her room was full of books and that she was always reading and always quoting from books.

9. Simon in Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli 

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It could arguably be true that Simon is more of a music guy, but he does love Harry Potter and there are numerous references to HP in the book. Plus, Simon also admits to reading fanfiction :).

10. Violet and Finch in All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven 

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I’m half-way through reading this wonderful book and one thing I’ve loved about it is the fact that Theo/Finch and Violet read and are interested in words. Violet was once more of a writer than a reader, and Finch takes quotes and words from books and sticks them on his wall. Wonderful.

Ghosting by Edith Pattou: Book Review

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I picked up Ghosting on a whim at my local library because I’ve always liked verse novels ever since high school when we read Love, Ghosts and Nosehair and wrote our own. I’m so glad I did.

It didn’t take long to read and once I got into it, it was definitely, as lots of critics have said, unputdownable. The story is told in verse through the perspective, mainly, of 7 teenagers. Each voice was different, but the effect was beautiful and harrowing. It was an incredible read. 

I won’t give away any of the plot because I didn’t really know much about the plot myself when I started reading it, other than it involved a prank gone wrong and a gun. But I will share with you a quote from the novel, which is also on the back of the book. So, I’m not giving anything more away than the book itself. This is a gorgeous book and I recommend it highly.

I watch as

Brendan collides with Emma

knocking her off her feet.

And at the very same second

that their bodies meet,

one last shot rings out,

splitting the night

wide open.

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli: Book Review

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Okay, this book has been making the rounds everywhere and there’s been a lot of hype about it. In my humble opinion, Simon deserves all the praise. Becky Albertalli’s book is pure brilliance.

Basically all I did yesterday was read Simon while snuggled up in bed and it was pretty much the best way to spend a cold, rainy day. If you don’t know much about Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda then here is a little summary:

Things start to get more complicated for Simon when a dude in his class starts blackmailing him over these emails between Simon and Blue. Blue’s not his real name, Simon has no idea who he is and Blue doesn’t know who Simon is, either. But Simon is pretty sure he might be falling in love with Blue, and so it’s definitely a big deal when this Martin guy sees the emails and threatens to out-Simon if Simon doesn’t help hook him up with one of his best friends. Simon’s gay but he’s not out yet and he doesn’t want to screw everything up with Blue because his emails are pretty much the best thing that’s ever happened.

Maybe not the best summary ever, but the way it unfolds is extremely enthralling, squeal-worthy, dramatic, angsty, hilarious and adorable. Of course, I should add that this is a LGBT novel, obviously. Not that I think that it really has to be labelled as such, because people just fall in love with people.

Central to Simon is, of course, Simon and he is the best character. He’s very likeable, witty and if I had a friend like him, I’d be seriously happy. He loves Harry Potter (which is always a plus) and music like Elliott Smith and Oreos (yum). His family are a bit weird because they like watching reality tv shows like The Bachelorette (ew) and have this strange Facebook game, but I generally liked them, especially Simon’s sisters.

Simon has a great set of friends as well. Abby, Nick and Leah, in particular, around which there’s a complicated love-triangle. Simon is also in the school musical, so there’s a bit of drama around that, as well. Plus he has to deal with Martin…who did grow on me as a character, really, even if he was mostly quite annoying and self-centred. 

One of the biggest highlights of the novel is obviously Blue and Simon’s emails. They were wonderfully to read. The romance is freaking adorable and I didn’t care that I was pretty sure I’d figured out who Blue was pretty early because I just wanted to keep reading until the big reveal where Simon finally finds out for himself. Oh, the suspense! It was wonderful. “Blue” is wonderful. So tempted to say more, but I know that will spoil the book for others. Just know that Blue and Simon’s adorableness plastered the biggest smile on my face. I was positively giddy.

Another book to add to the re-read pile. And man, I’d read a sequel if there was TODAY. Simon has it all, really.

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon: Book Review

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Summary:

Barcelona, 1945: A city slowly heals in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, and Daniel, an antiquarian book dealer’s son who mourns the loss of his mother, finds solace in a mysterious book entitled The Shadow of the Wind, by one Julián Carax. But when he sets out to find the author’s other works, he makes a shocking discovery: someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book Carax has written. In fact, Daniel may have the last of Carax’s books in existence. Soon Daniel’s seemingly innocent quest opens a door into one of Barcelona’s darkest secrets–an epic story of murder, madness, and doomed love.

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I was up late finally finishing this wonderful novel last night, and it had me in tears. I cannot begin to explain how beautiful this novel is. One of my rambling reviews could never even hint at the wonder that this novel created in me, so this will only be a brief review.

The Shadow of the Wind is one of those novels that is just the definition of how a novel should be. Overflowing with human emotion, mystery and literature, it is to be one of the best novels I’ve ever read. The writing is beautiful and the story is so intricate and enthralling. I fell right into Daniel’s world as he sought after the mystery that is Julian Carax. The way that Daniel and Julian’s stories entwined was breathtaking and so similar to the point that it became one story. The characters are colourful, rich, hilarious (Fermin is the comic relief of this tale) and so real. This is a novel about human pain and loneliness. The love stories at its core are heart wrenching. It’s erotic, brave and harrowing. It depicts the deepest feelings of humans, the deepest desires, the broken souls. The horrors behind every corner.

The Shadow of the Wind also emphasises the importance of books. There are so many amazing quotes about books in this book. This is one of my favourites:

“Books are mirrors: you only see in them what you already have inside you.”

The Shadow of the Wind dug deep into my heart and it will stay there forever.

Harry Potter Moment of the Week

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23/04/2015 – Character you wished you’d invented

I mean, really, I kind of wish I’d invented every character and Hogwarts and every magical creature and Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade and… but, alas, I am not the wonderful J.K Rowling.

I don’t really know how to answer this question. I could say that I wish I’d invented Ron Weasley, my absolute favourite, but would I like him as much if I’d invented him? Maybe he would have turned out differently. I could say Snape, because the way Rowling wrote his character was just mindblowing and amazing. I could say Dobby, the bravest house-elf of them all.

The fact of the matter is, I just don’t know. All the characters are too good!!!!! I can’t chose.

Luna? Maybe Luna. I think it’s possible I could have invented a character like Luna, so yep. Luna, it is.

(apologies for this mess of a post. I don’t know what I’m on about).