Tag: Harry Potter

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – J. K. Rowling

Hello everybody, and welcome to today’s book review of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling.

I re-read the Harry Potter series in 2021/2022. It had been a long time since I read the series – in the case of the earlier books, I started those as a young teenager and read the series over the course of around six years. I wanted to revisit the books to see if my experience and perception of them changed by reading them as an adult.

If you have not read any of my previous reviews of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, or Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, you can find links to those reviews here.

Now, let’s jump into today’s review of the next book in the series!

 

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – J. K. Rowling

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 636

Audience: Young Adult

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Publication Date: 08 Jul 2000

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

 

Goodreads – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

The summer holidays are dragging on and Harry Potter can’t wait for the start of the school year. It is his fourth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and there are spells to be learnt and (unluckily) Potions and Divination lessons to be attended. But Harry can’t know that the atmosphere is darkening around him, and his worst enemy is preparing a fate that it seems will be inescapable …With characteristic wit, fast-paced humour and marvellous emotional depth, J.K. Rowling has proved herself yet again to be a master story-teller.

 

My Thoughts

Plot

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire has an interesting plot line. That’s not to say I don’t think it has its flaws, however. Installing a magical cup in the school and inviting those who think they are adept enough to take part in a dangerous tournament is one thing. Doing so around a community full of minors, well, can only go wrong somewhere. Especially when entering your name is a legally binding contract. It’s all a bit too convenient that Harry finds his name put forward.  

Despite this, it still makes for an interesting read. In particular, the tournament itself adds a lot of drama and action to the narrative. Its dramatic conclusion also adds to the book and the series as a whole. I’m not going to spoil it for you-you’ll have to read it yourself.

What I like about Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is that we, break away from a narrative almost purely set in the usual school year cycle. We see wider plot development. We still have that familiarity of the school year, which comes to a conclusion with the Triwizard tournament. However, there is a lot more to this book, and plenty of it is quite sinister.

In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, we are introduced to characters that come into this world and plot line later on. I would argue that in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, we start to see this take shape.

 

Narrative Style

Despite being significantly larger than its predecessors, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire still retains the easy narrative style readers can come to expect.

You know me, I’m not one to shy away from a chunky book. I really hope that the length of this book doesn’t put potential readers off. It is not complicated. Even if you are less enthused by big narratives with wider story arcs, and lots of elements that will inevitably come together at the end, there isn’t so much going on that it will confuse you. Equally, there are little bits and pieces you can pick up in hindsight that hint to what happens later on.

Personally, I think the latter part of the series is quite well balanced in that it offers a little bit more than the first few books in the series (which are for the most part, comparatively superficial). This works perfectly well for people like me who grew up reading these books. At age 11, I wouldn’t have the reading capability to be able to take on these later tomes. Even so, going back and reading these later on has made me appreciate the later books in the series even more. They are more similar to my reading taste a an adult.

 

Characters

As with Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, we see a full new complement of characters introduced in this fourth book of the series. Some of these have a direct impact on the story, whereas others set the scene (for later books) and help develop the wizarding world in which these books are set.

I am a huge fan of world-building and the depth of detail that can be explored in these kind of books that fill out the whole story. Knowing everything from relatives of the main characters, down to the sports personalities, all comes together to make an immersive reading experience.

There are also a few introductions which will help us later in the series (particularly for the next book, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix). I think this is pulled off very well so as to not overwhelm, but it does make a difference when you read the next book. Understanding who everybody is and what their role is ahead of time is a big help! Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix is the chunkiest book in the series by far. If we’d had to go through all those introductions in that book as well, then it would be significantly larger!

 

Summary

Despite the slightly convenient plot line, I rated Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire five stars. If you enjoy fantasy series with darker elements to the story, or broad, overarching story lines that run throughout a series, stick with this one until you’ve read this fourth book. It’s at this point we really start to see this woven into the storyline.

Have you read any books from the Harry Potter series? Have you re-read it? Let me know in the comments.

 

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Book Review: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – J. K. Rowling

Earlier this year I completed my re-read of the Harry Potter series. Now that I’ve made it through the books again, I’m making the effort to pin down my thoughts. Wher I can, I’ll consider my experience of the books compared to my initial read as a teenager. Before going into today’s review, if you would like to catch up with my reviews of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, here are the links to do so. 

Today I am reviewing Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. If you are unfamiliar, this is the third book in the seven-part series. This is the book in which the plot really starts to hint at the metamorphosis the series will undergo later on, whilst still short and digestible for younger readers.

The plot has a darker element to the narrative, and some of the more sinister characters start to introduce themselves properly. The early books are quite lighthearted in introducing you to the wizarding world. By the time you’re done with the series, you have explored its darkest avenues.

I grew up with these books (literally). I started the early ones in my late childhood/early teenage years and read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows as an adult. This is something I have really come to enjoy in the series.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – J. K. Rowling

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 317

Audience: Young Adult

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Publication Date: 08 Jul 1999

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

 

Goodreads – Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter, along with his best friends, Ron and Hermione, is about to start his third year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry can’t wait to get back to school after the summer holidays. (Who wouldn’t if they lived with the horrible Dursleys?) But when Harry gets to Hogwarts, the atmosphere is tense. There’s an escaped mass murderer on the loose, and the sinister prison guards of Azkaban have been called in to guard the school…

 

My Thoughts

Plot

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban takes on a different tone compared with the first two books of the series. With a whole school year to pack into 300+ pages, you will not be bored making your way through this one. Whilst we are familiar with the school year and structure at this point, there are new and different things happening that keep the narrative fresh.

As I mentioned above, the more sinister aspects of the narrative really worked for me. Reviewing this in hindsight from the position of having read the whole series, this is one of the pivotal books in my opinion. Whilst short and sweet, it introduces characters such as the dementors, who go on to have a more significant role later on in the series.

 

Narrative Style

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is a quick read. As this book is one of the last shorter ones of the series, it is still very approachable for the everyday reader. I managed to re-read this book in just over a week. And that is a very casual pace for me! Whether you are reading this book for the very first time or like me, going back into the series again, I don’t think it will disappoint. Even though the theme of the book is a shade darker than the previous two books of the series, it doesn’t detract from its readability whatsoever.

 

Characters

In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, we experience the narrative through the perspective of Harry Potter himself. Along the way our friends old and new. It is in this book that we are introduced to characters who are pivotal to the story later on in the book series.

The mix of familiarity combined with a touch of new makes the pace and introductions to new characters easy to follow. If there’s one thing I like about these books is that there aren’t so many characters that you can’t keep track. As somebody who read a lot of epic fantasy, this is something I find happens a lot. That is not the case in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

I really enjoyed my re-read of this book and the whole series!

Have you picked up Harry Potter for yourself? Is this something you want to read?

 

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Book Review: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, together with the rest of the series, holds a very special place in my heart. Firstly, I grew up with these books. I read them starting as a teenager through until becoming a newly minted adult and I loved these books! I enjoy how the story and complexity scales throughout the series. That worked really well with how I read them initially, and also how I ‘aged’ with them.

I wanted to re-read these books as an adult. Mainly, I wanted to see if my experience of the books differed now that I was reading them from a more mature perspective. For the most part, I can’t say that they did; I enjoyed them just as much as I did back then!

 

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 251

Audience: Young Adult

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Publication Date: 02 Jul 1998

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

Goodreads – Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Ever since Harry Potter had come home for the summer, the Dursleys had been so mean and hideous that all Harry wanted was to get back to the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. But just as he’s packing his bags, Harry receives a warning from a strange impish creature who says that if Harry returns to Hogwarts, disaster will strike.

And strike it does. For in Harry’s second year at Hogwarts, fresh torments and horrors arise, including an outrageously stuck-up new professor and a spirit who haunts the girls’ bathroom. But then the real trouble begins – someone is turning Hogwarts students to stone. Could it be Draco Malfoy, a more poisonous rival than ever? Could it possibly be Hagrid, whose mysterious past is finally told? Or could it be the one everyone at Hogwarts most suspects… Harry Potter himself!

 

My Thoughts…

After the magic and drama of his first year at Hogwarts, you would think that going home for the summer would be a break for Harry. However, his aunt and uncle, and their son, treat him so awfully that he cannot wait to go back. Thankfully for us, it doesn’t take too long in the narrative and we get to dive into the magic and nostalgia of going to school very quickly.

This year is a little bit different, as they are no longer the newbies. However, the events that take place at the school or even stranger than the last. Students (and Mr Filch’s cat, Mrs Norris) are found petrified in school corridors. Tension rises and speculation begins on what is happening to them. Harry himself falls under suspicion. But, as we can only expect from these books, Harry ends up getting to the bottom of the matter. Not only that, but he finds himself in danger once again.

As with the first book, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is a very quick read. I enjoyed the pacing of the book. It is full of action to keep the narrative moving along, but at the same time, we still get to see world-building and character development. I prefer the books towards the end of the series because I enjoy depth and complexity in my fantasy books. However, the fact that this book doesn’t necessarily fit into this category didn’t matter at all. The fact is, I knew going into it that these early books set a lot of foundation for the later books.

Whilst we don’t necessarily realise that at the time, significant events in this book or the introduction to a wider storyline come into play later on. When I think about where these events begin, it is Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets that immediately comes to mind. 

Whilst there is a lot of controversy around J. K. Rowling, I would recommend these books to anyone wanting to start out with reading fantasy, or anyone wanting to read a series without too much mental commitment. These books are really easy to digest. They are the kind of books that you could always get more out of with the next re-read. Equally, you can take them as you read them first time. They have a lot to give, and it is a series that I will go back and read again and again throughout my lifetime, I am sure! I know one of my friends re-reads these books regularly!

Have you read the Harry Potter series? Have you not read them? Let me know what you think in the comments.

 

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Sunday Summary – 17th April 2022

Good evening and welcome to today’s Sunday Summary update. As always, I trust you’ve had a good week and are enjoying a nice, long Easter weekend?

I’ve been back to my usual blogging schedule this week. At the beginning of the week, I took part in a Top Ten Tuesday post. In that post, I featured books by new-to-me authors that I couldn’t wait to read. One of the books on that list is one that I have since picked up and so far I’m really enjoying it. If you want to find out what other books and authors are on my radar, you can take a look at that post using this link.

On Friday I shared my regular First Lines Friday feature. I had decided to leave the topic/theme for this week‘s post open, and I’m glad I did! When it came to choosing my feature for this week, it was nice to have a blank slate to go on. I decided to feature a book that is on my TBR and a copy is waiting on my bookshelves. It was nice to go and take a look at that particular book in more detail. I had picked up that book on a whim at the bookshop and bought it, so it was nice to share with you the introduction, because that’s what drew me in as well!

 

Books Read

As of last week’s Sunday Summary post, I had around 150 pages also left to read of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

I said that I had planned to read the rest of this book within the next couple of days. I lied, friends. I decided to start making headway towards the finish line on Sunday night after sharing my post, but as with all great books, you just get sucked in. And sucked in I was! So much so, I finish reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows at about 1am on Monday morning! Whoops (sorry not sorry!)

From there I moved swiftly onwards to start The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman. This book was a recommendation to me by my sister’s boyfriend Chris, and he has even loaned me his copy so I can give it a read. And I’m really enjoying it so far! The chapters are really nice and short, so it’s very easy to pick up and put down as and when required. Not that you really want to. I’ve taken to reading this later in the evening, or even before bed, and it’s very difficult to put down!

I’m currently 138 pages into this particular book, which equates to just over a third of the way through. As this is such an easy read, I hope that I’ll be able to tell you I finished this next week. I know what magic saying that did to my reading progress last week, so will see if the result is the same (or at least similar…)

 

Books Discovered

I haven’t added anything new to the reading list this week. So, it’s a quiet section here, unlike last week!

 

Coming Up…

I am in the mood to share a review. I feel like it’s been a little while since I’ve shared a book review, or even an audiobook review, with you all. With that in mind I’ve been looking at my list of outstanding reviews and I have decided to share my thoughts on Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. I read this book having watched the Netflix series based upon it, and I enjoyed it! I had also recently read another duology by Leigh Bardugo and it was already on my list as a result of that! Keep your eyes peeled if you’re interested in my full thoughts on that book in the next few days.

I’ll be back on Friday, as usual, but this time we have a Shelf Control post. I’ll be looking back at the TBR and featuring the next book on my list. I enjoy these posts because it gives me the chance to talk about why I’m excited to read them! And, if worse comes to the worst and I decide I’m not that interested, it’s a good opportunity to whittle down the list.

And, you know what’s coming next. I will be back next Sunday for another Sunday Summary post, and I’ll be sharing all my latest updates with you once again.

Until then, have a great week, enjoy the rest of your Easter weekend and I’ll see you in my next post!

 

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Sunday Summary – 10th April 2022

Good evening everyone and welcome to today’s Sunday Summary update post. As always, I trust you’ve had a good week?

It’s been a busy one here on Reviewsfeed, because my blogging schedule has included an extra post. I started off the week by sharing my Monthly Wrap-Up post for March 2022. Somehow, this year is absolutely flying by and given that we’re in the beginning of April, it’s a perfect time to talk about my reading progress over the last month. Whilst I didn’t get through all of my TBR, I am still happy with the books I managed to pick up and read in March. You can find out the full details in that post!

A bit later on this week I shared my Reading List for April 2022, another natural post to share at the beginning of a new month. A lot of the books featured are ones I didn’t get round to from my March 2022 TBR. There are a couple of new additions, however, so the post is still worth checking out! I have picked some mood reads for April based on some TV shows I’ve been watching, and one of those is an unlikely pick for me.

On Friday I post a regular feature, and this week it was the turn of a Shelf Control post. I enjoyed featuring this next book on my TBR in Friday’s post. It’s an exciting thriller novel with an interesting premise – what if the person on the end of a Samaritan phoneline wasn’t looking out for your best interests? What if they thrived off other people suffering worse than them? I really like the sound of this book, and although it deals with topics including mental health and such, I can’t wait to pick this up and read it for myself!

 

Books Read

I am pleased to say that I have made a significant amount of progress with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows this week. As of my last Sunday Summary post I was just 250 pages into this final instalment to the series.

That was progress I had made over the last two weeks, and as of today’s post I have nearly read that much again! I’m just about 450 pages in now, and there is only 150ish left to go! With the end in sight, I can definitely see myself finishing this book in the next few days. I’ve enjoyed getting into this book more, with less distractions in terms of television time. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve enjoyed watching some TV series for a change too. But, it’s also nice to get back into my reading!

I’ve also started something new this week. I found I had lost a little bit of motivation with audiobooks and listening to A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin, so I’ve started listening to another. Admittedly, I only started this yesterday and at present I’m five chapters in.

I purchased myself a copy of The Plague Charmer by Karen Maitland a good while ago now, and desirous for a change, I decided to give this a try! I’m enjoying the story at the moment, having gotten into it with very little knowledge of the story before starting it. The synopsis is relatively vague, but there’s just enough there to pique interest. I’m hoping that the change of scenery (so to speak) will help me get into the habit of listening to audiobooks a little bit more again.

 

Books Discovered

I have added one book to my TBR this week, and I appreciate it’s not going to be everybody’s cup of tea in terms of taste because it kind of relates to my work.

I have shared before that I work in an investment related role, and the particular book I have added to my list details the unveiling of one of the most high profile financial frauds in history. If you are in the investment industry or were unfortunate enough to have made certain bad investments, you’ll know the name Bernie Madoff. In essence, he defrauded billions of pounds out of people by purporting to invest their money in his funds in a way that yielded a very high value return. In reality, the money was going into his bank account. The fraud was discovered by Harry Markopolos, who proved that it was impossible for the funds to achieve the advertised returns and eventually prompted the investigation into his affairs that pulled the whole deception apart. 

I did say it wasn’t going to be everybody’s cup of tea, but as it relates to history that has impacted my day-to-day role (and I have some familiarity with what has happened before), I’d like to dive into this a bit deeper. Naturally, this had repercussions in terms of regulations for investments and it will be interesting to know what and how this prompted these changes.

 

Coming Up…

This week I am back to my usual blogging schedule.

I’ve decided this week to take part in this week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme, which is featuring authors that I want to read, but I haven’t read yet. Not only will this be a great way to share some upcoming reads I have with you, but also it’s an opportunity for me to get excited about them!

This upcoming Friday will be the turn of my First Lines Friday feature post. I quite enjoyed having free reign of subject in my last post, and so I’ve decided I’m not setting myself any particular challenges with regards to this week’s post.

And last, but not least, I’ll be back at the same time next week to share another Sunday Summary post for another update.

Until then, have a great one and I’ll see you in my next post!

 

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Monthly TBR – April 2022

Hello everyone and welcome to my monthly TBR for April. I’m really excited to be sharing the books I plan to pick up within the next few weeks! 

I didn’t get through all of my reading list for March. I did set myself an ambitious list and so I’m neither surprised nor disappointed by this fact. I knew when I prepared the list it was very likely I was going to carry some forward through to April – so most of the books on this month’s list have already been shared on last month’s TBR! 

Let’s see what I’m going to be reading very soon!

 

Fixed Reads

Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows

I will be opening the month with my current read carried over from March, being Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling. I’m currently around halfway through this book and I’m excited to complete my reread of the series! I last read this book around nine years ago now, so I am keen to read this book again and experience it from a more mature perspective!

 

The Thursday Murder Club

I have been loaned a copy of The Thursday Murder Club by my sister’s boyfriend, Chris, to read. I didn’t quite get round to this one last month, but I still cannot wait to pick this up! I’ve heard great things about this book, in particular the characters and the humour!

 

Ravencry & Crowfall

I added Ravencry and Crowfall to my ‘mood read list’ last month, but since I didn’t get round to them I’ve decided I’m adding them to my fixed list for April! I have a couple of other ‘mood reads’ in mind that I’d like to pick up, and so the progression onto my fixed reading list felt natural!

Having recently re-read Blackwing, the first book in the series, I got really excited for the series again. So naturally, I wanted to read it all again as opposed to just the first book! I re-read Blackwing in just a matter of days, and I fully expect Ravencry and Crowfall to be much the same in terms of experience!

 

Mood Reads

The Duke & I

This addition to my TBR is experimental. I’m not sure if it’s a book I’m going to enjoy, however having recently enjoyed watching the second season of the Netflix TV show, there’s no reason why I shouldn’t.

If I do enjoy The Duke and I then I will continue with the book series. However, don’t expect me to suddenly start reading romance all the time; my enjoyment of these books, if indeed I do enjoy them, will be the exception instead of the rule.

What I can say, is having featured this book in a very recent First Lines Friday post, the introduction made a good impression on me! Let’s see how the rest of the book pans out, shall we?

 

The Bone Collector

I’ve also been watching the TV series, Lincoln Rhyme, on Now TV recently. I have a copy of The Bone Collector sat upstairs on my bookshelf, and now feels like the right time to pick this up for myself. I believe my sister has read at least some of this book and enjoyed it. I can’t wait to see how it compares!

 

As in previous months, my indicated mood reads are provisional and I might choose to pick up something else at the time! Last month I didn’t even get round to my mood reads, which is perfectly okay too. I feel like this reading list is a little bit less ambitious, though still plentiful enough to give myself a challenge!

Have you read any of the books on my TBR? What are you reading this month? Let me know in the comments or on social media!

 

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Sunday Summary – 3rd April 2022

Good evening and welcome to my Sunday Summary update this week! I hope it’s been a good one for you?

At the beginning of the week I had a little bit of fun sharing my Goodreads Book Tag post. I like these types of posts as they give me the opportunity to share a little bit about myself. In this case, I got to talk about the books I’ve been reading recently, my participation in a Goodreads book challenge this year and also how I rate books once I’ve read them. There is so much more included than this, and if you haven’t taken a look at that post already you can find a link above to do so.

Later in the week I shared a First Lines Friday post. I left the topic completely open this week, and I’ve ended up featuring a book that I am considering reading soon. Now I appreciate that doesn’t sound remarkable in the slightest; the interesting thing about this particular book is that it’s not generally my cup of tea. I don’t really read books from this genre at all. Of all the books I’ve read over the last five years, I think I could count on one hand the number of books that have a significant ‘romance’ element to be included in this genre!

 

Books Read

This week’s update is going to echo my last. In last week’s Sunday Summary post, I shared that I hoped to read a lot more of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. My confession is that didn’t really come to pass. I have been reading the book though, and I am now about 250 pages through.

I don’t really watch much TV in general, however, having gotten into the habit with watching Lincoln Rhyme, I’ve moved on to start watching the second season of Bridgerton this week. And you’re probably going to say, hang on a minute Rebecca, that’s not your thing at all. Normally it isn’t! Don’t judge me, but something about the first season appealed to me when it was on originally and I wanted to keep up to date. My friends also watch it and I didn’t want spoilers!

So, reading progress has been a touch on the light side again this week. However, my plan is to read more of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows this evening after this post goes live and now that I’ve caught up with Bridgerton, I should have more time for reading again!

 

Books Discovered

It’s a quiet one for this section this week.

I am deliberately holding off looking or buying anything new at the moment – I already have plenty enough reading to be getting on with with what I’ve got!

 

Coming Up…

I’m looking forward to my blogging schedule next week, as I will be sharing both a monthly wrap-up post for March, as well as my planned reading list for April. There will be a good few books on April‘s list that are carryovers from March. I set myself an ambitious list and I didn’t get round to it all! However, I am looking forward to carrying those over, as well as speculating on some mood reads I might be looking at very soon, provided I get through April’s set list!

And as always, I’ll be back at the same time next week to share another Sunday Summary post and catch you up on all the goings-on.

Until then, have a great one and I’ll see you in my next post!

 

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Sunday Summary – 27th March 2022

Good evening and welcome to today’s Sunday Summary update! I hope it’s been a good one?

I am pleased that I managed to pull my finger out and share my review of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone this week. You may remember that I intended to share this post last week, however I struggled with drafting the post. If I’m honest I think I felt over-faced with reviewing such a large and popular book, but I put the effort in and I’m happy with the final result. I’m still not sure I’ve done it full justice, but I’ve done my best, and that’s all I can ask for!

Later in the week I shared a Shelf Control post. I didn’t massacre my reading list this week, unlike last time, and I really like the sound of this weeks featured book. I’m also pretty excited because it caught my mum‘s attention – this could be a series we both read and love!

 

Books Read

This week my reading progress has been okay, but also could be better. I’ve been reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I say progress has been okay as I haven’t read as much as previous weeks. In just a couple of nights I have read around 120 pages. It shouldn’t be sniffed at really, it’s still a reasonable amount of reading. 

I confess that a lot of my evening time this week has been spent binge-watching Lincoln Rhyme, The TV series (based on The Bone Collector by Jeffery Deaver) on Sky Witness. I watched the first episode of this ages ago, but I started watching it again this week and now I only have two episodes left. I’m probably going to watch those tonight too…

I’m going to be back on the reading next week and I’m sure I’m going to make a lot more progress with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

 

Books Discovered

It has now been several weeks since I added any books to my reading list. I’m still glad to see it’s back under 200 and I plan to keep it that way.

 

Coming Up…

At the beginning of this week I’m planning to share a fun post. It’s been a little while since I’ve shared a book tag post, and this week I am going to do the Goodreads Book Tag. This is one I haven’t completed before, and it looks like a fun post to share!

Friday is the turn of my regular First Lines Friday post. Last time I set myself a challenge to feature a book on this month’s TBR. I enjoyed the challenge last time, but I’ve decided for this week I’m going to keep it free of restrictions and choose a book at random.

And finally, this time next week I’ll be sharing another Sunday Summary update with you.

Until then, I hope you have a good week and I’ll see you in the next post!

 

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Book Review: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – J. K. Rowling

In today’s blog post I’m sharing my thoughts on Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s’ Stone, the first book of the series I’m just about to finish reading for the second time! I read this series originally as a teenager and I loved them then as much as I do now! It’s a series for just about anybody and if my reread has proven anything, is that it doesn’t matter how old you are when you pick these up. This first book of the series didn’t seem immature or childish even now. Yes, it’s a lot simpler than the later books in the series, but it’s still just as readable.

If you’re like me then you’re probably also asking yourself, how do you go about reviewing such an iconic book series? Your guess is as good as mine – I’m just going to muddle through as best I can. I know I won’t do it justice, but I can only do my best!

 

Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone – J. K. Rowling

Goodreads – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Harry Potter’s life is miserable. His parents are dead and he’s stuck with his heartless relatives, who force him to live in a tiny closet under the stairs. But his fortune changes when he receives a letter that tells him the truth about himself: he’s a wizard. A mysterious visitor rescues him from his relatives and takes him to his new home, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

After a lifetime of bottling up his magical powers, Harry finally feels like a normal kid. But even within the Wizarding community, he is special. He is the boy who lived: the only person to have ever survived a killing curse inflicted by the evil Lord Voldemort, who launched a brutal takeover of the Wizarding world, only to vanish after failing to kill Harry.

Though Harry’s first year at Hogwarts is the best of his life, not everything is perfect. There is a dangerous secret object hidden within the castle walls, and Harry believes it’s his responsibility to prevent it from falling into evil hands. But doing so will bring him into contact with forces more terrifying than he ever could have imagined.

Full of sympathetic characters, wildly imaginative situations, and countless exciting details, the first installment in the series assembles an unforgettable magical world and sets the stage for many high-stakes adventures to come.

 

My Thoughts…

The thing is I love the most about these books is that it doesn’t matter how old you are when you start reading them. I grew up with these books, and I probably read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone either as a preteen or an early teenager. I read this book again for the first time since then last year. At around twice the age I was when I first read the book, I loved it just as much!

Whilst I would say the intended genre is probably young adult, at the same time it doesn’t feel pigeonholed there. There is so much to this series that there’s something in it for everybody! This very first book is comparatively lighthearted to the rest of the series. It’s a wonderful introduction to a vast and detailed magical world, providing fantasy readers with escapism and a life they would have loved to have lived as a child; to be quantified as special and sent off to a magical school of witchcraft and wizardry.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher‘s Stone is only a few hundred pages long. It’s an easy book to pick up and read because of the length, but also the way in which it’s written. The narrative style is very easily digestible. Personally, I think you could easily pick up and put down the book as you wish. It’s really easy to follow what’s going on and it’s honestly a pleasure to read. I read this book within a matter of days just by doing some bedtime reading. You don’t have to be an avid reader to get through this book very quickly!

I like the pacing of Harry Potter and the Philosopher‘s Stone. Being the first book in the series, there is a lot to take in. We have a lot of the setting of the scene, character and world building thrown into the mix. I find it just right so that even a younger audience could follow what is going on, but equally it’s not slow for more mature readers either. As well as all this, there’s a lot of magical excitement to keep our attention. From a plethora of spells to learn to the wonder of the everyday… such as chocolate frogs (which really do behave like frogs!); there is always something going on and keeping the action flowing in a fun way!

In my opinion, this book is the perfect introduction to the now famous series. It’s fun and exciting whilst also setting the scene for a much wider story. The story unfolds in ways that I didn’t take initially expect when I first started the books. But, I really enjoy that! If you haven’t read these yet then I honestly recommend you do. They are absolutely fantastic and they really are for absolutely anyone!

 

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Sunday Summary – 20th March 2022

Hello and welcome to my Sunday Summary update for this week! I hope it’s been a great one for you?

I originally intended to share a book with you at the beginning of this week for Harry Potter and the Philosopher‘s Stone by J. K. Rowling. And I started this post. However, I think I felt a little bit intimidated by the task. This is a fantastic book and series and I got stuck with how to begin. How do you even go about reviewing such a massive series? That’s something I’m going to have to figure out very quickly, because I still plan to share my review with you soon. Apologies it didn’t come when I said it was going to.

I did manage to draft and publish my First Lines Friday post this week. For that post, I set myself the challenge of featuring a book on this month’s TBR and I’m really happy with my choice. I picked up most of the books left on my TBR to gauge the opening lines and see which I thought was best/most interesting. For me, it was a clear winner! If you haven’t checked out that post yet you can do so with the link above, and let me know what you think of the introduction!

 

Books Read

I’m really happy with my reading progress since my last Sunday Summary update post. I had just over 130 pages remaining of Keep You Safe by Rona Halsall, and I said in my post that I was going to make a push this week to read it. The reality is, I started reading this book last Sunday after publishing my post and I finished reading the book at 12:15am that night! I could not put it down – the ending was brilliant and so engaging that going to bed before finishing this book was not an option! It’s an absolutely fantastic psychological thriller and I can’t wait to share my thoughts on the book with you – I cannot recommend it enough!

My next read of this week was a complete 180º – I picked up Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg. This is a non-fiction novel written by Facebook‘s chief operating officer. It looks at women in the workplace and discusses female leadership in the corporate world, what limitations women have in advancing their careers (both internal and external factors) and offers advice on what women can do in order to empower themselves.

This was a recommendation by my sister, who in turn had the book recommended to her by one of her more senior work colleagues. Now, I wouldn’t describe myself as a particularly career driven person, but I am the kind of person who will take on responsibility and accountability in my job. I want to do the best I can, and likewise if I can make things better for other people I also want to do this. Work isn’t my whole life, but I want to do a good job and make a difference as well. Do you see what I mean?

Lean In was an interesting read because it’s not only focuses on limitations that women experience from other people (both men and women, you may be surprised to hear), but also the limitations they set themselves. It is all too easy to focus on the external factors, and very difficult to be introspective and acknowledge that women sometimes hold themselves back. For not shying away from this truth, I feel like Sheryl took a well-rounded approach to the subject and there are some pieces of advice in the book that I’d like to bear in mind going forward for myself.

Whilst I haven’t physically picked it up yet as of writing this post, I plan to start reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows immediately after this blog post goes live. And I’ll be making progress with this one over the next week. Whilst it’s a bit of a chunky book, I find these so easy to read so I don’t expect it will take me too long!

As in last week’s Sunday Summary update post, I am pleased to say that I’ve listened to another couple of chapters of A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin. This is going to take a very long time to get through at this pace, so I’m going to try and make more of a habit of listening to audiobooks again. I confess I’ve fallen off the wagon a little bit here!

 

Books Discovered

There’s some happy dancing going on here this week, because once again there are no new books on my TBR. And, having read and taken a couple off the list this week, the list is going in the right direction!

For now anyway!

 

Coming Up…

I will share my review of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone this week. I WILL share my review of Harry Potter and the Philosopher‘s Stone next week.

How many times do you think I have to say the sentence in order to commit? I’m disappointed that I wasn’t able to get this ready for you as planned this week, so I’m determined to publish this post in the next few days to make up for it.

Friday is my scheduled spot for a Shelf Control post. Last time I did this fortnightly feature I cut five books off my TBR. Whilst I am certainly not planning a ‘massacre’ of that scale again, I do like that this feature gives me the opportunity to review and do this if I feel necessary. It’s also great because I love featuring books that are coming up on my list and I can get excited about them at the same time!

And finally, this time next week I’ll be sharing another Sunday summary post.

Until then, I hope you have a good week, wish you happy reading and I’ll see you in the next post!

 

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