Book Review (of sorts): Harry Potter and The Cursed Child

I read the first Harry Potter book when my young niece left her copy at my house. She wasn’t keen on it so she didn’t want it back. I didn’t have any new books to read at the time, so I started reading HP – and of course got hooked.

I’ve read all the books (twice), watched all the movies (excellent casting), played both the Xbox Lego games (seriously fun) and rode the rides in the theme parks in both Florida and California (and had a butterbeer in each!) 

You could say I’m a fan.

When The Cursed Child was announced, I was initially excited, but on learning it was a script for a play and not a novel I decided I probably wouldn’t read it. I wasn’t sure if I’d enjoy reading a play.

My cousins went to London to see the play performed, they said it was AMAZING! and I was more than a little jealous šŸ™‚ that sparked my interest again, wanting to know the story, but again I didn’t think I’d enjoy reading a play. Maybe, eventually I’d get the chance to see it performed.

Then a close friend who also loves to share books, told me he had just finished reading The Cursed Child and passed it on to his wife, and if I was interested they would pass it to me next – of course I had to accept!

So I sat down a few nights ago, after the kids had gone to bed, and started to read…

It took a few pages for me to get into the right frame of mind, but soon I was imagining the story unfold in front of me. The old familiar names were there, and my brain immediately brought forth some familiar faces to say their lines. The new characters are equally interesting.

The next day I was reading through lunch, and again as I waited outside the school to pick up my kids. It’s a very fast read, despite the size of the tome it’s not a heavy story. With great sorrow I was soon reading the ending and closing the book. It’s always sad when it’s time to leave the world of Harry Potter, it’s such a fascinating place.

I can’t really review this book, because as J.K.R. requested and hundreds of fans agreed, you have to keep the secrets.

I will say this, I love Scorpio, and I really, truly hope I get the chance one day to see the play.

Undisclosed Season 2

Like so many, I was addicted to the Serial podcast and to the first season of Undisclosed as Sarah Koenig and then Rabia Chaudry told the story of Adnan Syed’s conviction for the 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee.

I’m still devouring every update on the case and can’t wait to read Rabia’s book, ‘Adnan’s Story’ or maybe I’ll download it on Audible and enjoy having Ā Rabia read it to me.

Season 2 of the Undisclosed Podcast went live on July 11th 2016 and I managed to hold off on listening until last week, with summer behind me and the kids all safely away to school – so they can’t interrupt my podcast listening enjoyment – I popped in my earbuds and took the dog on long, long walks to binge listen.

This second season of Undisclosed deals with the death of Isaac Dawkins, who was shot in the head apparently while driving home from college one evening, and the conviction of Joey Watkins, for his murder.

I’m still 1.5 episodes behind, but I can’t wait and need an outlet for the many thoughts about this story, so I thought I’d put them on my blog and see if anyone else out there has the same ideas.

  1. Does everyone in a small town just date everyone else, including their ex’s siblings? The web of exactly who is linked to whom and in what way is pretty tough to keep straight in those opening episodes!
  2. Brianne sounds like the kind of girl that just loves to be involved in the drama, and if there’s none really going on she’s happy to start some. Her favourite pastime seemed to be stirring up trouble between her ex and current boyfriends.
  3. I didn’t believe the someone-shot-at-Brianne-and-Isaac-at-Brianne’s-house story at ALL until episode 7 when the details of the other roadside shootings were mentioned – now I’m wondering if there’s more “random shots fired at people” stories out there for around the same area and time period that have never been collected. The gang initiation sounds like a possible motive, what if there were multiple potential new gang members all given the instruction to shoot someone who is driving a car, maybe specifically a white truck, and these gang wannabees all head out to what they believe is a good location to achieve this goal and that why there were multiple incidents of trucks being shot at, but not all on the exact same stretch of road?
  4. I believe the statements made by the tow-truck driver regarding the position of the truck, the timing of the police presence, the state of the window etc. I think since he is the one tasked with moving the truck and cleaning up any accident related debris, he would be accurate with his account of the accident site (I’m saying accident because initially thats what they believed it to be and therefor the tow-truck driver was doing his job as it would relate to a car accident.)
  5. I don’t think the photographer who was contracted by the police department was ever at the crime scene. I think this was an oversight on the part of the police, someone was supposed to contact him and they didn’t or there was a miscommunication. The photographer was not there and it wouldn’t have mattered too much had it just been a traffic accident as initially thought, but when it turned out to be a crime scene and a possible murder then it became a bigger issue and rather than get their fingers rapped for the mistake, one or more of the police officers involved told the lie that the photographer was there – the photographer himself doesn’t remember being there right? but its a small town, they all know each other and he usually was called for all the crime photos so he kind of assumes he must have been and its just as puzzling to him that he cant find the damn photos, or he’s part of the lie and at this point you can’t come clean with the truth so the lie continues, and he continues to search for all those hundreds of photos that don’t actually exist.

Okay. This has gotten way long. And I have those last couple episodes to listen to to get up to date. Anyone out there who is also living with their ear glued to this podcast and has some thoughts to share, please feel free!

What the Little One and I are reading.

Last school year Little One’s teacher read “Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief” aloud to the class and then they had a Blue Party to celebrate getting through the entire novel.

As a result Little One has been obsessed with Percy Jackson ever since šŸ™‚ so for her birthday this summer I bought her the Percy Jackson and the Olympians boxed set.

I hoped she would love this gift and enjoy all the other stories in the series. She surprised me by wanting to read the first book again because I hadn’t read it and she wanted to share the fun with me. What a cool kid!

Through the start of the new school year, we read Percy together in 20 minute chunks every day – that’s the required amount of reading homework for her grade – but occasionally we’d manage a little bit more, especially on rainy weekends.

She also had ‘Gregor The Overlander’ to read for her class reading group – which she occasionally read aloud to me. I encouraged this, but honestly it kind of addled my brain to have her reading two different books to me at the same time.

When we finished ‘The Lightning Thief’ I thought Little One would want to take a break. I thought the boxed set might sit and gather dust now, the initial fascination over, joining all those unread Rainbow Fairy books in the crammed bookshelf.

But instead Little One demanded an immediate start to Book Two! So together we read ‘Percy Jackson and The Sea of Monsters’ and not just in 20 minute bursts. Little One would read to me while I brushed her hair, and when I made her breakfast. She would hand the book to me while she ate, and again when she had to brush her teeth. She asked for my company while she took her bath, so I could continue the story šŸ™‚ and she read to me while I drove her home from school.

She is LOVING these books!

We sped through book two and last night started book three, ‘Percy Jackson and The Titan’s Curse.’

Thank you Rick Riordan, we have a winner!

Little One just noticed that one of the shelves on MY bookcase contains the first three ‘Heroes of Olympus’ novels – I think I’m going to have to share.

Awesome YA is awesome.

A while back I read and LOVED the wonderful and amazing ‘The Archived’ by Victoria SchwabĀ and then last November for my birthday I was gifted the second book in the Archived series, “The Unbound” which is JUST ASĀ WONDERFAB!

It’s taken me forever to get around to writing a review for ‘The Unbound’ because life and also thieving children, but finally and with much fanfare, here is my review:

‘The Unbound’ picks up pretty much where ‘The Archived’ left off. After a crazy summer of chasing down Histories, working with and finally trusting Wes, and fighting to save both the Archive and her own life, Mackenzie Bishop is ready to try something resembling a normal life. A new school and a new group of friends gives her the chance to start over, but Mac is haunted by the events of her past and when dreams start to feel more like reality, she knows she’s in trouble. When people start to go missing, MackenzieĀ realizesĀ that there is something bigger going on, and all the evidence points straight at her. If Mac doesn’t figure it out fast, she’ll lose her place as Keeper, her friendship with Wes, and the most precious parts of her memory.

With ‘The Unbound’, Victoria Schwab delivers AGAIN! Ā Mac and Wes are wonderful characters (yes fans, there’s lots of Wes in the 2nd book) and the story is unique, richĀ and engaging. A little darker in tone than ‘The Archived’ be prepared for a rather thrilling adventure.

Why did I mentionĀ thievingĀ children? Well, my eldest daughter occasionally moans and whines that she has nothing to read, and I sometimes (rarely) dare to recommend to her something from my own bookshelf. I’ve been trying to push books her way since before she could read (hehehehe) but when she was around eight years old IĀ realizedĀ that her stubborn streak was so incredibly wide, that if I was TOOĀ enthusiasticĀ with my suggestions she would refuse to have anything to do with them. I did recommend ‘The Book Thief” and that was the last I saw of my copy, she later bought me a replacement copy, having fallen so in love with the story that she couldn’t part with it.

But I digress.

In passing I suggested that my daughter might enjoy ‘The Archived.” She didn’t bite. I walked away. Then one evening, Ā I was cooking dinner one handed while reading ‘The Unbound’ and she asked me if it was really that good.. I told her yes, and that she should read the first book. After dinner I handed her my copy of ‘The Archived’ and went back to reading ‘The Unbound’ and the following morning she explained how she had stayed up MUCH later than she had intended because she simply could not stop reading!

Two days later she asked if I had finished reading ‘The Unbound’ because she “needed it” –Ā if that’s not a glowing recommendation for a YA book, I don’t know what is!

My daughter has since informed me that ‘The Archived’ and ‘The Unbound’ are now HER books, she is never giving them back, and that I should contact the author and make sure the third book is published ASAP.

Victoria Schwab has written quite a few other books including “Vicious”Ā Ā and her brand new release “A Darker Shade of Magic”Ā which I really think my daughter should buy for me.

November Treasure

November is my birthday month and my sweet husband has once again loaded me up with enough goodies to last me till Christmas šŸ™‚

Today is an absolute treasure as the kids are home from school and all happily occupied – so no school run for me!
A cold front moved in making it perfect snuggle-on-the-couch weather.
My blanket is soft and fresh from the laundry šŸ™‚
And I have ‘The Unbound’ by Victoria Schwab in my cozy little hands.

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To the library…

I am a little embarrassed to admit that I have not been to my local library in years and so when I took the kids last week to help stimulate their brains, I had to renew my card.

And then I looked around and the shelving had totally changed – which was kind of cool, yay new shelves! And kind of wha? because there was more empty space than books.
Hopefully the lack of available titles is because so many other local parents had already stocked up their kid’s reading lists.

Oldest Daughter was off at drivers ed class (omg omg no no no she’s a baby what madness is this??!!) so she didn’t get a book šŸ˜¦

Boy didn’t see anything that caught his attention, but almost frothed at the mouth when I pointed out a super cool looking Zorro graphic novel.

Little One picked out a cute picture book and I wanted to hit her over the head with it because despite her nickname she is NOT little enough to stick with picture books – but reading is reading so – she brought home the very pretty and entertaining ‘Chester’ by Ayano Imai.

And I couldn’t walk out of there with nothing for me, so I have ‘Jellicoe Road’ by Melina Marchetta – which so far I am finding to be disjointed and confusing.

Star stickers and calendars, oh my! (aka the BEST WRITING TRICK I KNOW)

Victoria Schwab is one of the writers that I follow on Twitter – she tweets her love for Scotland, so how could I not?

Victoria also writes really good books like ‘The Archived’ which is FABULOUS.

And if that’s not enough, she gives helpful writing tips like this little gem from September of last year.

Victoria (V.E.) Schwab

Hey lovelies!

Iā€™ve been getting asked quite often to explain the ā€œcalendar trickā€ Iā€™m always talking about in regards to writing/accountability/keeping track of work, so here you go! An elusive VLOG.

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