Book Review :: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Title: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Author: J.K. Rowling

Published: 26th of June 1997 by Bloomsbury Publishing

Pages: 223

Genre: Fantasy

Rating:  

 

Goodreads synopsis: (for the new – 1st of September 2014 – edition)

When a letter arrives for unhappy but ordinary Harry Potter, a decade-old secret is revealed to him that apparently he’s the last to know. His parents were wizards, killed by a Dark Lord’s curse when Harry was just a baby, and which he somehow survived. Leaving his unsympathetic aunt and uncle for Hogwarts, a wizarding school brimming with ghosts and enchantments, Harry stumbles upon a sinister mystery when he finds a three-headed dog guarding a room on the third floor. Then he hears of a missing stone with astonishing powers which could be valuable, dangerous – or both. An incredible adventure is about to begin!

Before heading off I’d like to say this is going to be a mixture of “a walk down memory lane” and my own experience (finally) reading the book, probably not one of those proper reviews. In case this bothers you, you know what you gotta do. Here we go.

Oh you may not think I’m pretty,
But don’t judge on what you see,
I’ll eat myself if you can find
A smarter hat than me.
You can keep your bowlers black,
Your top hats sleek and tall,
For I’m the Hogwarts Sorting Hat
And I can cap them all.
There’s nothing hidden in your head
The Sorting Hat can’t see,
So try me on and I will tell you
Where you ought to be.
You might belong in Gryffindor,
Where dwell the brave at heart,
Their daring, nerve, and chivalry
Set Gryffindors apart;
You might belong in Hufflepuff,
Where they are just and loyal,
Those patient Hufflepuffs are true
And unafraid of toil;
Or yet in wise old Ravenclaw,
if you’ve a ready mind,
Where those of wit and learning,
Will always find their kind;
Or perhaps in Slytherin
You’ll make your real friends,
Those cunning folks use any means
To achieve their ends.
So put me on! Don’t be afraid!
And don’t get in a flap!
You’re in safe hands (though I have none)
For I’m a Thinking Cap!

This beautiful song was in fact the first quote from the book that I marked. I had already read 130 pages and didn’t find anything extremely impressing, I know the book as a whole is a masterpiece, but I had a hard time finding quotes. I’ve got 9 in total (compared to The Fault in our Stars, where I had 9 already after the 2nd chapter… awkward…)

Hermione was the last person to do anything against the rules, and here she was, pretending she had, to get them out of trouble. It was as if Snape hat started handing out sweets.

But from that moment on, Hermione Granger become their friend. There are some things you can’t share without ending up liking each other, and knocking out a twelve-foot mountain troll is one of them.

I love the book. How can you not? It’s our generation’s legacy. Again many thanks Shannon for making me feel terrible for taking so long to read it😂. There’s not much I can say or advertise, as EVERYONE should know how good this series is, so I’ll give you a couple of more quotes that I liked very much and a few movie scenes, because memories, child wizards and ‘awww…’. Strange fact regarding a book-movie difference: In the movie, Hermione sits with Ron and Harry in the train and gets into larger conversations with them pretty soon. In the book it took like 200 pages (after the troll incident) to get to that level of friendship, which surprised me.

Your mother died to save you. If there is one thing Voldemort cannot understand, it is love. He didn’t realise that love as powerful as you mother’s for you leaves its own mark.

I remember talking to my best friend Irina and trying to convince her to read this book ( poor thing, she’s probably got an even longer TBR list than me😂 and keeps nagging me that I give her to many physical books and book suggestions). She said it would be too weird for her to read a book in which the protagonist is younger than her, especially a teenager in his first years of puberty (those were her words). In that moment I realised why Harry Potter will be eternal and suitable for all ages. There are no childish actions or scenes. Damn it, at 11 years old he was even braver than I am today. He’s a true role model, all the characters are, and they’ll have a special place in my heart forever.


With this I conclude my ahm…should I still call it review… I’m not sure. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed it. Maybe you’ll even want to re-watch the movie right now, because that’s what I’m going to do tonight. Hot chocolate ✓ popcorn ✓ blanket ✓.

-Demi

Advertisements

Book Review :: “The Fault In Our Stars” by John Green

I’m like. Like. I’m like a ‘grenade’, Mom. I’m a grenade and at some point I’m going to blow up and I would like to minimize the casualties, okay?”
Hazel Grace Lancaster, The Fault In Our Stars, page 99, paperback


The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

Published: 2012 by Dutton Books
Genre: YA, Romance, Drama
My rating: 5+ Stars
318 pages (paperback edition)
Goodreads synopsis:

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.
Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.


I’ve been postponing this book for almost two years and besides that I regret that quoting from it has become mainstream now and my review is going to be seen like that. This post contains SPOILERS.

Plot

This is not the kind of story you expect to have a happy end or some kind of climax that would change the end entirely. You know from the beginning that the protagonist is going to die (the thing is that you realise half through the book that you have the wrong protagonist in mind).

Knowing the end doesn’t take away from the story, because it’s the journey that counts. Although I’ve never been in her place, I understood Hazel and why she tried to keep her distance from Augustus, but at the same time he was right too. “You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world, but you have some say in who hurts you.”
I don’t think I have a favourite moment, but I really liked the part when they were in Amsterdam, because I think it is one of those moments filled with a lot of emotions (not that the book has only a few of those). After that the roller coaster didn’t go up any more.

The Characters

Augustus Waters

I loved how Augustus was portrayed, not just a hot boy as described by Hazel (although she does say a couple of times that he’s not that handsome), but also a very normal down-to-earth person. And not to forget his charisma and metaphors. I’m not going to say that he held a heroic battle against cancer and thought us a lesson with that, because again I agree with Hazel. Cancer was just another part of him, a side-effect of dying. He did teach me the lesson to cherish the time I have, be glad that I can use both my legs properly and that life can be bitch sometimes and you can still go on.

Hazel Grace Lancaster

It was very easy for me to connect with her (my mum could easily decide that I’m depressed as well) and since I (almost) agreed with her every time, made me like her even more. She teaches life lessons just as much as Augustus and there’s no reason not to like her.

(screams ‘they were supposed to be paper Winnie-the-Pooh cups’) All in all, I did like the way they completed each other and the chemistry between them, and of course the deep philosophical conversations. I think it helped watching the movie 2 years ago, that I had something to begin with, as in imaging them.

Final Opinion

I believe that 40 maybe 50 years from now, people will look back at this book and will say that it is a classic.


How about you? Have you read the book? And, if yes, what are your opinios on it? I’d really love to hear what others thought about it!

-Demi

Monthly Recap: April 2016

The time of the month has arrived ‘drum rolls’ and I’d like to start off with a confession/ clarification. I mentioned on my “About Me” page that I created this blog for the simple reason of sharing my thoughts. I realised I posted memes more than 25 times this month, which came as a surprise for me. I thought long about how I should present my blog. Some post reviews on books, some on movies, some take part in a great amount of memes. Well, I’m going to to a mixture of all, since I enjoy all equally. What I need to figure out at the moment is finding a balance, considering that this month I only managed to finish one book and watch 5 movies, which made me feel quite disappointed. Sometimes I might join weekly memes, sometimes write about movies or books or sometimes it could be quite for a longer time, I just don’t want to feel the pressure “Oh God, I have to blog!”. Also sometimes I might watch or read something so majestic that I cannot find words to describe it properly. For example “Hidden Fires”. I could talk about this book for hours (and I did with my best friend), but I couldn’t find the essence that I was looking for in my opinion. When I’l encounter situations like this in the future, I’ll feature a short review in my monthly recaps. With that being said, here is what happend this month. (Warning: This post might include spoilers)

Movies I’ve watched:

Paper Towns (2015) #536   Score: 9  26.04.2016
I’ve heard so many good things about the book and I couldn’t resist it any more. Now I’ll have to wait for a couple of months until my memory of the movie gets blurry so I can read the book. Was it worthy? I’m not sure. The ending left me a bad tase in my mouth and I didn’t like Cara Delevingne’s acting. I think she should stick with modelling. The plot was crazy and I loved it. It makes me want to jump in a car with my friends and head for Amsterdam (we actually talked about it, but I’m not certain it will come true ‘fingers crossed’). The movies’s message is inspirational if you interpret it this way “Get out of your comfort zone. Take risks and enjoy life. Carpe diem!”

Quentin Jacobsen: Margo always loved mysteries. And in everything that came afterwards, I could never stop thinking that maybe she loved mysteries so much that she became one.

Brooklyn (2015) #535   Score: 10  25.04.2016
You would guess a movie nominated for the Oscars should be good. It was exquisite. It made me cry. I connected with Eilis, considering I went through a similar situation 5 years ago. I could have easily given it a 9.9 (it wasn’t a masterpiece), if it wasn’t for Eilis’ deceiving character. She should have told her friends and family about her marriage and not fool the poor Irish lad. I have a soft spot for Irish accents and that helped a little in giving the score. All in all, this movie could have won the Oscar (I haven’t watched Spotlight, so I cannot say which one is better).

Eilis: You’ll feel so homesick that you’ll want to die, and there’s nothing you can do about it apart from endure it. But you will, and it won’t kill you… and one day the sun will come out and you’ll realize that this is where your life is.

Das Tagebuch der Anne Frank (2016) #534   Score: 7 12.04.2016
(you might wanna skip this part if you cannot take criticism on sensible subjects)A movie about historical events during WWII we had to watch with our history class. I came in contact with a few works that handle Nazi Germany, The Book Thief and Schindler’s List, both which have made me cry. A lot. Normally I am very critical with stories around Jews, since most of the time the people are over-victimised. This movie is one of them. It felt weird from the start and I didn’t feel much of a connection with Anne.

How To Be Single (2016) #533   Score: 9.5 09.04.2016
This movie I watched with my best friend at the cinema and it was hilarious. We came to the conclusion that Dakota Johnson played a character very similar to the one in 50 Shades of Grey and in How To Be Single we see her after leaving Christian. Also we see Rebel Wilson playing Fat Amy again. Throughout the movie you root for Alice (Dakota Johnson) to end up with Tom (Anders Holm), although you want Tom to end up with Lucy (Alison Brie). You get a lot of mixed feelings.

Robin: In every male-female friendship there’s a total number of drinks and if you hit that it means you would definitely have sex.

Epic (2013) #532   Score: 9 06.04.2016

TV Shows I’ve watched:

Lie To Me

Lie to me

I finally managed to watch the 3rd season and all I can say is that Lie to me is definitely worth watching. Although it was cancelled (at least that’s what I think since they left some unanswered questions), they didn’t finish it off with a cliffhanger. It was delightful for me and I may have even learned a few things. Micro-expression, how to interpret them, basically reading people’s faces. I think it it a very interesting science and I hope I’ll be able to do the same thing later in life.


8382b0dde2bf28d30c7731ea78e03918

Steins;Gate

I gave this anime only 3 stars, because it felt really weird at times and I didn’t really liked the main character Rintarou “Hououin Kyouma, Okarin, Mad Scientist” Okabe. You would guess by the nickname “Mad Scientist” that he’s crazy, which is entirely true. Putting that aside I did like the time-travel plot, the female main characters and of course Rintarou’s  never ending search for a way to save his friend.

Books I’ve read:

As mentioned above I only managed to read one book this month, but also started 2 others: “The Yellow Fairy Book” by Andrew Lang and “I Hate Myselfie” by Shane Dawson.

“Hidden Fires” by Sandra Brown
Published (under Laura Jordan): 1982  by Richard Gallen Books
Published (under Sandra Brown): 1997 by Warner Books
296/356 pages

Goodreads description:

As the twentieth century turned, Texas flamed with railroads, ranchers — and a daring new love!
When innocent, raven-haired Lauren Holbrook left her home for a promising life in Texas, she found heartbreak, not happiness, forced into a loveless marriage of convenience to playboy-rancher, Jared Lockett.

Now a victim of Jared’s scheming mother, whose hunger for power and wealth defied the boundaries of human greed, Lauren was unjustly accused of betrayal…threatened by an ambitious investor’s savage lust…and rejected in love by her rebellious husband.

But nevertheless Lauren’s love for Jared grew. She bravely challenged the hate that surrounded Jared’s heart, and offered instead a rapturous passion — a shimmering new dream they could share — if only they could conquer the treachery that ruled their lives.

There is a lot I can say about this book, but I’ll try to keep it short. The main topics of the book are rape and the role of women in the society, but arranged marriage, prejudices and hate turned into love also play an important part. I was surprised by the book and although it took me long to read it I love it from the beginning to the end . It is a beautiful story, like none I’ve read before and it shocked me at times. I don’t really want to spoil it to much, as I want others to read it as well, so I’m only giving some quotes and nothing more.

Once again, she relived the moment when his hand had pressed against her breast. She felt his breath on her face, and tried to imagine how his lips would feel against hers. A long, shuddering sigh escaped her and she moaned into her pillow. She wanted to know what it was like.
And she knew that finding out would bring her perilously close to the brink of hell… or heaven.

Well, I don’t give a damm, he swore. But he did. That was what rankled. He did care, and it ate at his gut every time he saw that Vandiver bastard go anywhere near her.

Lauren was never sure when the thought took form and solidified in her mind, but all of the sudden it was there. I’m in love with Jared Lockett. I love Jared.

Books I purchased:

IMG_1153

As you can see this month I’ve been very productive👍. I’ll go from left to right.
1. William Shakespeare – “Romeo and Juliet” (I had to buy this book for my English class.)
2. Shoko Tendo – “Yakuza Moon” ( I got this book for free from my school’s library)
3. Stephen McCauley – “The Object Of My Affection”
4. L. Frank Baum – “Oz, the Complete Collection, Volume 5” ( This one I mentioned previously that was sent to me, although I didn’t order it)
5. D.H. Lawrence – “Selected Tales”
6. John Grisham – “The Associate”
7. Sue Townsend – “True Confessions of Adrian Albert Mole”
8. Iris Murdoch – “The Black Prince”

The books 3 and 5-8 I got from a local public bookcase (A public bookcase is a cabinet which may be freely and anonymously used for the exchange and storage of books without the formalities associated with libraries. – Wikipedia)

The series in the middle I’ve previously talked about and this month I finally managed to complete it. I already had the first, second and forth books.

  1. Nick Hornby – “A Long Way Down”
  2. Nicholas Sparks, Micah Sparks – “Three Weeks With My Brother”
  3. Mhairi McFarlane – “You Had Me At Hello”
  4. Jojo Moyes – “Me Before You”
  5. Ruta Sepetys – “Between Shades Of Grey”
  6. Nicholas Sparks – “The Guardian”
  7. Nicholas Sparks – “The Rescue”
  8. Nicholas Sparks – “A Walk To Remember”

-Demi

“Message In a Bottle” by Nicholas Sparks

I am a huge fan on Nicholas Sparks’ books(this is my 10th book) and to this day he never disappointed me. It is hard to say which book is the best, because they all are great in their own way. I enjoyed “Message in a Bottle” because of the love story, which is by far very heart-breaking but also magnificent.


Message in a BottleMy rating: 5/5
Published: 1999 by Warner Books
342 pages

What would be the chance of finding a message in bottle and then its writer? Not that high. The love story itself is wonderful, one that you can only dream of happening to you, well… except for the end (I don’t want to give away any spoilers). As you find out in the blurb, Garrett has lost his wife, wrote a letter to her, threw the letter in the ocean, Theresa found it, found Garrett afterwards and they fell in love. You will find that Garrett could not give away his love for Catherine (so easily), which I loved so much about him, because I saw this as great character feature. It would not have been a great novel, if Garrett would have just let go of his past when he fell in love with Theresa. Oh, Garrett… how can I even start with you?
description
©Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
There are no words to fully describe how wonderful he is. A gentleman, loves with all his heart and a great cook 😉 What I didn’t like about the book, which happens in most of Nicholas Sparks’ books is the truth that Theresa hides from Garrett about how she really found Garrett. On the bright side I also found Theresa’s way of living and thinking fascinating, because I could easily find myself in her words.
The only mistake I have done was to watch the movie before reading the book :/ Although it was 3-4 years ago, I still remember how the story went. Even in that situation the book took me by surprise at times, because it is quite different from the movie. All in all I really enjoyed the book and definitely recommend it as it is worth reading.

Owned(Romanian)
For my Reading Challenge: A book set in a different country

“John Winchester’s Journal” by Alex Irvine

John Winchester's Journal (Supernatural)My rating: 3/5
Published: 2009 by It Books
218 pages

To be truly honest the book gave me a mixture of displeasure and enjoyment. Do not get me wrong, I truly liked the book, unfortunately I read it from two points of view, one of a Supernatural fan and one of a bookworm. As a fan of the series I definitely recommend all other fans to read it, because it gives you an insight on Sam and Dean’s childhood and basically how they became the hunters that they are today. You also get to know John a little better, although he never goes in depth about anything personal. The best thing would definitely be the accumulated knowledge on the occult and supernatural creatures. But, there is also a downside. I know it is supposed to be a journal, so John had a reason for every research he wrote down, but sometimes it was hard for me to see that reason. In addition to that, there were also some researches you could not possibly understand, unless you speak Latin. My “favourite” journal entry: from 1987(pages 36-41) the whole Rituale Romanum, which had no translation. Also the Enoch/Viking runes had no translation. I am very meticulous when it comes to details and that is what I missed sometimes. The next big thing I did not like reading about was John Winchester’s character, which up to this day I had not paid much attention to. I never realised how selfish and blindly driven by revenge he was. He kept reminding “us” that he became a hunter to revenge his wife, many would say it is a act of love. I disagree. My personal opinion is that, if he had truly loved his wife, he would not have ruined his sons’ future and probably should have given up after 5 or 10 years, since he could not have brought Mary back to life anyway. At some point he should have realised he is not driven by love any more but by revenge. I also disliked John’s choice of dates for his entries, Sam and Dean’s birthdays, his wedding anniversary and Mary’s death, which I found annoying at times, inasmuch as I wished that he wrote more about different things. To summarize it all I did actually like the book with all its flaws. I believe it is a book every Supernatural fan should read, but not so much others, as it would be harder to understand.

Owned(English)

For my Reading Challenge: A book set somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit (USA)

“Pushing The Limits” by Katie McGarry

My rating: 5/5
Published: 2012 by Harlequin Teen
392 pages

I am really excited about writing this review since it is my first one. I got this book as a present from my best friend on my birthday in October (2015) and I have been putting it off ever since because of the tremendous school work I had, but I finally managed to get on with it last week (04.03.16) and I just couldn’t stop reading it. If anyone is wondering if this book is worth reading, the answer is “definitely YES”. I will not go in depth with the story itself, for that you will have to read the book ;), but I will share my experience reading the novel. The first thing that came to my mind after finishing the book is how vividly the story was presented. It was unlike any other romantic novel I have read so far, and I have read all of Nicholas Sparks’ books, and although I perceived them as extremely realistic, “Pushing the Limits” achieved another level of reality for me. I have experienced depression and bullying at a younger age and I think that created a connection between the protagonists, Echo and Noah, and me which made me empathise with how it feels to experience what they experienced. After all that is the main purpose of a story, to transpose you in another world and give you the chance to live more than just one life. That was exactly how this book felt to me. Nevertheless, being a hopeless romantic, the relationship between Noah and Echo was the cheery on top. It was simply that kind of love that everyone wishes to experience, and it was beautiful.

The worst type of crying wasn’t the kind everyone could see—the wailing on street corners, the tearing at clothes. No, the worst kind happened when your soul wept and no matter what you did, there was no way to comfort it. A section withered and became a scar on the part of your soul that survived. For people like me and Echo, our souls contained more scar tissue than life.

and this is just an example of how much I liked Katie McGarry’s writing style, which is incredible and made me consider reading more from her.

To put it in a nutshell, the book was amazing (5 stars) and it is without doubt worth reading.

Owned(Romanian)

For my Reading Challenge: A book set in high school