ARCs and More Harry Potter

tmtTell Me Tuesday is a weekly blog feature put on by La La in the Library where we discuss all the great things we have been reading.  What have YOU been reading?  Tell Me!!!

 

arcI am participating in Read Sleep Repeat’s August ARC Challenge.  I was able to read 3 ARCs this week.

Thieving Weasels by Billy Taylor 4 stars out of 5

weaselsIf you are a fan of heists and cons like in the Ocean Eleven movies then you will really like this book.  I was a bit dubious of the book due to the cover but you know the saying right? “Don’t judge a book…” The main character, Skip, grew up in a family of thieves and con jobs.  He was taught from a young age to steal and lie but decided that it was not how he wanted to live the rest of his life.  Skip moved away, changed his name to Cam, studied hard, and got accepted to Princeton.  Things were going great until his Uncle finds him and blackmails him.  Skip/Cam doesn’t want Princeton or his girlfriend Claire to find out about his family so he decides to go through with his Uncle and his mom’s plans.  There are a lot of twists and turns in this book and it definitely kept me guessing at who was conning whom. This was a fun book!

Spontaneous by Aaron Starmer 4 stars out of 5

spontaneousI had received a sneak peak of this book and loved the first few chapters. Thankfully, I was approved to read the rest of the book a few days later. I had to know how it ended. This is one of the stranger books I have read. The main character, Mara, is a senior in high school so it is supposed to be the best years of her life. Unfortunately, students in the senior class are spontaneously combusting. (yep you read that right) There are many theories among the community of why this bizarre phenomenon is happening. Some think it is due to drugs. Some think it is a government conspiracy. Like I said, this book was strange and not necessarily my cup of tea but it was really well written and humorous. Also, I liked the message that life is short so tell those you love how you feel and go out and take chances in life.

Substitute: Going to School With a Thousand Kids by Nicholson Baker 3 stars out of 5

substituteI had high hopes for this book since I too am a substitute teacher.  It started out great.  The author talked about the process to become a substitute and how important it really is.  Then Baker talked about his first few sub assignments.  They were informative, interesting, and sometimes funny.  However, after about 100 pages of this it got a bit tiresome.  I thought according to the book description there would be more insight on the education system in the US.  I was also hoping for some really funny moments because as a sub, I know things can go wrong a lot! I will never forget the time a student asked me what voyeuristic meant.  I was horrified.  The author does express his feelings of frustration that he feels not much was accomplished that day and it was a waste.  It is an informative read but a bit dull.

cursedchild

Last week I posted my review of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.  I had buddy read it with my blogger buddy La La in the Library. After finishing the book, we asked each other 10 questions.  WARNING! SPOILERS BELOW!!!!

Here are the questions La La asked me and my answers.

  1. What did you think about Albus’s and Scorpius’s friendship? I loved it and I loved how Albus wanted to still be Scorpius’ friend even after Scorpius told him his last name because Albus knows an infamous last name can be hard to have. I also like how their meeting mirrored Harry and Ron’s meeting on the train.
  2. What did you think was the cheesiest or most cliche event in the play? Anytime they used Polyjuice potion. Too convenient.
  3. What was your favorite scene? I really liked the scene where Harry is telling Ginny how he discovered that after his Aunt Petunia had passed away, the blanket he had been wrapped up in on the Dursley’s doorstep was found and Dudley gave it to Harry because he believed Petunia wanted him to have it. I thought that was pretty amazing considering how Harry had been treated by Petunia.
  4. What did you think about how Ron and Hermione “turned out” as adults in the second reality where Ron married Padma instead of Hermione? I liked that scene because I think it was very plausible.
  5. What was the element you hated the most? I just don’t like the whole Delphi storyline. It will forever change how I read about Bellatrix in the original seven books and that bothers me.
  6. Do you think that the Voldemort’s daughter element would have been more palatable if it was fleshed out in a regular book and not in play form? Yes I do because JKR has such a talent for weaving stories and putting clues into her books. With the play, I think it is just too sudden and abrupt therefore a little less believable.
  7. Did you cry, and if so, at what point(s) in the play? I did tear up a bit when Harry had to hear his parents die and he couldn’t do anything about it. The other part that just gutted me was when Albus was telling his dad, Harry, how much his parents loved him by what he had witnessed earlier in the day in Godric’s Hallow when he was watching them.
  8. Which original character besides Draco and the Golden Trio were you happiest to hear about? I liked knowing the Minerva McGonagall was still alive and kicking! Also, meeting Moaning Myrtle again was fun. I was sad their was no Luna.
  9. Did you think Albus was going to ask the Sorting Hat to put him in Gryffindor? YES because in the original epilogue in Deathly Hallows he was so worried about it and I think Slytherin still has such a bad reputation. But I always guessed he would be put in Slytherin because his initials are ASP. An asp is a snake!

10. Who do you think the cursed child in the title was referring to? I think it could be a number of people. Albus, Scorpius, Delphi because of who their parents are.  It could also be referring to Harry himself because of his unhappy childhood and how it has affected him as a father.  So while I agree it could be any of them, I would like to throw out that it could be Cedric Diggory.  It seemed in every life or reality, he was destined to either be evil or die.

Now here are the questions I asked La La and her answers.

1. If you had a time turner would you use it and if so, what would you like to go back in time to see or change? Before I had my son I would have jumped on the idea of going back and changing something in my past, but now I would not want anything to jeopardize having my son, or the person that he has become. I would go back to see my grandmother again, but only to watch and hear her voice.
2. What is one thing you wish they had included but didn’t? (Yep I stole your unused question ). I would have loved a scene at The Burrow with Harry asking Molly’s advice about how to deal with Albus.
3. What was your favorite scene and why? The final scene with Harry and Albus talking on the hillside. Especially when Albus tells Harry how Lily and James fussed over baby Harry. I think the end of the play deserves the, “And all was well.” ending line more than the epilogue did. Ha ha.
4. What was your least favorite scene and why? The Trolley Lady scene! It read more like a scene from transformers or a comic. Metal spikes for arms? Come on. I hope that mental picture fades from my mind soon because I don’t want to be thinking of that when I reread the books or watch the movies!

5. Was there a character from the original books that wasn’t in the play that you wish had been? Who?  George Weasley.
6. Why do you think Harry could speak Parseltongue and his scar hurt again after 22 years? JKR said this when asked why Harry’s scar hurt in the original books…

“According to J. K. Rowling during a web chat with her, the lightning scar no longer burns or hurts after Voldemort’s defeat. J. K.Rowling stated that the pain from Harry’s scar on his forehead is caused by the piece of Voldemort’s soul trying to leave his body through the wound it entered to rejoin its master’s soul.” –WIKIA

Taking this into consideration, and the fact the scar hurting was linked to the PTSD nightmares he was having because of the discussions at work about Voldemort’s past supporters’ movements and Diggory’s visit, AND the fact that it started hurting before Albus and Scorpius changed the future, I would say it was a PTSD symptom.

The Parseltongue thing is a little trickier. I would have to go back and read those parts again. Maybe he hadn’t forgotten, but only put it out if his head because of the association with Voldemort, and when he needed it in an emergency the wall he had built around it in his mind came down?
7. Are you happy with the 8th story or do you wish you hadn’t read it? I am happy I read it. It isn’t perfect, even as a play, but I think it gave more closure than the Deathly Hallows epilogue offered. I think it also explained more in depth some of the ideas JKR was trying to impart in the series, too.
8. Do you think this book should be considered canon? Yes. JKR didn’t write it, but she consulted on it and if anything wasn’t something she wanted to happen it would have been rewritten; like with the screenplays for the movies. This is one of the reasons why it cannot be considered fanfic like so many people are suggesting, and simply ignored.
9. If the play comes to the US will you go see it? Absolutely! I was elated when I saw it would most likely be on Broadway next season. I live a little over three hours from NYC by bus, so it is no problem for me to get there.
10. Who do you think the cursed child is?I think it was written so each reader could form their own opinion, but I feel it was ultimately conveying that any child who is ignored growing up, or told by others they are something bad, or less than expected, is cursed because it will impact their future in a negative way; and in turn future generations. A lot of characters in the play fit this description.

Have you read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child? I would love to know your thoughts.

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