My Thoughts on Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

 
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I was 3 in 1997 when this was published. I cannot remember who introduced me to Potter, or when this book was bought for me, but I continued to read them and bought every book in the series on the day they were released – without fail. My copy of the Philosopher’s Stone is well read, as in falling to bits, has ketchup on the first couple of pages and reeks of an old book. As you can imagine, when asked what I would grab first in the event of a fire, God forbid, it would be this book. I read so many books as a kid and pinpointing one that set me on the path to be a writer – would be hard. I know I used to rip off Aesop’s Fables and write them in my own notebook, I wouldn’t change a lot of the story. I read a lot of Jacqueline Wilson’s books too and The Babysitter’s Club series of books. Of course, when you are young there are lots of other influences too that shape you as a writer. My uncles, music and cartoons were influences on me too.hp1

 

That said, a magical world of wizards, Whomping Willows (I used to be fascinated by the Willow trees in my school grounds – one that thumped you back, when those trees looked so gentle!?) muggles, dragons, and dark arts must have blown my mind at the time.

 
Having read the book, and watched the film, on many occasions it’s difficult to criticise it.

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The dialogue isn’t great, it gets you where you want to go, and you know how much I love dialogue. There’s a moment in the book, on page 137, that makes me feel I haven’t got my head screwed on right. Harry is playing Quidditch and the POV switches to Ron and Hermione speaking to Hagrid in the stands. It’s only a few lines, but I cannot remember many moments in the series where Harry isn’t involved directly. I know there have been chapters Harry hasn’t been present. I don’t know. Maybe I am completely wrong.

 
As ever, I am surprised at how much is crammed into the story. It seemed I was holding the book open, halfway through, and Harry had only got off the train and was making his way across the water to Hogwarts. The Nicholas Flamel mystery is packed into a few chapters, with the two storylines with the mirror and then Norbert, before Harry, Ron and Hermione are jumping into the unknown. The memories I have of the end of the Philosopher’s Stone are superimposed with the scenes in the film. I didn’t like they cut the potions challenge, although I know they had to :/

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Voldemort on the back of Professor’s Quirrell’s head looked terrible in the film. It makes you wonder; how do you function with Voldemort sticking out of the back of your head? What if he coughs or sneezes, wouldn’t that give him away? It’s like that negative voice in the back of my head, I can’t imagine Voldemort is a particularly pleasant housemate. Also, Dumbledore has a chat with Harry at the end, while he’s in the infirmary, and it is the start of Dumbledore fobbing Harry off, not giving him the facts. I could understand it for the first few years and then what does Dumbledore hope to achieve. Harry was going to start meeting Voldemort on a regular basis.


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Thanks for reading! Here is my review of The Half-Blood Prince

My thoughts on the finding of Martha Lost by Caroline Wallace


This book started well. Love the year it’s in and the setting. It felt like a good beginning to a fantasy novel. It kind of felt like The Borrowers or something. Then it went on and didn’t really go anywhere, it faded and i was disappointed because i really liked the opening chapters and the characters and the vibe i was getting, but it didn’t go anywhere.


Liverpool, 1976: Martha is lost.

She’s been lost since she was a baby, abandoned in a suitcase on the train from Paris. Ever since, she’s waited in lost property for someone to claim her. It’s been sixteen years, but she’s still hopeful.

Meanwhile, there are lost property mysteries to solve: a suitcase that may have belonged to the Beatles, a stuffed monkey that keeps appearing. But there is one mystery Martha has never been able to solve – and now time is running out. If Martha can’t discover who she really is, she will lose everything…

amazon (affiliate link) if you’re interested in checking out this book

My thoughts on The Half-Blood Prince


I realise how old these books are when I smell them, and they have THE OLD BOOK SMELL makes me feel so old (I’m 25 this year. WTF)

The Half-Blood Prince was not one of my favourites in this series on its release in 2005. It has grown on me. It feels like an aside novel, after the huge tome of the previous book and what takes place in the book which follows this one. That said, a lot happens. We visit Fred and George’s joke shop, we have a new teacher in Slughorn, more snogging, quidditch injuries, dodgy potion books and learning to jump into a hoop. Oh and Dumbledore starts telling Harry more information on Voldemort. Hooray. The ending in the cave matches the intensity of the scenes in the graveyard in The Goblet of Fire.


Did you like this review of The Half-Blood Prince? Would you like my thoughts on the other books in the series?

My Thoughts on Poetry, short stories and shapeshifter brothers oh my.

Witty, tender, surprising, these keenly observed tales speak to us all, and capture the moment when we all want to roar.

Roar by Cecilia Ahern

Published by HarperCollins
These stories from Cecelia Ahern are a departure from her novels (which I have a lot of time for) and they are chilling. If you look at the list of the stories, some of the stories are a literal as their titles suggest. The stories underline how women are invisible, whatever age: invisible once elderly, put to one side once married.
My one bugbear would be that the characters were all uniform. There was not a great variety in there.


Peppernell understands that healing is a process, and Pillow Thoughts II eloquently captures the time and experience that one goes through on their journey to peace through restoration. A collection of inspirational and comforting poems for anyone who is mending from a broken heart.

Pillow Thoughts 2 by Courtney Peppernell

Published by Andrews McMeel
I enjoyed the writing in Pillow Thoughts 2.
I liked that I could dip in and out of the book.
I found my problem was with the writing, which was impeccable, and an accurate portrayal of falling, and being in love, was so good I couldn’t connect with it, and almost couldn’t finish Pillow Thoughts.


Wicked Origins is a modern YA Fantasy Retelling of L. Frank Baum’s original Oz tales.

Wicked Origins by Paula Black
A retelling of The Wizard of Oz, Paula Black takes elements of the original story and adds them into her own tale. Black’s Dorothy is a hardened character, a child in care who doesn’t trust easy, and lives with Aunt Em and Uncle Henry, and sister. During a tornado her car is taking and lands in the place called Oz, along with her dog Toto. Instead of the Scarecrow, Tinman, and Lion her companions are three shape shifter brothers. The Ruby slippers that Dorothy puts on her feet to save herself from the Munch’kins are boots. The relationship of the brothers and Dorothy develops into a tight unit. I wasn’t convinced by some of the passages in the story. I liked the characters and the dialogue. I will be adding part two to my TBR.


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Lunchtime Review. ‘Fantastical account of womanhood.’ Glimmerglass Girl by Holly Lyn Walrath. A Finishing Line Press book.

  • Glimmerglass Girl
  • Holly Lyn Walrath
  • Finishing Line Press

Publisher / Amazon / BN / Book Depository / Indiebound

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A fantastical account of womanhood, Glimmerglass Girl contains 24 poems that each have their individual merits. The themes of womanhood emerge in reducing ourselvesshe memorises little spaces she could hide in,’ Performance ‘of his palm like a world / revolving slowly in it / she is held / he watches her turn / music softly tinkling / and her head tilted just so – he can hold her hands up like / ballerinas dance /’ and being alone ‘loneliness can fester, wounded, and eat up your heart, leaving only a dark grotto, etched with predators,’
Poem The Art of Loneliness was by far my favourite. I also liked this line, and the poem it is in towards the end of the book, which took my breath away, ‘if I dream it enough, it frays thin, dies a ghost death easier than his, the boy I played with on a wet fall day.’ Memories, White Matter.
The precision of Walrath’s writing, and its meaning leaves a lingering impression. The illustrations, some superimposed into the background of the poems, gave the book a vintage feel. I left Glimmerglass Girl wanting to read more of Walrath’s writing.


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