Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Let's get some Pot...

...ter love up in here! Harry Potter, that is. Because yesterday the books of my motherfucking DREAMS showed up in the mail and I am so. Here. For it!
 These beauties are the Bloomsbury house editions of Philosopher's Stone and Chamber of Secrets (In Ravenclaw, obvi.) Each book will be released on the 20th anniversary of its publication, so Prisoner of Azkaban will be coming out next July (2019... how the fuck has it already been twenty years?? That cannot be right.) They are available in hardcover (which is what I got) and also a paperback version. So, for you fellow collectors, this is an awesome situation because, yes, you're buying copies of books you already have BUT it's only one book a year (two if you want the hardcover and paperback; eight if you want the hardcover and paperback for all the houses- no judgement here.)

I recently got my husband to watch all of the movies, and now he's starting to read the books. It's been fantastic reliving this through him- remembering how incredible it felt the first time I read each book and saw each movie. How immersed I was in this world that lives parallel to our own. How annoyed I was that I was apparently a muggle.

Let's talk about the Slytherin kids. We know that a lot (most) of the Death Eaters had previously been in Slytherin House, and that a lot of their children were sorted the same way. We also know at the Battle At Hogwarts, Horace Slughorn led a large group of Slytherin kids to fight against Voldemort.

The Gryffindors are known for their bravery, for always fighting the fight, no matter how outnumbered; the Hufflepuffs are known for their loyalty, for standing up for those around them no matter what; Ravenclaws are known for their wisdom, and would always fight for the truth and what they knew to be right; the Slytherins were known for their cunning and cleverness, which is often seen as more of a self preservation trait. Yet those kids fought. And they fought knowing that many of their parents might be on the other side. Still, they followed Slughorn to battle, to stand up for the rights of wizards and muggles everywhere.

To me, they are the unsung heroes of that battle. Sure, it's great to fight because it's right, or because you want to help those you're loyal to. But to decide that what is right is worth more than the personal relationships you've known your whole life; it would have been easy to stay in the dungeons, to hide and wait until it was over and see who was still standing. The road to what was right was not the same as the road that was easy, and still they stood strong.

When my husband was being sorted for Pottermore, he was a Ravenclaw as well. I was initially surprised because I thought he would be Slytherin, he's a very clever and driven person. He was offended at first that I would think that, having not seen the movies or read the books. All he knew was "There's not a single witch or wizard who went bad who wasn't in Slytherin." (*cough cough* Peter Pettigrew *cough cough*) I, however, am fully #TeamSnape, and had to make sure he understood just how brave the Slytherins could really be. (And let's not forget that Narcissa Malfoy lied to The Dark Lord about Harry being dead to spare his life.) 

So now he sees that while Slytherin House does attract those who are prone to turning, it is because ambition can often lead to a lust for power, no matter where that power comes from. Slytherins could be just as driven to do all the good in their power. It is the drive that puts them in Slytherin, not what they are driven for

So that's my soapbox rant about why Slytherin should get more love than it does, or at least get less hate. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

The Other Woman (Sandie Jones)

The Other Woman by Sandie Jones
People always joke that in-laws are the worst, like how could you POSSIBLY like spending time with your in-laws? (I personally don't mind my in-laws any more than I mind other human interaction.)
So, going into The Other Woman by Sandie Jones, I was sort of feeling meh about the whole "oh no, she loves him but his mother is crazy!" vibe.

But this was still a fun read! 
I received an ARC for this one thanks to Minotaur Books in exchange for honest reviews. There were also two emails, one from Pammie telling me that the book is from Emily's point of view and not to believe it. Then a couple of days later I got one from Emily warning me not to trust Pammie about anything.


Emily falls in love with Adam, who seems like a perfect guy. He's sweet, he's doting, and he swears she'll adore his family, whom he's very close with. When she finally meets them, his brother seems nice, but his mother Pammie seems a tad... demanding. A misunderstanding leads to an uncomfortable holiday, and Emily hopes that this is just a one-off, that she and Pammie can get past this rocky start for the sake of the relationship with Adam.
Unfortunately for Emily, this was not a one-off. Misunderstanding after misunderstanding leave her looking rude and ungrateful in Adam's eyes when it comes to his mother. And as time goes by, the misunderstandings become more serious and more difficult to recover from.

As a debut novel, the writing was fantastic. The character development was rich, which surprised me since it was such a tropish premise, I was worried I would find everyone to be too one-dimensional. Yet I found myself wanting to know more and more about what had led everyone into this bizarre world Pammie seemed to be running court over.

If you're looking for a quick read that will entertain you, with some sort of predictable twists, this one is definitely worth picking up. It isn't going to blow your mind or anything, but it'll pass a weekend at the beach quite well.

The final breakdown:

The Book
Like I said, it isn't original or ground breaking, but it's fun.

The Writing
Character development is important to me, and the intermingling of the past and present made it that much more gripping.

The story goes quickly and keeps you engaged.