Tag Archives: JK Rowling

Top Ten Books of the Decade

In just a few days, not only will there be a new year, but a whole new decade! It still feels like yesterday I was questioning my life choices as an english major and if I was genuinely happy in that degree program where I was actually reading a lot less than I thought I would be. So here is a top ten list of books I enjoyed published between 2010 and 2019! I am applying a rule where I can’t repeat books from a franchise (as in I can only pick one book from the Star Wars Franchise). There is no particular order for this list, I am just picking ten books I enjoyed from the last decade.

  • Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan- I admit I was aware of this book for a few years before the release of the film, but for whatever reason didn’t read it until after I saw the film. I think the books are hilarious and the description of the food was so wonderful that it made me want to go bankrupt flying to Singapore just for the sake of eating.
  • The Lunar Chronicles by Merissa Meyer- As a young adult in the first half of the 2010s most of my reading was associated with sagas (we can blame Harry Potter and Twilight); it got to the point that when the Hunger Games was being adapted for films I just got tired of reading books with a mandatory sequel. Then came The Lunar Chronicles, I loved Cinder and was shocked at how fast I read through the first three books on my ereader. It’s also the series that jump started this little blog where I review books and movies!
  • Will Grayson Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan- I gotta say that after I read The Fault in Our Stars I was interested in what else was written by John Green, and saw that I was very disappointed with what he had previously written. A friend suggested I read Will Grayson Will Grayson with him saying “oh you’ll see why you will like it.” and I was shocked to discover that it is an lgbt story that didn’t focus on the “coming out” plot that I loath so much. It was a story about relationships and how love is more complicated than just being attracted to someone and goes beyond the romantic love people insist on so heavily in life.
  • The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (and NOT JK Rowling)- I actually didn’t read this book until a few months ago despite owning the book since 2013 since like many after it was revealed JK Rowling had written a book under our noses I rushed over to Target and purchased a copy. In an effort to get back into reading again and fight the mental effect of grief I read the book, and liked it alot! Enough to read The Silkworm and currently read Career of Evil.
  • All the Wrong Questions by Daniel Handler- I loved reading A Series of Unfortunate Events as a teenager; the books were dark and comedic and just fit in so perfectly with my worldview. Reading the prequel series was mostly nostalgic for me and something I enjoyed heavily.
  • The Reason by Lacey Sturm- What a friend of mine thought was a ‘christian self help book’ when I was reading it turned out to be a book I liked (no it’s not a self help book. I don’t like self help books.) It was interesting to know what kind of life the former singer of Flyleaf lived and what led her to this point in life.
  • Glory O’Brian’s History of the Future by A.S. King- I have complaints about YA books at times; why must there be a love triangle, why must the protagonist need to find someone to love? Why is everything solved by money? Well this book addresses all of those complaints. It’s a story about friendship and fear of what the future has (it’s what was a ridiculous sounding future in 2014, until now where all kinds of crazy political things are happening in the U.S.)
  • Falling Towers by Jewell Parker Rhodes- I can’t exactly pinpoint exactly what I like about this book specifically; but I like that the protagonists place effort to get along with others despite different backgrounds in terms of culture, economic, and racial background.
  • Touched by an Angel by Jonathan Morris- I got into Doctor Who early 2012 and have been in love with the series ever since. I normally avoid expanded universe books for franchises because they are a hit or miss so I was delighted to see that this book wasn’t horribly bad (don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of crappy Doctor Who books out there and that’s an essay I’m saving for when I decide to end this blog.)
  • Whatever Mindy Kaling wrote- prior to a few years ago I avoided Autobiographical books because I don’t like knowing about traumatic events that happen to people, then I discovered there was more to these autobiographies written by female actresses and comedians beyond “woo feminism!” (Nothing against feminism, feminism is awesome.) Reading this book was hilarious and caused me to read similar books by Amy Pohler and Tina Fey.

And that’s it! A list of books I liked written in the past decade! No that doesn’t mean these are the end all be all best of the best from the 2010s, but they are the books that I did enjoy. What books did you like published the last ten years? Is there one you think I should have read? Do you disagree with anything I have on this list? Do you want to throw a chair at me? Comment below if you do.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Review

So many things happening in 2016 you wouldn’t expect; republicans gaining control of the White House, a new Harry Potter book, and hey a new Harry Potter movie! While not exactly a Harry Potter movie, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is JK Rowling’s first ever time writing a screenplay.

I’ll be honest when this movie was announced many things scared me; would it be crappy, how involved would JK Rowling be in this project, is Warner Brothers just doing this for the sake of continuing the Harry Potter franchise? This continued on when a friend of mine pointed out our new protagonist Newt Scamander is very similar to the Eleventh Doctor.

But all my fears were put to rest with great enjoyment of this movie.

Possibility of spoilers, I’m working on doing these without so many spoilers, I am a muggle, sorry I can’t do memory charms.

As stated above when a friend of mine pointed out Newt Scamander looked alot like the Eleventh Doctor I was a little scared that the character was just “the wizard version of Eleventh Doctor” and I was wrong and I’m very happy that I was wrong. While Newt has his moments of being off, he is a mostly quiet and shy character who has a deep love and understanding for magical creatures. I’m guessing that in terms of attire someone at Warner Bros. saw the Eleventh Doctor and just liked the look and JK Rowling was smart enough to avoid cloning the Time Lord.

While I did enjoy the movie I couldn’t help but feel annoyed that the conflict kept jumping around between Macusa trying to keep the wizarding world completely separated from the NoMaj world, to Newt trying to reclaim his escaped beasts, to The New Salem Philanthropic group wanting to expose and hunt down wizards and witches (for background information concerning Macusa, TNSP and more please visit pottermore.com) , once Newt reclaims his friends the films focuses and the Macusa/TNSP conflict.

I really liked the characters featured in the film and loved the romance between Jacob Kowalski and Queenie Goldstein and I truly hope both characters do get married. And yes, of course the Beasts were amazing and beautiful to look at and it was so much fun pointing things out with a friend of mine who had read the original Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them textbook.

I really loved Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them and look forward to reading the screenplay and cosplaying as Newt Scamander. I give Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them, four out of five Niffler’s.

P.S.-I knew Johnny Depp was too talented to be a muggle.

Thoughts on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Nine years after Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows JK Rowling (and two other muggles) bring us one new and last story for Harry and his family in the form of theatrical play…but not everyone has the money to go to England to see a play. So for the rest of the fans we have the script of the play to enjoy.

Spoilers from this point on, if you or someone you know can perform a memory charm you’re welcomed to read them.

We have the adventures of Albus Potter after nine years of open ended thinking our canon is changed. I never gave it any thought what did happen outside of “Albus is probably in Slytherin and will be the new Molfoy’s BFF” and that’s what happened.

We see something not everyone probably thought of, the struggle of this friendship and how the actions of their fathers affected their current life. In Albus’ case, being sorted into Slytherin has made Albus the blacksheep of the family. Meanwhile Scorpius is hated by his peers because of how much of a jerk his father was to everyone growing up.

While reading the book I was led to believe that Scorpius is gay and in love with Albus. No it’s not me caving into the Harry/Draco ship, but there are passages that to me showed Scorpius cared more for Albus beyond friendship. Yes Scorpius asks Rose out near the end of the book, but she’s probably just a beard. I don’t think Albus is gay, but there is one passae showing Albus longing for Scorpius.

That’s enough about relationships though, I need to talk about the actual story itself. I felt like I was reading a Doctor Who story with all the time traveling and future changing present. To the point where the suggestion that bringing Cedric Diggory back to life resulted in me yelling “it’s a fixed point in time!”

It was interesting to see what affects a time turner could have on the future when used for the wrong reason. We also see something no one expected; the child of Voldemort and Bellatrix Lesrange. She’s just as nutty as you would expect.

Harry Potter and the cursed was a nice return to the world of Harry Potter, however some fans will be disjointed at the lack of magic, younger fans may be turned off with themes of depression being present in the book . The book being in the format of a play may be a turn off to some fans.

I give Harry Potter and the Cursed Child four exploding pumpkin pastries out of five.