Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by JK Rowling/ Jack Thorne /John Tiffany

I’d been so very torn about reading Cursed Child. When I heard that it came out, it was on my To-Buy list immediately, but then I started to hesitate when I saw the reviews. I didn’t want to spoil the magical world that I grew up with, so I put it off. Mentioning this to a friend (shout out to Amber!), she said she had a copy that I could borrow if I decided I wanted to give it a chance.

I’ll say within the first 30 pages, I knew I didn’t like it. Part of the reason was because I don’t prefer to read scripts- I don’t think I have a strong enough imagination to fully create the scenes described with only dialogue provided- so I struggled in that aspect. The other part was the way the plot was pushed along. It felt very fast (almost too fast) and emotionally charged, to where I felt as a reader that I wasn’t getting depth in the characters. JK Rowling put so much complexity into her characters and her writing, but we’re following the children of these characters she created, and we get very little depth on their character development. I could only superficially understand the “cursed child” syndrome, and in script form, Albus comes off full of angst and dramatics- circa Harry fifth year- so it made me dislike him almost immediately, whereas I’d rather like the main character.

Despite all that I will say overall, the script got more exciting the further I read on and the story overall is an interesting concept. A brief summary for those who haven’t read: Harry’s middle-child son, Albus Severus, dislikes being the famous Harry Potter’s Syltherin son. Albus overhears Cedric Diggory’s father asking Harry to use a time turner to go back to the Triwizard Tournament and prevent Cedric from dying at Voldemort’s hands- a request Harry denies. Albus decided to fulfill the request instead, and with his best friend Scorpius Malfoy¬† and Amos Diggory’s niece Delphini, they set out to change the course of history, each for their own personal gain.

To me, it felt like I was reading published fan fiction. It was entertaining, but I can’t quite accept it as canon (and as I’ve seen in other reviews, I’m not alone on this), and I really dislike that it’s considered the eight book in the Harry Potter series. It’s not a book, it’s a playscript, and there are so many little bits of information that do not correlate with the structures set by the preceding books.

So, answer the big question: to read or not to read? I say read, and take in the story with a grain of salt, as if you were reading any other fan fiction. It’s not going to ruin the world we know and love- it’s just going to give another alternative view.

 

 

 

 

 

Root, Petal, Thorn by Ella Joy Olsen

“I was the model of efficiency…by taking advantage of the greatest invention since bacon…audio-books.”

First off, this quote was my favorite part of the whole book. How spot on is that statement?!

Anyways, lets jump right in.

Ivy Baygreen is a recently widowed woman with two teens and a century old house. Prior to his sudden death, her late husband Adam had made plans to renovate and refurbish the old home to bring back it’s old charm and character. Now surrounded by the half-finished projects and memories of Adam, Ivy knows she needs something to pull her out of her grief. Her brother, Stephen, suggests making a list and sticking to it, so Ivy creates six steps, including finishing the house projects Adam started. As Ivy starts tackling these projects, she ends up finding “easter eggs” from the house’s past owners. Curious to learn about her beloved home’s past, Ivy finds that her heart wasn’t the first broken in the home.

Going back through the years, the reader is introduced to the home’s first owners, the Lansings. Sisters Emmeline and Cora are new to the Sugar House, UT area. Bringing along few posessions, including a rose bush, the sisters learn to love their new home and a few local young men. From there, we meet Bitsy, Cora’s daughter, who watches her father stuggle to keep the house as the Great Depression hits. After some time, Eris Gianopolous and her Greek family come to owning the home. We watch Eris and her husband update the home as well, Eris’s own form of therapy while she awaits her son’s return from Japan during World War II. Then during the 1960’s, we meet Lainey Harper, the most recent occupant of the Downington Avenue home. Struggling manic-depressive disorder, Lainey is desperate to be a good mother to her daughter Sylvie.

As all the ghost’s of the house come to surface, Ivy learns that “there is a little sad in every story”.

Personally, I liked the idea of this book more that the book itself. I liked the concept of the common plot line where the main character discovers something historical in the attic and connects it with the present, so the reader gets a historical flashback. However, while reading, the entries from the past are rather scattered, in my opinion. I think that would’ve made the climaxes to each storyline have a stronger impact if they had been in a more consistent order. Also, the same goes for the “chapters” being separated by character- I like that style, but there wasn’t a real order to the characters as their stories intertwined. Overall though, once you have all the storylines figured out at the end of the book, the parallels of love and strife come together nicely between all the characters.

All in all, it’s not a ‘keeper’ for the bookshelves, but it wasn’t a bad read. As someone who has recently bought a house, I can definitely relate to the ‘home renovation as therapy’ theme.

 

ATTENTION BOOK REVIEW BLOGGERS!

Hi Everyone!

So I’m relatively new to the blogging game, and this is my first blog that I’ve been disciplined enough to maintain. I’m really enjoying it, and it’s really heightened my reading experience now that I’m looking for good things to note in the next blog post. But as far as gaining an audience, I’m feeling pretty stuck.

I need some help. I’ve been sharing my blog on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, but I’m not getting many followers that way. And I’m not being follower-hungry, but I would like more interaction with my posts- you know, recommendations, discussions, that kind of thing. I have a few ideas about what I could try, but I was wondering what you all suggest?

Here are some of the things I’ve thought of trying:

  • Instagram- new account specifically for book covers with link to blog
  • Twitter- (I don’t do Twitter very well but) new account, tweet when new blog post available
  • Upgrading WordPress to a Personal or Premium plan

What do you think?