Thursday, December 31, 2015

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

Elizabeth from Book YAbber and I are celebrating Pottermas 2015 with one more post for the month! Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is an epic fast-paced, high energy book with lots twists and turns. Although the book is the end of the series, Harry Potter still lives on forever. It is not the end.

For those who haven't read the Harry Potter series, all book discussions WILL HAVE spoilers. If you do not want to read spoilers, please do not read ahead.

There are two themes in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The Trio continues Dumbledore's quest to hunt for Horcruxes. Later, the Trio also look for the Hallows. However, Harry can't master death and defeat Voldemort with the Hallows until all the Horcruxes are destroyed. I find it interesting how each Horcrux is destroyed by a different person. The locating of the Horcruxes and the Hallows are crucial to defeating Voldemort.

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Horcruxes destroyed by a different person

1. Tom Riddle's diary destroyed by Harry
2. Marvolo Gaunt's ring destroyed by Dumbledore
3. Slytherin's locket destroyed by Ron
4. Hufflepuff's cup destroyed by Hermione
5. Ravenclaw's diadem destroyed by Crabbe's fiendfyre
6. Harry Potter "destroyed" by Voldemort
7. Nagini destroyed by Neville

It is interesting how Dumbledore leaves a few items in his will to the Trio. He predicts that Ron will need some guidance hence the deluminator. Hermione loves to read and The Tales of Beedle and the Bard is the key to figuring out how to master death, why Voldemort is trying to hunt down wand makers and it also helps the Trio defeat Voldemort forever. Harry, on the other hand, is given the first snitch he caught as a Quidditch match. Because of flesh memories, when Harry puts his lips on the snitch, it reveals the message, "I open at the close." Just like Ignotus Peverell, who possessed the Cloak of Invisibility, Harry greets Death like old friends when he is at the brink of death. The sword of Gryffindor is impregnated with the basilisk venom and Dumbledore knows that the sword will help the Trio destroy the Horcruxes.

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It is curious that Harry owns one of the Hallows since the first book. The Cloak of Invisibility is not an ordinary invisibility cloak. It's the cloak Death gave Ignotus. It was Ignotus that greeted Death like an old friend. His brother Antioch died when someone killed him for the Elder Wand and Cadmus died after committing suicide to be with his loved one.

Speaking of the Peverell family, it is interesting how Voldemort is a descendant of Cadamus and Harry Potter is a descendant of Ignotus. The resurrection stone ring has been passed down through the line of Gaunts and the invisibility cloak has been passed down through the line of Potters. That means Voldemort and Harry are distantly related. Mind-blowing, isn't it?

Harry uses all three Hallows in order to master death and to ultimately defeat Voldemort. Harry obtains the resurrection stone when he puts the snitch in his mouth which opened at the close. He obtains the Elder Wand from Draco after he disarms Draco. At that time Draco obtains the Elder Wand when disarming Dumbledore. And, as said before, Harry inherits the invisibility cloak through his father's side with the help of Dumbledore.

Ollivander talks about how the wand chooses the wizard ever since Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and still mentions it in in DH. Has J.K. Rowling been hinting about the Elder Wand since the beginning? I love how everything comes full circle! Rowling is a simply brilliant!

Of course when Hermione and Ron have good advice, Harry doesn't listen. When Hermione mentions that Harry shouldn't go to Godric's Hollow because that's a place where Voldemort and the Death Eaters are expecting him to go. Hermione is right since there's a trap set for Harry. Also, Ron mentions to Hermione and Harry not to mention the name Voldemort because he feels like the name is a jinx which he is correct. Right when Harry says Voldemort, the Snatchers find the Trio in the Forest of Dean.

It took Hermione and Ron seven years to actually admit to each other that they fancy each other. Hermione is so upset that Ron leaves her and Harry to find the Horcruxes. She pretty much bawled her eyes out for a week after Ron left and then attacked Ron when he comes back to camp. And they finally share their first kiss when Ron mentions something about saving house elves. About time! I have been waiting for this to happen ages ago.

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When Voldemort asks Narcissa Malfoy to check on Harry Potter and to see if he is dead. Narcissa doesn't care what happens with Voldemort as long as Draco is okay. This love for her child becomes very important in DH since she saves Harry. I am pretty sure Harry did not bank on someone making sure he is dead for sure. Narcissa plays an important role in defeating Voldemort by announcing Harry Potter is dead. If Narcissa mentioned Harry is alive, how would the Elder Wand react? Yes, Harry is the Master of Death but this is before Nagini is killed and one cannot truly defeat Voldemort until all the Horcruxes are destroyed. It is very fortunate Narcissa tells Voldemort and the Death Eaters that Harry Potter is dead. Narcissa's love for Draco is very similar to Lily's love for Harry. A mother's love is the ultimate protection.

The epilogue is a little off putting for me. I felt like it was a bit rushed and the names could have been better. Maybe this whole entire time, J.K. Rowling was setting up the series not to officially end. Maybe she was opening doors to a sequel. Of course now everyone knows about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child but I find it interesting that J.K. Rowling never said anything about the end to Harry Potter. Look at how the fandom has grown. There are films, prequel spin-off films, a sequel play, multiple Wizarding Worlds of Harry Potter, Pottermore and etc. The Harry Potter fandom will never die! It will live on forever!

What is your favorite part of DH? Do you think DH is a good conclusion to the Harry Potter series? What do you think about the epilogue?

Some of my favorite quotes

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Pottermas 2015 is officially done for the year but definitely check out Pottermas 2016 next year.  If you are new to Pottermas 2015, make sure to check out this post. Also, you can follow Pottermas 2015 on social media with the hashtag #Pottermas15.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

What Should You Read After Finishing the Harry Potter Series?

J.K Rowling has written one of the most popular series ever known to man. Not only has all the books been translated into many languages but all the books have been adapted into films. One of the things I love that Rowling includes in her books is the portrayal of strong female characters. What happens when you finish reading the Harry Potter series? Well check out the following books if you enjoy the Harry Potter series. Also, check out Elizabeth from Book YAbber's list as well!

Middle grade series with the adventure and magic!

The Magisterium series by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare
Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan
The Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan
The School for Good and Evil series by Soman Chainani
The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel by Michael Scott
Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer
The Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordan
His Dark Materials trilogy by Phillip Pullman
Redwall series by Brian Jacques

YA series with strong, kick-ass females:

The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins
The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare
The Infernal Devices trilogy by Cassandra Clare

Whimsical stand alone novels:

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll
Stardust by Neil Gaiman
Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

What are some of your favorite books that are similar to Harry Potter? What features of the Harry Potter series you would like to see in other books?

Check the blog back on Thursday, December 31st for a discussion about Harry Potter and the Deathly HallowsIf you are new to Pottermas 2015, make sure to check out this post. Also, you can follow Pottermas 2015 on social media with the hashtag #Pottermas15.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling

Elizabeth from Book YAbber and I are so close to the end of the Harry Potter re-read for Pottermas! Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is an important book and definitely my favorite book. HBP's information about the Unbreakable Vow and the Horcruxes are so crucial before we read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

For those who haven't read the Harry Potter series, all book discussions WILL HAVE spoilers. If you do not want to read spoilers, please do not read ahead.

Snape is excellent as a double agent (or maybe triple or quadruple agent) and only very few know where his loyalties lie. The scene with the Unbreakable Vow is one of my favorites and is super important.

Unbreakable Vow
1. Snape will watch over Draco while Draco attempts to carry out his mission as a Death Eater.
2. Snape will protect Draco and make sure he comes to no harm.
3. Snape will do the job for Draco if it seems he will fail.

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Snape's promise to Dumbledore is important as well. No one understood what Dumbledore meant when he said, "Severus... Please..." Dumbledore knew he was dying when he put the Resurrection Stone casted in Marvolo Gaunt's ring on his finger. Because it is a Horcrux made by Voldemort, the Horcrux is cursed. The very powerful curse would have killed Dumbledore sooner but the potions master was able to delay the curse for about a year with a special potion. Dumbledore made Snape promise to kill him when need be at the right time.

"Severus... Please..." sounds like Dumbledore is begging for his life which works in Snape's favor since everything thinks he is a Death Eater. However, Dumbledore is implying for Snape to kill him because only the both of them knew that Dumbledore is dying. Dumbledore knew about the unbreakable vow and knew Draco was trying to kill him. This way Snape has Voldemort's trust, Snape fulfills the vow and Draco doesn't have to kill Dumbledore and Snape lives to his promise with Dumbledore.

The Trio follow Draco at Knockturn Alley into Borgin & Burkes. I love how I understand what Draco is trying to get fixed and what Borgin needs to keep safe. Even though Harry is sure that Draco has the Dark Mark on his arm, Hermione and Ron don't believe that Draco is a Death Eater. Harry insists it all makes sense why Draco is a Death Eater; Draco is taking is father's spot in Voldemort's circle. Of course no one believes Harry that Draco is a Death Eater and everyone thinks nothing of Draco's weird behavior during the whole year. I found it odd how Harry, Snape and Dumbledore are the only people who knew Draco was up to something.

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Hermione and Ron bicker throughout the whole book and it takes them forever to admit their feelings for one another. Ron is teased by Ginny about not snogging with a girl. I think because Ron can't admit his feelings to Hermione, he starts dating Lavender. Hermione fancies Ron as well but hasn't verbally expressed it to him. She confunded Cormac so Ron would make the team and lately she has been blushing a lot when Ron says or does certain things. The only person who is noticing this is Harry. And even with Harry noticing, he does not say anything about it to either Hermione or Ron because he fears about what will happen to their friendship as a trio if the two break up. I guess he was thinking about what happened to himself with Cho.

On the other note, Harry is finally seeing Ginny as a girl that he fancies. It took about 6 years for Harry to realize this when Ginny liked him from the start. I believe Harry fancies Ginny now because of the girl Ginny is now. Ginny use to be timid and viewed as just the younger sister of Ron. Now, Ginny is strong and witty. She is quite athletic being on the Quidditch team and she is confident about herself. She doesn't need people to help her out like before. Also, Ginny can produce one mean Bat-Bogey hex. Ginny has blossomed over the years and Harry is quite interested in her but is worried about what Ron thinks since Ron is always hassling Ginny about who she decides to go out with.

Horcruxes are so important in this book and so are Dumbledore's private lessons. It lays the framework for DH. Understanding Voldemort and why and how he does things is the key to defeat him. HBP is important because this is the last time Harry finds out information from Dumbledore about how to defeat Voldemort. Even though Dumbledore carefully plans out how to help Harry in DH, it is crucial Harry had these one-on-one private lessons with Dumbledore. These lessons helped Harry figure out where the other Horcruxes are located and what the remaining Horcruxes are.

Some of my favorite quotes include:

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Check the blog back on Tuesday, December 29th for a list of books to check out after reading Harry Potter. If you are new to Pottermas 2015, make sure to check out this post. Also, you can follow Pottermas 2015 on social media with the hashtag #Pottermas15.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Harry Potter Appreciation Letter and Digital Holiday Card

I can't believe Christmas is around the corner. Elizabeth from Book YAbber and I decided to send digital holiday card to everyone. Not only did we decide to include this festive card but we wanted to write our own Harry Potter appreciation letter to J.K. Rowling for the holidays.

Dear J.K. Rowling,

Where do I begin? My life would not be the same without you writing the Harry Potter series. I am fortunate to have grown with Harry. Anticipating the next book or film is something I treasured and looked forward to. I have met so many people through Harry Potter and I have created countless of friendships. And of course Harry Potter doesn't just stop with the books. Harry Potter lives on in other forms! You have helped me many times when I was a teenage. You have guided me to adulthood and more. You have helped me find where I belong and who I am.

What I love about the fandom is the people who make up the fandom. These die hard Potterheads will create wizard rock, write Harry Potter fan fiction, organize Harry Potter conventions, produce Harry Potter fan made films and will create their own Harry Potter crafts. The series has captured many hearts of readers of all ages which is impeccable. The fact that Wizarding Worlds of Harry Potter are opening worldwide is an amazing feat! Even though I never received my letter from Hogwarts, I know I can count being able to be transported into the magical world of Harry Potter because Harry Potter will always live on forever. We will always be coming home! Once again, thank you for writing this amazing series. Harry Potter is my life and without it, I don't know who I would be today.

Best wishes,

Do you have an appreciation letter for J.K. Rowling? What would you say to her? How has Harry Potter changed your life?

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Check the blog back on Thursday, December 24th for a discussion about Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. If you are new to Pottermas 2015, make sure to check out this post. Also, you can follow Pottermas 2015 on social media with the hashtag #Pottermas15.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Harry Potter Gifts I Wouldn't Mind Santa Leaving Under My Tree This Year

So Christmas is around the corner and of course I have a few Harry Potter related items that I wouldn't mind leaving under the tree. What Potterhead wouldn't want HP items for the holidays? Elizabeth from Book YAbber and I decided to do a Harry Potter twist for this week's Top Ten Tuesday! Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's Top Ten Tuesday asks bloggers to choose ten books they wouldn't mind santa leaving under their tree this year. So instead of books, Elizabeth and I decided to choose Harry Potter items for the list. The following items are in no particular order.

Frostbeard | Christmas in the Great Hall Soy Candle - $18.00
I would love to experience Christmas at Hogwarts but since I can't, this is the next best thing. The aromas of mistletoe, gingerbread, cinnamon and peppermint makes this 8 oz. candle magical!
From The Page | Christmas at Hogwarts Soy Candle - $11.00
So you can say that I am excited about all of these Christmas holiday scented candles. All I want for Christmas is Christmas at Hogwarts! From The Page has an assortment of literary candles for sale. This 8 oz. candle has a throw of Christmas Hearth, which is pine, fir and hints of orange.

Fortune Cookie Soap | Rum Butter Whipped Cream (Body Butter) - $10.99 to $16.49
Butterbeer scented body butter? Yes, please! I love Fortune Cookie Soap's whipped creams. The whipped creams moisturize the skin well and are non-greasy. Fortune Cookie Soap also has the Rum Butter scent in other products such as body wash, bath oil, soap and hand sanitizer. Check out the full line here. Also, Fortune Cookie Soap sells a PJP (Polyjuice Potion) scent here.

Think Geek | Harry Potter Quidditch Lounge Pants - $24.99
This cozy pair of lounge pants is perfect for the winter months while showing of the Potterhead pride. I love how it has pockets and a drawstring. This would pair well with my Ravenclaw and Hogwarts lounge pants.

Harry Potter: Magical Places from the Films: Hogwarts, Diagon Alley, and Beyond Book - $26.65
I have three Harry Potter film books so far and I wouldn't mind adding this one and the Harry Potter: The Character Vault to my collection. I love all the magical places in the Harry Potter series and would love to explore them more on my own time. Reading more about Diagon Alley, Hogsmeade and Hogwats will be fascinating.

Nook & Burrow | Always Brooch - $12.00 AUD
Gwen from The Book Lounge listed Nook & Burrow has a place to go for bookish gifts. And boy was she on the money! Nook & Burrow has fantastic gifts from brooches to candles to wooden bookmarks. This particular brooch caught my eye because if you are a Harry Potter fan, Always holds a special spot in your heart.

Also from Nook & Burrorw is this awesome wooden bookmark. I would love to mark my pages with this bookmark! Books are indeed portable magic!

I have been a a supporter of the Harry Potter Alliance for some time now. I donate many of my books to the Accio Books Campaign, participate in the apparating library. Support the Harry Potter Alliance! All proceeds will go to help promote literacy around the world, help promote human rights and more! I choose this wonderful shirt since I am a big supporter of Hermione Granger and Luna Lovegood. Although they both might have different standpoints about certain things, they strive for the making the world a better place.

Novelly Yours | Yule Ball Candle - $11.00
This amazing 8 oz. soy candle is made by Brittany from The Book Addict's Guide. Yule Ball has notes of pine, mint, snow, and butterbeer. Sounds freaking amazing and definitely up my alley in terms of candle scents. It's the perfect Harry Potter holiday candle!

Walnut Grove Board Co. | Harry Potter Engraved Cutting Board - $42.95
I love to bake and cook and how awesome would it be to show off my favorite fandom in the kitchen?

Good Good Pins | Mousely Hallows - $10.00
This pin is a fusion of Mickey Mouse ears and the Deathly Hallows. As a fan of both Disney and Harry Potter, I would love to own this pin some day.

What do you have on your wishlist? Do you have anything in particular you hope will be under your tree? Is it a book or Harry Potter item?

Check the blog back on Wednesday, December 23nd for a Digital Holiday Card and Appreciation Letter. If you are new to Pottermas 2015, make sure to check out this post. Also, you can follow Pottermas 2015 on social media with the hashtag #Pottermas15.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Harry Potter Spells Book Tag

Elizabeth from Book YAbber and I are participating in the Harry Potter Spells Book Tag! What better time than to do a Harry Potter book tag during Pottermas! Emma from Emma's Bookery tagged me to do this magical book tag. Because I cannot choose Harry Potter for ALL of the spells, check out what I chose for the book tag.

An upcoming release you wish you could get your hands on right now

When We Collided by Emery Lord is my most anticipated book in 2016 that I am looking forward to. I fell in love with Lord's The Start of Me and You and cannot wait to devour her next book.

Favorite series starter

The Young Elites by Marie Lu is definitely a kick ass dystopian fantasy. It's a good book to begin the series and the series gets darker with the second book, The Rose Society.

A book that gave you all the warm fuzzies

To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han completes my heart. I totally see a lot of myself in Lara Jean. She loves Harry Potter, loves to craft and loves to bake! Definitely check out the sequel, P.S. I Still Love You.

A book that made you ugly cry

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green had me bawling at the end. I had tears streaming down my face at like 2 o'clock in the morning. It's such a powerful yet sad contemporary that everyone should read. Just make sure to have some tissues near by.

Bookish hero or heroine you want around to protect you in real life

Sydney Sage who is a minor character in the Vampire Academy series but ends up as a major character in spin-off series called the Bloodlines series. Although Sydney is not as physically fit as Rose and is not up to par in terms of combat, she is highly intelligent, is a quick learner and is a fierce and strong woman. Because she hone magic, she can be deadly with her wit and vast knowledge about Alchemists' secrets.

A book you intentionally spoiled for yourself

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling is a book I wanted to know the ending. Boy, was it something I didn't expect right away. Definitely a HUGE spoiler!

A book you wish you could make everyone read because you loved it so much

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky is one of my favorite books of all time. I first read it in high school over ten years ago and I am always recommending others to read this wonderful coming-of-age contemporary. I am definitely due for a re-read.

A book or series you wish never ended

Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling because I don't want Harry Potter to end. However, because we have Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them prequel films coming out and the Cursed Child play being released next year, I know the wizarding world will never die. But I would love to read Cursed Child as a book because of course it's pretty much the 8th book to the series.

 A book with an uplifting ending or message

The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord is one of my favorite books of the year. Just because you lose someone, it doesn't mean your life is over. Even in darkness, there is always a light. For Paige she find that light through a person who changes her life forever.

A book you wish you could forget you ever read

Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster by Jon Krakauer is a book I read in high school for mandatory summer reading. Can I forget that I even read this? I was completely bored reading this book.

An author whose books always get you out of a slump

Rainbow Rowell's books always bring me out of a slump. By re-reading books by one of your favorite authors, there is pretty much a 100% guarantee that you will be out of the clump in no time. Rainbow Rowell is the queen of contemporary. My favorite book by her is Fangirl.

A swoon-worthy hero or heroine

Cricket Bell from Lola and the Boy Next Door because I fell for him hard. Cricket Bell is pretty much everything you can ask for in a guy. He is generous, sweet and understanding. He is the type of guy that will go out of the way to make sure you are okay.

A book that caused you to stop doing all other things until you finished it

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell seriously is one of my favorite all time books. It's like Rowell gets me. My love for Harry Potter and fan fiction with my sister is translated into Fangirl. Also, I can see a lot of myself in Cath. I am happy there is a book about a college aged student who doesn't fall under the stereotype of a girl partying all the time and hooking up with guys. Cath is down to earth and doesn't care if she doesn't fit in with the mainstream.

A book that was painful to read (for whatever reason) or broke you

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson is a book that I read in high school and is a difficult book to read in terms of the topic. Rape isn't a topic most people talk about but Anderson's books are raw and never sugarcoated. These things do happen and it's important people to be aware of what is happening in the world. Anderson is one of my favorite authors because she does an excellent job writing about difficult topics and sheds awareness on them.

A book that had you laughing out loud

The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy: A Handbook for Girl Geeks by Sam Maggs is a wonderful book about the girl who likes to geek out about fandoms, attend conventions and loves watching anime and reads manga. The guide is humorous yet offered a bunch of helpful tips to engage in what you love but still to maintain a normal life.

A book that made you want to send it flying

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard is a mashup of three different books. I wish the book is more unique instead of borrowing a bunch of plot lines and details from books like Hunger Games, The Selection and Red Rising. I won't be sad it if went flying out the window.

Bookish world you wish you could visit

Harry Potter's wizarding world! Do you even have to ask? I would love to visit Hogwarts and take classes there. And wandering around Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade would be AMAZING!

A book with a shocking twist or ending

Firewalker by Josephine Angelini has a crazy ending that I did not see coming. Also, a character that I was growing fond of dies! Heartbreaking! Remember to pick up Trial by Fire first if you have not started the series yet.

A character death that destroyed you

Sirius Black, Dobby, Hedwig, Remus Lupin, Tonks and Fred Weasley...I couldn't choose one. But Harry Potter characters dying destroys me. It's devastating!

Best series conclusion

City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare is EPIC! Everything from The Mortal Instruments series and The Infernal Devices Trilogy are tied up nicely. Although the novel was quite lengthy, I enjoyed every single moment!

I am tagging anyone who reads this post and is interested in participating in this fun Harry Potter Spells Book Tag. What is your favorite Harry Potter spell?

Check the blog back on Tuesday, December 22nd for a Top Ten Tuesday for what I hope Santa will bring under my Tree Pottermas style! If you are new to Pottermas 2015, make sure to check out this post. Also, you can follow Pottermas 2015 on social media with the hashtag #Pottermas15.