Wednesday, August 10, 2016

What a Disappointment...


Harry Potter and the Cursed Child


By: John Tiffany and Jack Thorne.
Genre: Drama (It's a script after all)
Rating: Goodness, like 2 stars.


Here it is, the big one, the one we've all been waiting for...Harry Potter and the Cursed Child!

And what a load of rubbish it was. Let's make one thing very clear - ROWLING DID NOT WRITE THIS. Her's might be the biggest name on the cover but she didn't write this book. I am very disappointed with the results Jo. And so is Minerva.


While perhaps the story might have come from her, the words most certainly did not. I was not at all reading the same characters in this script which I grew up reading and listening to almost daily at some points. (It helped me go to sleep as a child, it's almost impossible for me to read the books without Jim Dale narrating for me.)

The story was good and when I get to go and see the play I know that it is going to be phenomenal. The magic that those stage hands are going to have to do, the technical work that will have to be done. Goodness it is going to be amazing. 
But this was not Rowling's characterization, these were not her words. It got frustrating at times to read because all I could think of is THIS. IS. NOT. RIGHT.  
The part that was the worst was the fact that in the alternate universe they freely used the Dark Lord's name. Voldemort was said all over the place. That is in direct conflict to what Voldemort stood for - the fear, mystery and intimidation which surrounds him. We remember that "fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself." Even in the 7th book when the ministry had fallen and the dark powers were in charge he made it taboo. That part of his mentality was never going to change.
Nor was he capable of having a child. Nope, nope, nope. His lust was for power, his drive was all funneled toward his ambitions, his release from death and torture. To imagine that he had a child with Bellatrix? Esp. when we clearly saw a not at all pregnant version of her when escaping from Malfoy Mannor.



Read on if you dare, there are spoilers in the rants.

And then there is the relationship between Scorpius and Albus which while reading makes me wonder if Scorpi's obsession with Rose is merely a cover up. 

This is NOT the 8th installment of the series. This is just bad fan fiction - granted it did better by the Harry Potter series than 50 Shades did to Twilight. But goodness, not worth the hype, time or money. (But I am still excited for the play, just because the stage directions promise that this will be great.)

Friday, February 27, 2015

Friday Reads - Save Me


Save MeSave Me

By: Kristyn Kusek Lewis
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Rating: 4 stars

Summary:
Daphne Mitchell has always believed in cause and effect, right and wrong, good and bad. The good: her dream job as a doctor; Owen, her childhood sweetheart and now husband; the beautiful farmhouse they're restoring together. In fact, most of her life has been good--until the day Owen comes home early from work to tell her he's fallen head over heels for someone else.

Unable to hate him, but also equally incapable of moving forward, Daphne's life hangs in limbo until the day Owen's new girlfriend sustains near-fatal injuries in a car accident. As Daphne becomes a pillar of support for the devastated Owen, and realizes that reconciliation may lie within her grasp, she has to find out whether forgiveness is possible and decide which path is the right one for her.

My Thoughts:
"You can never know the truth about anyone's marriage, including your own" -Nora Ephron

That was a great quote to set the book rolling. Daphne is coming home from a business trip - something routine, she plans for her husbands birthday dinner, only to come home to the announcement that he has fallen in love with someone else. 

This was enough of a draw to get me involved. Not because of the physical messiness that was potential here. But because Lewis did her best to go through all of the various shades of emotional turmoil that this kind of event - which sadly is all too common - could cause.  Owen easily could be written off as the bad guy and this turn into another one of those books of woman independence, finding yourself outside of your relationships, and whatnot which are very prevalent in today's culture. But Lewis did far more than that.

She explored where relationships come from, what they need to thrive and how and when is the time to draw the line. Owen was far from the bad guy. He wasn't excused for his actions. But it seemed to be a case of life rather than something where you can suddenly point fingers and everything is black and white.

I was surprised by it's ending. And am still not quite sure how I feel about it. But it was definitely one that left me thinking. 

This novel explores fidelity, love and what is needed to keep a marriage going and I recommend it. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

YA Wednesday - Princess of Thorns


Princess of ThornsPrincess of Thorns

By; Stacey Jay
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Rating: 4 stars

Summary:
With the kindom at the mercy of soul-stealing ogres, the next generation of Sleeping Beauty  is in for a fight that no amount of fairy blessings could prepare them for. 

Given fairy blessings from her mother, Princess Aurora has been given the tools needed to end the reign of her evil step mother. Given superior fighting abilities, mercy and bravery Ror has everything necessary. But all magic comes with a price and Ror was also cursed to destroy the free will of any male who kisses her. Disguised as her brother, she goes out to save the kingdom, in the process finding the cursed Prince Niklaas who joins her in her quest to fight legions of evil and free her brother from the ogre queen who stole Aurora's throne ten years ago. 

My Thoughts:
Well, this was a sequel that I had never thought about. This takes what happens after "Happily Ever After" to a whole new meaning.  It also shows how not all blessings are blessings and even things which seem like curses can be to our benefit.

Princess Ror is impetuous, cunning and loyal to a fault. She loves her brother and would do anything to save him from the ogres who hold him captive. This requires raising an army, staging a revolt and killing the ogre queen all before the end of summer. She is a princess who sometimes is impossible to like. She pushes away others ideas, can't seem to see any other path than what is before her and will stop at nothing to achieve her goals.

In short she is a teenager -  a very driven teenager, I'll give you that but a teenager none the less. She knows what is best even if it hurts pretty much everyone around her in the process. And with this hubris, she is going to need her growing up moment and that is a painful, but almost beautiful thing to watch.

I love fairy-tales, always have, and I found this blend of a young woman who seemed to come out of Divergent''s 'dauntless' group an interesting fit. She actually did remind me of Tris, in how Ror tried to push out every spark of mercy she could to achieve her ends. (That was why I really didn't like Divergent. I didn't feel like there was any redemption for Tris...) But it was Ror's ending which redeemed her and which made the book a great read.

I liked the weaving narrators - of seeing the ogre's thoughts and motivations. Of seeing the sudden realization of Ror when it all comes coming to pieces around her and her determination to build back up.

If you like fairy-tales and remakes, or strong female leads (WITHOUT LOVE TRIANGLES!!! YAY!!!) then give this a shot. You will enjoy it.


Monday, February 23, 2015

Misc Monday: Love Water Memory


Love Water MemoryLove Water Memory

By: Jennie Shortridge
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Rating: 3.5 stars
Caution for conservative readers - multiple uses of strong expletives and adult content.

Summary:
Who is Lucie Walker? Even Lucie herself can't answer that question after she comes to, confused and up to her knees in the chilly San Francisco Bay. Back home in Seattle, she adjusts to life with amnesia, growing unsettled by the clues she finds to the selfish, carefully guarded person she used to be. Will she ever fall in love with her handsome, kindhearted fiance, Grady? Can he devote himself to the vulnerable, easygoing Lucie 2.0, who is so unlike her controlling former self? When Lucie learns that Grady has been hiding some very painful secrets that could change the course of their relationship, she musters the courage to search for the shocking, long-repressed childhood memories that will finally set her free.


My Thoughts:
What an interesting premise. What would you do if one day you found yourself somewhere with no memory of how you got there, nor of who you were? And what are you to do if that happens to someone you love?

It was an idea which got me thinking. What would I do in that position. Which of my habits would I go back to and what would I think was idiotic/strange/foreign? Lucie wonderfully captured what I imagine all of the confusion, heart ache and loss which would come with such an event. So many times trying to figure out who she was, and who she is going to choose to become. It was great to see her rebuild from the tragedy and become a woman even better than she was before. 

Throwing in an approaching wedding added a depth of complexity. Could Grady still love a woman who was so entirely different from the one he proposed to? Both versions of Lucie were so completely different but Grady managed to find the similarities, and I liked seeing the two of them begin to reconnect.

I just wished that it hadn't been so needlessly laced with profanity. Are there times that call for it - occasionally it can be justified. But there was just too much of it for me personally.

I liked the premise and the characters, it was well executed. 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

The Secret Keeper


The Secret Keeper The Secret Keeper

by: Kate Morton
Genre: Fiction
Rating: 5 stars

Summary:
1961 England. Laurel Nicolson is sixteen years old, dreaming alone in her childhood tree house during a family celebration at their home, Green Acres Farm. She spies a stranger coming up the long road to the farm and then observes her mother, Dorothy, speaking to him. And then she witnesses a crime.

Fifty years later, Laurel is a successful and well-regarded actress, living in London. She returns to Green Acres for Dorothy’s ninetieth birthday and finds herself overwhelmed by memories and questions she has not thought about for decades. She decides to find out the truth about the events of that summer day and lay to rest her own feelings of guilt. One photograph, of her mother and a woman Laurel has never met, called Vivian, is her first clue.

My Thoughts:
I love Kate Morton, always have. I still have difficulties determining which of her books are my favorites. This one just might take the cake. I finished it three days ago and I still can't get over how amazing it is. So many twists and turns in Laurel's search to find the truth and if a book can keep me guessing we know that excellent plot logic is at work. 

One of my favorite parts of all of Morton's work is how she writes. She writes for those who love literature and the written word. 

This story just kept me going and going and going. There were about 50 pages left and I was wondering how she was going to tie everything together and then when she did I just had to put the book down for the second and say "wow." It left me thinking about it and nothing else for a good day or so after I had finished it.

And so my friends if you find yourself stuck inside because of snow, or if you have a weekend and you want to get caught up in a novel - please, please, pick up The Secret Keeper. It really is one of the best books I have read.