Monthly Archives: July 2016

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

Picking up in the epilogue of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a play split into two parts. We all remember how Albus Severus Potter was worried about being sorted into Slytherin. Well, sure enough that’s precisely the house he is sorted into. He also manages to become the best of friends with Draco Malfoy’s son Scorpius (who is rumored not to actually be Draco’s son). The two boys (with a little help from Amos Diggory’s niece) get the idea to use the only known remaining Time Turner and go back to 1994 and 5 and change the outcome of the Triwizard Tournament. Specifically to save Cedric’s life. Of course messing with the past has a pesky way of screwing up the present and so they find themselves in alternate realities they never expected and need a lot of help to fix.

When it was announced that the script would be released as a book, I was so excited and immediately pre-ordered it and counted down the last few days until it would magically appear on my Kindle. I had high hopes and I can honestly say it did not disappoint. My only complaint is, as with the original series, it left me wanting more (and wondering if it’s worth the cost of tickets and a flight to London to see it). The story held true to the spirit of the original books and though it was sometimes confusing, the time travel consequences did seem to make sense. I very highly recommend that everyone who loves Harry Potter read this play!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2016: 72
Pages Read in 2016: 19,053
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Filed under Fantasy, Play

Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell

The town of Cranford is filled with spinster women. They live their lives, they gossip, they attend magic shows, they bury their dead. But, most of all, they love and support each other through everything.

For a book written in the 1850s, Cranford can be pretty snarky. Aside from the Victorian style of writing, it’s easy to forget just how long ago Gaskell lived. It is sometimes excessively wordy (it was written originally as a serial after all). Some of the stories are funny. Some are dull. It’s a pretty good book overall. Not my favorite, but still good to read.

3 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2016: 71
Pages Read in 2016: 18,733
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Filed under Classic

Please Don’t Tell My Parents I Blew Up the Moon by Richard Roberts

The Inscrutable Machine are sent into outer space by the Spider. There they discover people living (and fighting) on the moons of Jupiter. Penny continues to come to terms with being a supervillain and what her powers want her to create while also trying to save the people from the Puppeteers and Meat Puppets.

I loved the first Don’t Tell My Parents book, but this one just wasn’t very good. It often droned on and on needlessly. Sometimes the descriptions of the Puppeteers and Meat Puppets were rather graphic and disgusting (they gave my ten-year-old nightmares). I mostly found myself bored while reading Please Don’t Tell My Parents I Blew Up the Moon and hoping the end would hurry up. It was just such a disappointment after the first book. I don’t recommend reading it.

2 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2016: 70
Pages Read in 2016: 18,540
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Filed under Children

The Scarecrow of Oz by L. Frank Baum

Trot and Cap’n Bill end up shipwrecked near the Land of Oz. A friendly Ork flies them to Jinxland on the outer edge of Oz. There they encounter a wicked king and a gardener boy in love with a princess. Glinda the Good sends the Scarecrow to help them defeat the king and come to the main part of Oz.

The Scarecrow of Oz is another great Oz book. There are a couple new characters (Trot and Cap’n Bill) and lots of old favorites (Glinda, the Scarecrow, Button Bright, Dorothy, Ozma, and so on). There is not as much wordplay in this one, but there is some great action and excitement. I highly recommend this book to Oz fans!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2016: 69
Pages Read in 2016: 18,193
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Filed under Children, Classic

Swamp Cabbage by Paisley Ray

It’s the summer after her junior year. Rachael (along with Francine) is housesitting and working at a little gallery and, in typical Rachael O’Brien style, crazy things happen. This includes finding a murdered man, a visit from Rachael’s mom, a visit from Rachael’s dad’s girlfriend (who has some insane news), and a witch doctor lady.

This sixth book in the Rachael O’Brien series was definitely not my favorite. It seemed to flounder and not really know where to go since the previous books’ arc is over. Just when it could have gotten truly interesting we suddenly fast forwarded a couple weeks. I really think Swamp Cabbage is not a necessary read for Rachael fans and could be skipped.

3 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2016: 68
Pages Read in 2016: 17,938
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Filed under Realistic Fiction

Deceived by Heather Sunseri

Feeling rejected by Jonas, Bree heads to Portland in search of clones Addison says are hidden at a BioTech firm owned by Bree’s father. Jonas and the others arrive to help (Lexi and Jack soon return to Palmyra and Kyle and Raven go to Wellington). Bree is accused of murder so the police, in addition to the IIA, are searching for her. Jonas and Bree don’t know who they can trust (her father? her mother? Addison? each other?) but they must locate the missing clones in the hopes of putting an end to yet another group of scientists experimenting on humans.

Deceived, the fifth book of the Mindspeak series, picks up a little before the end of Tracked. I never really liked the character of Bree in the first three Mindspeak books, but I grew to like her very much reading this book. The book was very well written and hard to put down. It went right into the action and never stopped until the very end. I highly recommend Deceived to all fans of the Mindspeak series!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2016: 67
Pages Read in 2016: 17,793
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Filed under Science Fiction, Young Adult