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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling — Part 2

Because there are two movies, I tend to think about this book in two parts.  So I am splitting my review into two parts corresponding with the break in movies.  Part 2 covers pages 503-759 of the hardcover edition.

Title: Harry Potter and the Deadly Hallows

Author: J.K. Rowling

Publisher: Scholastic 2007

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Pages: 759

Rating:   5 / 5 stars

Reading Challenges: HP

How I Got It: Own it! (in pretty hardcover no less)

This one is a reread for me.  It’s been awhile since I read the series.  I remember reading the first couple of books out loud to the boys when they were infants.  SO that’s what, eight years ago?  I read the last few books as they came out, but overall it’s been awhile.

Instead of doing a traditional review, I thought I would just give you some of my reread thoughts.  Things I noticed, things I loved, quotes I like, etc.  And then I will have a mini review of movie vs. book.

Book fun

Favorite scenes:

  • Break-in at Gringotts —  This entire scene feels like an amusement park ride complete with scary dragon.
  • Harry standing up for Professor McGonagall — Such a small gesture, but beautiful.
  • The entire last 100 pages of the book — Of course.  Amazing.  Heartbreaking.  Satisfying.

Favorite character(s):

  • Neville Longbottom — Who knew the scrawny kid in the first year would eventually land the killing blow to Nagini and stand up to all of the Death Eaters.

Other odds and ends:

  • The story of Ariana’s death is just heartbreaking.  That story alone explains so much about Dumbledore and his regrets.
  • Along the same lines, Helena Ravenclaw’s story involving the Bloody Baron also breaks my heart.
  • Snape’s memories feel like a stopping in the story although I understand why they are there and that they set up Harry is truly understand what he needs to do.
  • I loved that Draco gets a semi-redemption in the end.
  • I burst into tears not when Fred, Remus, and Tonks died, but when the ghosts appear in the forrest.  Ugh!  I bawled for pages afterwards.
  • I still think I could have done without the epilogue…
Favorite quotes: 
“Because,” said Harry before Hermione could answer, “sometimes you’ve got to think about more than your own safety!  Sometimes you’ve got to think about the greater good!” (pg. 568)
“Hallows,” murmured Dumbledore, “not Horcruxes, Precisely.”  (pg. 713)
“It is a curious thing, Harry, but perhaps those who are best suited to power are those who have never sought it.  Those who, like you, have leadership thrust upon them, and take up the mantle because they must, and find to their own surprose that they wear it well.”  (Dumbledore pg. 718)
“NOT MY DAUGHTER, YOU BITCH!” (Mrs. Weasley pg. 736)
Movie fun Part 2
My favorite scenes:
  • Inside the Lestrange vault.  The multiplying treasure is just gorgeous to watch.
  • At much as I like the ending battle scenes, they are very different than the book’s versions.
Things I wished to see, but didn’t:
  • Some of the little moments in the book that just aren’t there.
Other odds and ends:
  • The opening shot of the dementors surrounding the castle and Snape standing in the window is breathtaking.  Beautifully shot.
  • I love the conversation between Griphook and Harry at the cottage.  Griphook has the right mix of contempt and curiosity.
  • The dead Gringott’s employees was a bit of a weird addition.
  •  Loved the little before the battle moments of preparation, especially Mrs. Weasley and McGonagall calling forth the statues.
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Posted by on September 29, 2012 in Book Reviews, Movies

 

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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling — Part 1

Because there are two movies, I tend to think about this book in two parts.  So I am splitting my review into two parts corresponding with the break in movies.  Part 1 covers pages 1-502 of the hardcover edition.

Title: Harry Potter and the Deadly Hallows

Author: J.K. Rowling

Publisher: Scholastic 2007

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Pages: 759

Rating:   5 / 5 stars

Reading Challenges: HP

How I Got It: Own it! (in pretty hardcover no less)

This one is a reread for me.  It’s been awhile since I read the series.  I remember reading the first couple of books out loud to the boys when they were infants.  SO that’s what, eight years ago?  I read the last few books as they came out, but overall it’s been awhile.

Instead of doing a traditional review, I thought I would just give you some of my reread thoughts.  Things I noticed, things I loved, quotes I like, etc.  And then I will have a mini review of movie vs. book.

Book fun:

Favorite scenes:

  • Goodbye scene with the Dursleys — It’s bittersweet.  You want to hate the Dursleys for how they treated Harry and yet I love how Dudley finally says something.  And I screamed at Petunia to say something comforting…
  • Bill and Fleur’s wedding — I love the descriptions and seeing all the Weasley’s together (expect for Percy of course).
  • Bathilda Bagshot and Godric’s Hollow — I know what’s coming but this scene still scares the crap out of me.  Maybe it’s the dead body, maybe it’s the snake.  All I know is it is extra extra creepy.

Favorite character(s):

  • Kreacher — Bet you weren’t expecting that one…  I really love how he begrudgingly but finally accepts Harry as his master.  Plus his sneakiness comes in handy when they are trying to find the locket.
  • Ron — He leaves, he’s a git, but he redeems himself by destroying the Horcrux and trying to get on Hermione’s good side throughout most of the book.

Other odds and ends:

  • I cried over Hedwig and downright bawled over Dobby.  I cried for them more than I did when Dumbledore died.  Plus I got a bit verklempt with George’s injury.
  • I detest Scrimgeour with a passion.  Ugh!  So not sorry when he dies.
  • I love the description of Luna’s bedroom with the painting of her friends.  She is always one of my favorite characters.
Favorite quotes: 
“He looked away, trying not to betray the resentment he felt.  There is was again: Choose what to believe.  He wanted the truth.  Why was everybody so determined that he should not get it?” (pg. 185) — When Harry learns of Rita Skeeter’s book.  He has to get over these selfish thoughts to see the truth later on…
Movie fun Part 1
My favorite scenes:
  • Big chase scene with the 7 Harrys — It’s different than the book but with the same adrenaline rush and danger.
  • Bathilda Bagshot and Godric’s Hollow — Creepiest scene ever.  I jumped in the theater when Nagini is revealed.  I jumped again in my home when I knew exactly how it was going to happen.  Creepy creepy!
  • Favorite hands-down: The Tale of the Three Brothers — I loved loved loved the animation and the creepy shadow figures.  It fits perfectly with the story and set-up.
Things I wished to see, but didn’t:
  • More Lupin and Tonks.  The movie cryptically alludes to Tonks’ pregnancy, but it’s mostly left out.  Pretty big deal in the books.
  • Something with Dumbledore and his family.  I like that side story in the books and yet no mention in the movies.
  • Wormtail death.  Stunning him in the cell just seems to let him off easily.  I would have felt more complete with his death.
Other odds and ends:
  • I liked the change in opening to Rufus Scrimgeour’s statement about the Ministry.  While it is untrue, I like the foreshadowing and foreboding it creates.  The same is true for Hermione, Ron, and Harry’s saying goodbye to their “homes.”
  • Fleur’s dress is just gorgeous.  I really wanted to see more of it.
  • I like how they folded visions from Voldemort into some backstory for those nonrabid fans.
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Posted by on September 28, 2012 in Book Reviews, Movies

 

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

Title: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Author: J.K. Rowling

Publisher: Scholastic 2006

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Pages: 652

Rating:   5 / 5 stars

Reading Challenges: HP

How I Got It: Own it! (in pretty hardcover no less)

This one is a reread for me.  It’s been awhile since I read the series.  I remember reading the first couple of books out loud to the boys when they were infants.  SO that’s what, eight years ago?  I read the last few books as they came out, but overall it’s been awhile.

Instead of doing a traditional review, I thought I would just give you some of my reread thoughts.  Things I noticed, things I loved, quotes I like, etc.  And then I will have a mini review of movie vs. book.

Book fun:

Favorite scene:

  • Every one of the memories of Tom Riddle.  They are so illuminating.  I really wish they included them in the movie…
  • The opening scene between the Minister of Magic and the Prime Minister.  It’s a great opening sequence showing the interaction between the magical and muggle world.  Another thing I really wish they would have put in the movie.

Favorite character(s):

  • Narcissa Black Malfoy — Even though she’s only in it for one actual scene, I love her.  I especially love the contrast between her and her sister Bellatrix.
  • Ron and Hermione — Their whole will-they or won’t-they is fascinating.  I just adore them.  And I especially love the scene in the hospital.

Other odds and ends:

  • I forgot how angry Harry is in this movie…  Teenage angst is a bit much.
  • There’s a whole passage on pages 180-181 comparing Harry and Snape.  As much as Harry doesn’t want to admit it, they are very similar.
  • Slughorn is a great side character.
Favorite quotes: No one really sticks out to me.
Movie fun
My favorite scenes:
  • Ron and Hermione’s fight with the birds — I love the emotional vulnerability in this scene.  It just works.
  • Slughorn Christmas Party — Between Hermione avoiding Cormac and Harry wanting Ginny, this is a great scene of teenage hormones.  Plus it just looks pretty.
Things I wished to see, but didn’t:
  • The book’s opening sequence.  Unfortunately they change to one (Harry in the tube station) that doesn’t really make a lot of sense.  However I did love the destruction of the bridge and Diagon Alley. It’s mentioned in the book, but to see the raw power from the Death Eaters is just terrifying.
  • Harry and Ginny’s kiss in front of the entire Gryffindor common room.  The small kiss in the room of requirement just doesn’t really work.
Other odds and ends:
  • In the books, I love Ginny Weasley.  She’s a great mix of Fred and George and Mrs. Weasley.  I understand why Harry likes her.  Yet, in the movies, she’s more of a wet blanket.  The movies rob her of all the interesting aspects of her personalty.  Very sad change of character from books to movies…
  • I loved loved loved watching Draco’s transformation from arrogant elitist to broken little boy.  It makes his realization of what’s right and wrong that much better.  Tom Felton really gave him a haunted look in most of the scenes.
  • Attack on the Burrow — WHY!?!?!  It’s just completely wrong…
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Posted by on June 24, 2012 in Book Reviews, Movies

 

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Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling

Title: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Author: J.K. Rowling

Publisher: Scholastic 2003

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Pages: 870

Rating:   5 / 5 stars

Reading Challenges: HP; My Years — 2003

How I Got It: Own it! (in pretty hardcover no less)

This one is a reread for me.  It’s been awhile since I read the series.  I remember reading the first couple of books out loud to the boys when they were infants.  SO that’s what, eight years ago?  I read the last few books as they came out, but overall it’s been awhile.

Instead of doing a traditional review, I thought I would just give you some of my reread thoughts.  Things I noticed, things I loved, quotes I like, etc.  And then I will have a mini review of movie vs. book.

Book fun:

Favorite scene: This is so tough…  But I think I’m going to have to go with the big battle in the Ministry of Magic.  The way it’s written, I am right there in the thick of the action.  I almost find myself ducking when spells are thrown.

Favorite character(s):  I have a few for this book…

  • Dolores Umbridge — A great villain.  In this case, we get a bureaucrat for a villain.  I just want to smack her every time she coughs.  Ugh!
  • Luna Lovegood — She’s a great addition to the whole crew.  I love her weirdness.  And underneath she has a great way of looking at the world.  I especially love her for helping Harry deal with Sirius’ death.
  • Fred and George Weasley — They are still my favorite Weasleys.  I love them every time they pop up.  In this book, they get to be more than just the jokesters.  Love them.

Other odds and ends:

  • While I like the book, I think it’s my least favorite of the series.  There are so many story lines that it seems very schizophrenic at times.  We are introduced to so many new characters (Grawp, Firenze and the centaurs, various Order of the Phoenix members) that I have a hard time connecting to all of them.  I think this book could have used a bit more editing to condense some of those storylines.
  • I cry every time I read the chapter at the end where Dumbledore finally lets Harry know about the prophecy and his plan.  I want to yell right along with Harry at the beginning, but I’m always in tears by the end.  Very powerful section of the book.
  • I do love the comeuppance that Draco, Goyle, and Crabbe get on the train ride home.
Favorite quotes: “Just because you’ve got the emotional range of a teaspoon doesn’t mean we all have.” — Hermione to Ron (pg. 459)
Movie fun
My favorite scenes:
  • The scene with Luna and the thestrals is just beautiful.  I love their conversation among the Forbidden Forrest and the creatures.  I especially love the addition of Luna’s lost shoes.
  • As edited at the final battle is, it’s still amazing looking.  I especially loved Lucius and Bellatrix, very sinister.  And the falling of the shelves is just a gorgeous bit of movie magic.
Things I wished to see, but didn’t:
  • More of Fred and George — They’re just amazing
Other odds and ends:
  • Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge is delicious casting.  She is down right evil.
  • The wall of educational decrees is an inspired bit of set dressing.
  • They kept my favorite line from the book in the movie.  Hee hee!
  • It makes much more sense to have Cho faultlessly out the Dumbledore Army.  It does help edit the various story lines and characters.
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Posted by on May 29, 2012 in Book Reviews, Movies

 

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

Title: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Author: J.K. Rowling

Publisher: Scholastic

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Pages: 734

Rating:   5 / 5 stars

Reading Challenges: HP

How I Got It: Own it!

This one is a reread for me.  It’s been awhile since I read the series.  I remember reading the first couple of books out loud to the boys when they were infants.  SO that’s what eight years ago?  I read the last few books as they came out, but overall it’s been awhile.

Instead of doing a traditional review, I thought I would just give you some of my reread thoughts.  Things I noticed, things I loved, quotes I like, etc.  And then I will have a mini review of movie vs. book.

Book fun:

Favorite scene:

  • Ron and Hermione’s row at the Yuletide Ball.  I love that we get to see their love blossoming this early in the series.  They’re so cute.
  • Harry-Hermione-Krum love triangle nonsense.  The hate mail in the lunch room was beautiful.  Hee hee.
  • Amazing Dumbledore speech at the end of the movie.  So moving!

Favorite character(s):

  • Definitely Fred and George.  I just adore those two.  They pop up from time to time and always say the right thing.  I love their’ backstage antics and wild dreams.  I really wish we could have gotten more from them.  As a side note, I also really enjoyed Bill and Charlie in this novel.
  • And as little as she’s actually in it, Rita Skeeter makes an excellent villainous figure.    I love that Hermione traps her as a beetle at the end.  Hee hee!

Favorite expressions: Loads of Ron’s “blimeys”

Other odds and ends:

  • Forgot how much time we spend with the Dursleys at the end of the summer.  They are so icky.
  • And how much we get to see of the Quidditch World Cup.  I really love those scenes.
  • The explanation of the Dark Mark’s appearance at the World Cup makes much more sense than in the movie.
  • I felt like we already knew Hagrid was half-giant, but guess I was wrong…
Favorite quotes: 
  • “Why do they have to move in packs?” — Harry in reference to having to ask a girl to the Yuletide Ball.  Love the uncomfortable match making.  (pg. 388)
  • “Aren’t you two ever going to read Hogwarts, A History?” (Hermione) “What’s the point?” said Ron, “You know it by heart, we can just ask you.” — Hee hee.  I love Ron’s little comebacks.
Movie fun
My favorite scenes:
  • All three tasks, especially the lake task.  I love the visuals on all three tasks.  They really put me on the edge of my seat every time I watch.
  • Final showdown with Lord Voldemort.  It was amazing to see Voldemort in the flesh.
  • All the scenes with David Tennant as Barty Crouch Jr.  I just love David Tennant.
Things I wished to see, but didn’t:
  • Nifflers, blast-ended skrewts, unicorns, and all the crazy magical creatures Hagrid takes a fancy to.  They’re so real in the book, I really wanted to see them in the movie.
  • Sirius.  He has a couple of great scenes in the book that just don’t make it into the movie.  Boo!
  • The stunning of Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle on the return tain.  Man, I really wish I could have seen that.
Other odds and ends:
  • They really cleaned up Krum and Karkaroff for the movie.  I liked them much more in movie than the book.  Hmm.  Interesting…
  • While slightly interesting, I am glad they didn’t include the House Elf Liberation Front in the movie.  It gets a bit tedious towards the end of the book.
  • Miranda Richardson is delightfully evil as Rita Skeeter
  • Trivia from IMDB: In the first draft of the script, a subplot featuring the Weasley twins and Ludo Bagman, the head of the Ministry’s sports department, was featured prominently. In fact, it was reported that Martin Landham was cast as Bagman. In the subsequent drafts, the subplot was dropped, and the character of Ludo Bagman makes no credited appearance in the movie. — wish they had kept it

 
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Posted by on May 15, 2012 in Book Reviews, Movies

 

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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

Title: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Author: J.K. Rowling

Publisher: Scholastic

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Pages: 435

Rating:   5 / 5 stars

Reading Challenges: HP

How I Got It: Own it!

This one is a reread for me.  It’s been awhile since I read the series.  I remember reading the first couple of books out loud to the boys when they were infants.  SO that’s what eight years ago?  I read the last few books as they came out, but overall it’s been awhile.

Instead of doing a traditional review, I thought I would just give you some of my reread thoughts.  Things I noticed, things I loved, quotes I like, etc.  And then I will have a mini review of movie vs. book.

Book fun:

  • Favorite scene: For this book there were a few great scenes.  1) The Knight Bus.  Although I loved what they did in the movie, I did enjoy this little episode in the book.  2) Harry’s argument with Snape about James.  We see the tension build between these two characters.  And even though Harry doesn’t know the whole story, I love how he stands up for his father.  3) Hermione standing up to Malfoy.  Gold!
  • Favorite character: I could decided between Professor Trelawney, Crookshanks, or Lupin.  All had great qualities.
  • Favorite expressions: “Mischeif managed” — words to wipe the Marauder’s Map. “Flibbertigibbet” — password for the dormitory.  “Collywobbles” — what thinking about the dementors gives to Ernie, driver of The Knight Bus
  • I forgot that we get to meet Cedric Diggory and Cho Chang in this book.  Obviously they become more important next book.
  • Professor Lupin teaches the students about grindylows and kapps which reside in the lake.  They also play a part in the next book.  He also teaches them about Red Caps.  Those guys show up in all kinds of fantasy books.  Love it!
Favorite quotes: only one from this book
  • “You think the dead we lvoed ever truly leave us?  You think that we don’t recall them more clearly than ever in times of great trouble?  Your father is alive in you, Harry, and shows himself most plainly when you have need of him.”  — Dumbledore Pg. 427
Movie fun:
My favorite scenes:
  • Loved The Knight Bus scene.  It plays so beautifully and gives some comedic releif to the much darker turn later on.
  • Time-turner scene.  I loved to see the replay of events from a slightly different perspective
Things I wished to see, but didn’t:
  • More Crookshanks.  Love that cat.
  • The fight with Malfoy by the Shrieking Shack.  In the book, it was a mud fight.  They changed it to a snowball fight. I would have like to see it as a mid fight.
  • More Professor Trelawney.  Emma Thompson is just too wonderful.  I wanted more and more of her.

 
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Posted by on March 29, 2012 in Book Reviews, Movies

 

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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

Title: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Author: J.K. Rowling

Publisher: Scholastic 1999

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Pages: 352

Rating:   5 / 5 stars

Reading Challenges: HP; My Years

How I Got It: Own it!

This one is a reread for me.  It’s been awhile since I read the series.  I remember reading the first couple of books out loud to the boys when they were infants.  SO that’s what eight years ago?  I read the last few books as they came out, but overall it’s been awhile.

Instead of doing a traditional review, I thought I would just give you some of my reread thoughts.  Things I noticed, things I loved, quotes I like, etc.  And then I will have a mini review of movie vs. book.

Book fun:

  • Favorite scene: From this book I have a few favorite scenes.  First, the introduction of Gilderoy Lockheart in Flourish and Blotts is too cringe-worthy.  I want to get away from him just like Harry.  But the way Rowling writes it, I see everything play out in my mind.  Second, I love Harry and Ron’s arrival to Hogwarts (car and whomping willow), but especially the scolding they get from Snape.  He’s so scary.  I love it.  Finally, I love the Deathday Party for Nearly Headless Nick.  I can almost smell the rotten food.
  • Favorite character:  I’m going to have to god with Tom Riddle for this book.  Even though we don’t meet him until Chapter 13, it’s just an amazing reveal.  We’re as much in the dark as Harry until the final showdown in the Chamber.  He is such a memorable character!
  • Favorite expressions: “Definitely dodgy” (Ron) {I really think we Americans need to start using the word dodgy, Love it!], “load of dung” (Fred), “great sizzling dragon bogies” (Filch)
  • I forgot how slow this book seems to be.  The basilisk doesn’t petrify it’s first victim until page 146.  And then everything just seems to happen at once.
  • Rowling spends a lot of time in the beginning of the book discussing the wizarding world and points from the first book.  I guess given the that this is book two and it was targeted at elementary students, it would make sense.  But for me, I skimmed through parts of a few chapters to get to the new information. If I’m remembering correctly, this decreases as the books go on.
  • Tom Riddle was a prefect and won a trophy for “closing” the Chamber.  I completely forgot how accomplished he was while at Hogwarts.  It puts a whole new spin on the sociopath angle.
Favorite quotes:
  • “Because that’s what Hermione does,” said Ron shrugging.  “When in doubt, go to the library” (255)
  • “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” (Dumbledore) (333)
Movie fun:
Overall I really like this movie adaptation.  It follows the book fairly completely.  The story retains the suspense and disbelief without all of the repetition of the backstory.  The Hogwart’s world is beautiful and moody.  And of course, Alan Rickman’s Snape is one of my favorite characters to see on the big screen.  It’s great to see the kids starting to grow up and come into their own.
My favorite scenes:  The dueling club.  I absolutely love the grandeur.  Plus, Lockheart versus Snape is just the height of movie drama.  And don’t you just love Lockheart’s dueling outfit.  Hee hee
Things I wished to see, but didn’t:  The Deathday Party.  I love the house ghosts and wish they could have worked in more scenes with them, especially Nearly Headless Nick.  I know it would have added too many minutes to the movie, but still it would have been nice.

 
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Posted by on February 22, 2012 in Book Reviews, Movies

 

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