Harry Potter Thursday: Who was your favorite actor/actress in the movies?

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Harry Potter Thursday is a meme of the week created and hosted by Uncorked Thoughts. Each week is a different question pertaining to the world of Harry Potter. You can find the questions here.


 

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Richard Harris is, without a doubt, not only my favorite Dumbledore but also my favorite actor from the Harry Potter film franchise.

It was a sad event when I learned of his passing back around the time when Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets was due to release in theaters. As I understand it, he never got to see the final film, which was even sadder. I thought that he embodied Dumbledore perfectly in the two films that he did get to do. His wise old wizard character was funny, endearing, and just so whimsical. I would have loved to see what Richard would have done with the character in the later movies, especially that scene in Goblet of Fire (you all know which one I’m TALKING ABOUT!!! *calmly*).

One of the funniest things I remember hearing about Richard Harris and his role was that he wasn’t going to take it until his daughter or granddaughter said that she would never talk to him again unless he did, she loved the books so much. *lol* What a man.

Who was your favorite actor or actress in the film series? Did you prefer Richard Harris or Michael Gambone as Dubmledore? Let me know in the comments below.

 

 

 

 

 

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Review: Pet Dad by Elanna Allen

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Published: 1 May 2018

Publisher: Dial Books

Category: Childrens/Picture Books

Plum wants a pet. Plum’s dad wants NO pets.

But Plum never takes no for an answer. So she gets the only pet she can: a pet dad. He loves playtime, tummy rubs, and scratches behind the ears.

But he won’t sit or fetch or chase. How will Plum train her perfect pet?

Hilariously relatable and with ultra-cute art, Pet Dad is perfect for kids who love or want pets–or who already have the perfect parents to make up for it.

Rating: 4 Stars

Plum is a young girl who wants a pet more than anything, a feeling that’s surely relatable to a lot of readers. However, her dad does NOT want a pet. What’s she to do? Use her dad as a stand-in!

The following story uses a series of beautiful illustrations to tell the story of how Plum plays with her dad as she would a pet. It’s not quite right, though, because her dad is not a pet. Plum has to learn what’s the right way to treat her dad and what’s better left to animals.

Plum’s clearly a young girl, so her ideas of how to play with a pet are sort of accurate but with some comical twists. The lessons she learns wrap up quickly in the last few pages and are somewhat skewed, but the feeling behind them is the important thing.

I liked the color palette used throughout the book. Not only were the illustrations attractive for both parent and child who are reading Pet Dad, but the flow of colors between Plum & her dad and the other characters (children, adults, ans their pets) was harmonious.

Another aspect I liked was the family dynamic. Plum and her father don’t look much alike. Plum’s mum appears in one picture in shadow, so it’s hard to say if there’s resemblance there other than their hair. I think that Plum is a biracial child, which was a good choice because not only does it benefit kids who look like Plum, but shows other children that there are kids who look different than them but play in similar ways.

Pet Dad is a sweet, nicely written story accompanied by an attractive art style that’s a good story for anytime but especially with Father’s Day coming up.

 

 

 

 

 

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

All media (pictures, quotes, etc.) belong to the respective owners and are used here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.

Hiatus Becomes Semi-Hiatus

Thank you to everyone who has been so supportive during the time I took off from blogging. It’s been a heck of a month. Things are still a bit uneasy (doctors still don’t have a clear answer), but I’m going to try to make a come back.

During my time off, I’ve been trying to get back to my previous workload and that isn’t really possible at this stage. However, I do miss blogging so what I’m going to try to do is come back slowly. Previously I had multiple reviews up in a week, plus the occasional Top 10 Tuesday, Waiting on Wednesday, or tag posts. That’s a bit much at this stage so I’ll be posting what I can as I’m able.

I hope everyone will continue to be as supportive as they’ve been in the past. I look forward to bringing you the same honest content I have in the past.

Thanks, all! 😀

Review: When the Letter Comes by Sara Fox

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Published: 22 May 2018

Publisher: Book Smugglers Publishing

Category: Fantasy/Short Story/Young Adult/LGBT+ (trans mc, nonbinary secondary)

Henry believes that someday, something awesome will happen–everything will turn out all right and all her problems will disappear once her letter arrives, welcoming her to magic school. So even though puberty is already here with changes (like her voice deepening and hair growing in places she does not want), she also knows it’s only a matter of time. After all, hundreds of books have said so.

But when the letter finally comes on Henry’s thirteenth birthday, it is not addressed to her, but to her sister.

When The Letter Comes is a short story with a YA trans protagonist that embraces the experience of those left behind, who must find their own way in the world–magic or not.

Rating: 5 Stars

What happens to the children left behind, the ones not chosen? In When the Letter Comes, we get the story of Henry, a transgender girl who is desperate to step through a wardrobe, get a letter delivered by owl, anything to prove that the magic she’s always believed in is real. When the letter does comes, though, it is addressed to her younger sister rather than her.

This story really spoke to me because I remember what it was like, growing up and wanting something like that to happen. In my case, it was pretending to fall into a rabbit hole, wishing that Wonderland would appear one of those times. What happens when it never does, though? In Henry’s case, after the letter for her sister arrives, she starts leaving magic behind; or, at least trying to convince herself that she is.

Besides the question, the somewhat heartbreaking sadness at realizing you won’t be chosen & that chance is going elsewhere, of what to do in the face of all that, there was Henry’s story about figuring out who she was (i.e. transgender) and living her life as truthfully as possible. There’s some discomfort, some growing pains, a bit of awkwardness, all of which felt so good to read because Henry’s personal story was strongly present alongside the things we read about happening to her sister in the magical world and how it becomes a part of Henry’s world on the outside.

I was hoping that it would turn into a longer book and while it doesn’t, When the Letter Comes is a tremendously great example of a short story that builds up a fully realized world and manages to tell a complete story within its limited word count. Sara Fox is a new favorite author and I hope to read more of their work soon.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Undead Girl Gang Blog Tour: A Review of Lily Anderson’s Latest Novel

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A big thanks to Friya at Penguin for letting me take part in the Undead Girl Gang blog tour. I’ve been looking forward to Lily Anderson’s book since it’s announcement and I read that fabulous synopsis. From the cover to the plot, there’s all manner of attention grabbing content.

Today I’m sharing with you all my review and the rest of the tour schedule so you can see an array of creativity and insight.

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Published: 8 May 2018

Publisher: Razorbill

Category: Young Adult/Paranormal/Mystery

Mila Flores and her best friend Riley have always been inseparable. There’s not much excitement in their small town of Cross Creek, so Mila and Riley make their own fun, devoting most of their time to Riley’s favorite activity: amateur witchcraft.

So when Riley and two Fairmont Academy mean girls die under suspicious circumstances, Mila refuses to believe everyone’s explanation that her BFF was involved in a suicide pact. Instead, armed with a tube of lip gloss and an ancient grimoire, Mila does the unthinkable to uncover the truth: she brings the girls back to life.

Unfortunately, Riley, June, and Dayton have no recollection of their murders, but they do have unfinished business to attend to. Now, with only seven days until the spell wears off and the girls return to their graves, Mila must wrangle the distracted group of undead teens and work fast to discover their murderer…before the killer strikes again.

Rating: 5 Stars

The story as a whole has a lot of elements that make for a great read. It’s got deeper themes, such as grief and death (whether referencing murder as an effect on those left behind or on the murder victims), not to mention bullying and racism. There are lighter moments that balance these out without detracting from their messages or seriousness, such as Mila learning how to process losing her best friend or the Mean Girls realizing just what their lives meant to those around them.

Mila’s observations of her small town’s reactions at the funeral bit hard, yet felt wholly accurate. The people that didn’t know Riley in life, the people that bullied her and were cruel on a daily basis, putting on their fake acts like they were her best friends. It was sickening to see and I understood just how Mila felt watching that scene play out. Granted, I’ve never had to deal with the exact situation of having everyone believe in a suicide story when it was actually a murder, but the bigger picture of death erasing all ills, whether those done by the dead or those perpetrated against the dead, is a familiar one.

There are a lot of other examples of Mila calling out the actions of her fellow townspeople, whether mentally for the reader to observe or aloud to their faces, such as in the case of June when they’re discussing what kind of food Mila is to get. June makes a comment about not getting Indian or Thai and wanting “normal” food and Mila takes her down for substituting “normal” for “white”, going on to point out how she’s not only doing so now with the food references, but how she did it on the daily when she was alive in how she talked about other people and anything that wasn’t the way June saw things wasn’t normal (re: white).

I was really happy to read a book about Wicca that didn’t disparage it. I remmeber finding a lot of comfort in the practice when I was Mila’s age and, while not active any longer, the principles of the faith still remain and it means a lot to see it treated pretty respectfully instead of being made into something out of a D-list horror film.

There’s rep in this book that I can’t speak to personally and I recommend checking out other reviews for #ownvoices reviewers re: Latinx representation, Black side character representation, etc. Mila as a plus size character was very blissful because her story was about her living and progressing in the plotline, not about her body and forcing it to change or something like that.

I can’t wait to read more Lily Anderson books because after experiencing her writing in this novel, I’m convinced that she’s an author I’ll want to watch out for new releases from.

About the Author

Lily Anderson

Lily Anderson is a school librarian and Melvil Dewey fangirl with an ever-growing collection of musical theater tattoos and Harry Potter ephemera. She lives in Northern California. She is also the author of THE ONLY THING WORSE THAN ME IS YOU and NOT NOW, NOT EVER. She tweets @ms_lilyanderson.

Tour Schedule

WEEK ONE
April 23 – Darque Dreamer Reads – Review
April 24 – Books and Blends – Review + Book Spotlight
April 25 – Spinatale Reviews – Review + Creative
April 26 – The Book’s Buzz – What three historical women I would bring back to be apart of my undead girl gang!
April 27 – YA Wednesdays – Creative
WEEK TWO
April 30 – Teen Librarian Toolbox – 5 Question Interview
May 1 – Bookstore Finds – Feature on Instagram
May 2 – Howling Libraries – Review
May 3 – The Plot Bunny – Review + Creative Activity
May 4 – The Bookish Actress – Review
WEEK THREE
May 7 – Inkedfables – Playlist
May 8 – The Page Turner Reviews – Review
May 9 – Bookish Connoisseur – Review + Creative Instagram Photo
May 10 – Further West – Review
May 11 – Lacy Literacy – Book Aesthetics
WEEK FOUR
May 14 – The Clockwork Bibliophile – Review
May 15 – Zaira Book Corner – Review
May 16 – Forever and Everly – Review
May 17 – Hermit Librarian – Review
May 18 – Utopia State of Mind – Review + Two Truths and a Lie

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

All media (pictures, quotes, etc.) belong to the respective owners and are used here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.

The Hermit Librarian – On Hiatus

This is a very hard post for me to write.

I don’t directly talk about my mental health issues, though I might make an offhand comment here or there. Based on that, I don’t expect many of you to know that the status of my health has been in decline for the past several months, with the last couple of weeks being particularly worrisome and at times frightening.

Due to possible medication complicationa, one which I cannot at this time stop taking, I’m finding it next to impossible to continue blogging as I have been in the past. I’ve been having memory loss, speech problems, and a host of other side effects that I thought would go away but are apparently not. I was ashamed of them and I tried to hide them, but as it becomes apparent that this isn’t stopping, I have to let those close to me and those that read my blog know that I need help. That’s one of the worst parts because I hate doing that.

For the foreseeable future, I will not be able to keep up reviewing or following through with my arc schedule. I apologize to those that might be affected. I will attempt to reach out, but if not, please feel free to email me and touch base if you haven’t heard from me. There is one more scheduled post going up this week on Thursday (Undead Girl Gang Blog Tour) before the hiatus is official, so please return for my review on that day. 🙂

I will try to remain active on Twitter if at all possible. Again, I am so sorry for any trouble this causes anyone, but I need to take some time to figure out what’s going on and to try to heal. Thank you for your understanding.

 

 

 

 

 

All media (pictures, quotes, etc.) belong to the respective owners and are used here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.

 

Rockstar Book Tour Presents: The CHLOE SHIPTON & THE QUILL OF LEFAY Cover Reveal Blitz + Giveaway

A big thanks to Rockstar Book Tours for letting me join them in the cover reveal for Lynn Veevers’ new book,CHLOE SHIPTON & THE QUILL OF LEFAY. Lynn’s new YA Fantasy releases June 12, 2018, and alongside the cover reveal today, we’ve got some exclusive content and a giveaway! 

On to the reveal!

 

 

 

Title: CHLOE SHIPTON & THE QUILL OF LEFAY

Author: Lynn Veevers

Pub. Date: June 12, 2018

Publisher: Lynn Veevers

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Pages: 263

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon

When fifteen-year-old Chloe mysteriously disappears, the rumors at Grammaire Hall point to murder, but spiritual entrapment isn’t the same as dead. In a library that’s believed to be nothing more than a myth, Chloe’s spirit is separated from her body after witnessing another student’s murder. Try as she may she can’t remember what happened to her before she woke up as a spirit in the campus graveyard. As Chloe uncovers clues leading to the mythical library’s location and her body, a secret the Magical Parliament doesn’t want to get out, starts to unravel. Rogue sorcerers have infiltrated the school, intent on reinstating the Third Edict, and sorcery students are dying because of it. Destroyed long ago for horrific crimes against humanity, the return of the Third Edict would spell disaster for both magical and magicless societies. To prevent her own demise and the fulfillment of the Third Edict’s return, Chloe must find a way to reunite body and soul without giving the rogue sorcerers the weapon they need to succeed, a weapon only Chloe can activate.

 

Exclusive Excerpt!

 

The screams ripped at my heart as I listened to the desperation that permeated them, “Please don’t hurt me anymore,” the voice cried, “I told you, I don’t know what you’re talking about!”

The girl’s voice in my mind was a familiar one, and not in a good way either. Unwanted concern weaseled its way into my heart because there was genuine pain echoing in her words. I tried shaking off the unsettled emotions her pleas left in their wake and headed toward the librarian’s desk again. I didn’t want to care about whatever jam she’d gotten herself into. Suppressing the guilt that riddled me proved difficult, but for a short time, I was successful. Mrs. Martin checked out my books and the inescapable feelings of guilt kept growing as the desperate cries continued. Finally, my conscience caught up with me

as I reached for the door leading outside. A defeated sigh wiggled its way through my lips, and I cast my eyes upward because I couldn’t ignore this even if I wanted to.

I needed to do the right thing, not because it was my first choice, but because I felt compelled to. My morals demanded nothing less. If someone was in trouble, you tried to help, even if you didn’t like them. That’s what my parents raised me to believe anyway, and so it didn’t make a difference that the girl’s voice belonged to Lydia Nostredame—the single biggest bane of my existence. Hate is a strong word, but my feelings toward Lydia were something dangerously close to that. My gut told me not to get involved, to ignore my conscious and leave instead. Unfortunately, my intuition was next to never wrong. Maybe I should have listened to it. However, my views of right and wrong were a force to be reckoned with, and they weren’t pulling any stops. The two opposing sides battled it out as I stood there with my hand on the knob. After a few moments of inner turmoil, my moral stance won out. So I left the door and headed back into the library. Lydia’s cries ricocheted through my head like a stray bullet looking for a mark. They became tortured screams as I hurried in the direction my mind told me they were coming from.

“Ms. Shipton,” Mrs. Martin said sternly. “We do not run through the Library!”

I cringed at the sharpness of her tone and slowed my pace to appease the librarian. As soon as that same group of snickering girls snagged the stoic woman’s attention, I darted forward. Lydia’s screams had grown to a deafening intensity. Like the tolling of church bells, they drowned out every other sound. The sharp shrill of them poked at my temples, and the pain was worse than any migraine I’d ever had. My feet carried me across the familiar parts of the library and into the further reaches which were seldom ever visited—by anyone. That should have been my first clue.

“Stairs—dark, ominous stairs, of course; why wouldn’t that be the case,” I sarcastically mumbled as I came to a door.

I assumed I’d just never noticed the stairs. After all, I’d only ventured to this part of the library maybe once before. The stair’s door was only partially open but had it been closed I would have thought it was a broom closet. The stairs twisted down into the unknown depths, dimly lit, and narrowing by the second. I was starting to feel as if they might spiral on forever when I finally reached a stone floor. The smell of musty tomes and aged ink filled the stagnant air. There were rows upon rows of shelving easily fifteen feet high. Layers of dust covered sheet draped chairs and tables. Cobwebs, also thick with grime, adorned most everything in this hidden library.

“Please stop, I don’t know what you’re talking about. I swear—I don’t know anything,” Lydia screamed, but it was weaker than before.

I was close enough by then to hear her conventionally. Her voice was drenched in terror and quivering with tears. It echoed and bounced off the milled stone walls of this underground secret I quietly snuck through. Once again my gut adamantly insisted that I turn back, but I stubbornly ignored it. My tendency to be good-natured had baited and lured me into the situation entirely. There would be no turning back no matter how much my intuition screamed at me. I slinked through the columns of shelved books as the feeling of danger settled over my skin like static cling on a warm blanket. I glanced at my arm as goose bumps raced across its tawny surface and the thin layer of peach fuzz stood on end. The sensation sent an unsettling shiver running down the length of my spine. The further in I moved through the rows the thinner the air seemed to become. It felt like I was trying to breathe around a piece of food lodged in my throat. Sweet smelling smoke wafted around me in a lazy wisp as I stood at the edge of a row of books. I recognized the scent immediately as sweet grass, a common reagent used in spells.

 

 

About Lynn

 

 

Lynn Veevers is originally from Washington State. With her mother being from Christchurch, New Zealand and her father being a well-traveled retired Navy Chief, Lynn has always had a fascination with different cultures around the world. An avid reader, she prefers books that take her to a place she’s never been and teach her something new at the same time. The Young Adult Genre is her absolute favorite to read, so it comes as no surprise that it is also her favorite to write. Lynn, on average, pens two to three novels a year with the sequel to Pinnacle in the publishing process now!

Today Lynn lives with her husband and kids in Southeast Oklahoma. Her young adult and adolescent children are supportive and avid beta readers of her work and give her a straightforward and honest point of view about how authentic her characters voices and personalities are for their age group. What better reference than someone close to the same age as the main character. Her kids always have and always will be her greatest inspiration.

 

Giveaway Details

  • One lucky winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card, International.
  •               Ends May 17th, midnight EST

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

 

 

All media (pictures, quotes, etc.) belong to the respective owners and are used here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.