Tag Archives: JK Rowling

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I thought I would like more/less than I did

Top Ten TuesdaysWe all have preconceived notions when we get a book in our hands. Whether it is the cover, synopsis, a review or something else, we get an idea of how we think we are going to like a book before we start it. Sometimes our opinion is spot on, but there are occasions where we are very very wrong. These are some of mine.

1. Wicked by Gregory Macguire – This book has so much going for it. First of all, we are dealing with a retelling of the Wizard of Oz. Second this is a villain’s story which are always more fun. Third, there was so much hype surrounding this book. I was so excited when I started reading it. But then I read it. I was never so disappointed. The book is honestly just awful. It’s not the actual basic plot though. The basic plot is great but the way Macguire writes is as dry as dust and there were so many things he threw in that just weren’t necessary, many of which were completely distasteful. Started hearing the music for the musical though and went to see that. Loved it. I think they need to rewrite the book basing off the musical and not letting Macguire have a thing to do with it.

2.Archangel by Sharon Shinn – I really try not to judge a book by it’s cover but I simply couldn’t help it with this one. The cover is honestly cheesetastic (yep, not a word – I know). The synopsis is almost as bad. Really the only reason I read it is because one of my good friends from work was thoroughly convinced that I would love it. I picked it up and was completely engrossed. The story is wonderful and I am halfway convinced that I need to start a petition for a new cover. It’s a great book that suffers from bad artwork. So sad.

3. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling – I picked these up out of curiosity. They were already getting a ton of press about how evil they were. Churches were beginning to ban them. As a Christian, I wanted to see what all the controversy was about so I picked up a copy of the first couple of books. Not only is it completely fantasy, they are simply wonderful children’s books. I may have been in line at midnight for the release of every book after that and read them through before going to bed. Never thought I would love them so much. I really don’t understand all the hype surrounding them to this day.

Wow this list is really short and I can’t come up with any more!!!

Honestly, I’m usually spot on about what I read. if I have an opinion beforehand, most books uphold my opinion. However, I really do enjoy going into a book with little to no preformed opinion which is why this list was so hard to create. I like to make decisions for myself and not base them on the decisions of others.

What would be on your list?

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Filed under Book Worm's Obssessive lists, Top Ten Tuesdays

Top Ten Tuesdays: Favorite Fantasy Characters

Top Ten TuesdaysHere we go… this list should be easy ๐Ÿ™‚

1. Hermione Granger – I wonder if J.K. Rowling somehow met me and cloned me for this character even though she lives halfway around the world. Even down to the frizzy brown curls and the know it all attitude which I try to keep under control.ย  Yep, I was Hermione in high school. I knew she was going to pick Ron from the first book… ugh. (Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling)

2. Kahlan Amnell – She’s amazing. That’s it. Nothing else really to say. Again I tell everyone. READ THESE BOOKS. (Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind)

3. Elisa de Vega – This girl grows in hardship and becomes something amazing. She is forced into a certain position due to who she is and yet she doesn’t allow it to control her life. I want the third book already! (The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson)

4. Celia Bowen – What a character. The whole story centers around this girl and her ability to alter perception of the world around her. The competition between herself and her unknown opponent is intriguing and while she is the center of the story along with Marcus, the rest of the book is still wonderful. I think she’s a favorite simply because the book is so good. (The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern)

5. Edward Cullen – Confession. I was really trying to not mention Twilight this time. I didn’t make it. Sorry. I find all of the Cullens intriguing because the reader is only given snippets of who they are. We get more of Edward than most but there is so much more that I want to know about this character. Really wish Midnight Sun was finished. Just saying…

6. Tris – Those who have read Divergent know why she’s amazing. Those who haven’t though, should go find out. Tris comes from a totally different world than the one she chooses for herself. She is forced to go so far outside of her comfort zone that it disappears. I love that she does things on her own terms and tries to live outside of the expectations of others. (Divergent series by Veronica Roth)

7. Jane Fairfax/Austen – Can you imagine Jane Austen in the modern world? Yep. That’s the idea behind this character and she is hilarious to read. I laugh every time I open these books. Simple as that (Jane Fairfax series by Michael Thomas Ford)

8. Ender Wiggin – Honestly I could fill the rest of the list with characters from the Ender universe but I think that might annoy everyone. Why Ender? Simple. He was the one who sold me on the series. I think I might like Petra and Bean better but Ender started it all. (Ender saga by Orson Scott Card)

9. Matilda – A girl who likes to read and has telekinesis? Sign me up ๐Ÿ™‚ (Matilda by Roald Dahl)

10 Clary Fray – She is a wonderful character who dives into a world that tries to take everything from her time and time again. Cassandra Clare based her on another character on this list though so her inclusion should come as no surprise. (The Mortal Instrument series by Cassandra Clare).

There are so many more names I could include on this list but these were the first ones to come to mind so they made the list. Who makes your list?

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Book Review: The Casual Vacancy

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Book: The Casual Vacancy

Author: J.K. Rowling (yes, that one) ๐Ÿ˜‰

Recommend: The writing was great, the plot however… not so much.

I’ve been dying to read this simply because I had to know what an adult by her would be like. If you’ve followed my blog for any time at all you’ll know that I’m a big fan of Harry Potter. I put this book on request at the library though because I didn’t want to put money into something that was just awful. I was slightly concerned that this book would just not have the magic (pun only somewhat intended) of the YA series.

Within the first five pages you knew we weren’t in a magical England anymore. These characters were as mundane (dare I say muggle) as they come. The whole book centers around the death of the head of their town council which creates a shift in the balance of power in their small town. Everyone is dying to get their foot in the door but soon the long-buried secrets of those running for office are being exposed for the whole town to see and it puts the whole town in an uproar.

Let me start with the positives. I wasn’t sure she would be able to write believable, honest characters that were fleshed out enough for adult readers. I was so very wrong. The characters, major and minor flaws proudly on display are complex and have quite a bit of depth. Rowling is the master of character creation and that was the only thing that kept me going.

The plot however, was just disappointing. First of all, this is small town England politics. My immediate thought was who cares and continued along those lines for the entirety of the work. Second, there is nothing truly exciting in the plot. Most of it is just dull and sad. Honestly it was a bit too real for me. If I wanted to hear about people with horrible home lives I would just go to work. Seriously, as a teacher this is a whole lot of what I hear all the time. I found the whole thing petty and just not deserving material to write a book about.

Now, the truly sad. Honestly there is quite a bit of language and some adult material in this book. It is mild in comparison to some things I’ve read but honestly it is almost completely unnecessary. We know you aren’t writing for kids here. You don’t need swearing, sex and drug use to convince us.

All in all, the characters were well-formed but I wished they had been doing almost anything else. Really glad I didn’t purchase this one. I hope her next book is for kids or at least about something more interesting.

Final Rating:

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Filed under general fiction, mature themes and subject matter, mystery, Review

Book Review: The Tales of Beedle the Bard

The British cover (the version I own)

Book: The Tales of Beedle the Bard

Author: J.K. Rowling

Recommend: To anyone who has read the Harry Potter books.

I have been wanting to read this for quite some time but when I found a British copy on the shelves of my used bookstore for 3 bucks, I finally picked it up.

American Cover

While it was a very short and simple read, I felt like I was reading the works of the Grimm brothers with a magical twist. Even more so than the tales, I found the ‘commentary’ by Dumbledore even more entertaining. For those who have read the last book of the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the commentary on the story of “The Tale of the Three Brothers” is particularly entertaining simply because he holds back from telling the whole truth, even though the readers already know it. It creates this sense of reality that the simple truth never would have.

The version I wish I had

The only negative I found with buying this book second-hand was that the money from the resale doesn’t go to the foundation that got a part of the proceeds from the original sale. I might have to go make a donation since I’m getting all the enjoyment without the foundation getting any benefit.

I definitely recommend this one to any Harry Potter fan. It was a great diversion. It makes me want to go back and read the series again.

Final Rating:

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Buy it new ๐Ÿ™‚

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Filed under 2012, Children's book review, Review, Sci-Fi/ Fantasy, Summer book challenge