Snakes and Spiders OH MY!

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: Year Two – J.K. Rowling

Fantasy, witches, wizards, schools, England.

Rating 9/10

Harry Potter had returned to the Dursleys after his first year of school at Hogwarts. It had been very eventful for Harry. He gained actual friends. Made it into the Quidditch team. Survived his near-death encounter with Lord Voldemort. However, when it came to his birthday, he hadn’t gotten any letters from anyone. When a house elf, Dobby, turns up on his bed, Dobby confessed what he had done to Harry for a good reason. Harry was to not return to Hogwarts due to impending doom that was to be unleashed at the school. Harry disagrees and continues to want to go to school so Dobby got him into trouble with the Dursleys. Vernon locks Harry into his bedroom and puts bars on his window. Unknowingly that later Ron and his brothers would come rescue Harry. Only barely starting year two, something sinister has been happening in Hogwarts. A petrified cat and some students turn up as well as a disturbing message that the heir of Slytherin returned to Hogwarts to open the Chamber of Secrets and the evil inside unleashed on mud-bloods. Ginny, Ron’s little sister disappeared and its up to Harry to find her and bring her back safely. Harry encounters Tom Riddle who had been using a diary to speak to Ginny to do terrible deeds. Tom plans to use her body to become his true self, Lord Voldemort. Harry must stop the basilisk. With the help of a phoenix, a sorting hat, and the Sword of Grodrick Gryffindor, he kills the basilisk and the diary. He saves Ginny and Hogwarts as well, becoming a hero again.

Well this book had scared the shit out of me in my younger years, but I did enjoy this book as much as I had with the first. After this book I was wanting to continue to follow Harry’s journey to survival at Hogwarts and all his adventures. My heart ached for Harry and I deeply had wished he had a normal wizard life without ever encountering Lord Voldemort ever but that is the whole basis of the entire book series. I got a bit too far with myself there. Anyways I feel like this shouldn’t be just a children’s book. It is a genre that seems mutual enough for all ages to read.

The Boy Who Lived

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: Year One– J.K. Rowling

Fantasy, witches, wizards, schools, England.

Rating 9/10

Harry Potter, who survived a killing curse that was performed by Lord Voldemort, was orphaned and given to his neglectful magic hating family, the Dursleys. One day Harry receives a letter from Hogwarts and meets Hagrid, the Keeper of Keys at Hogwarts. Harry befriends Ron and slowly Hermione as well. Harry became the Gryffindor’s Seeker due to an unexpected incident that proved his greatness on the broom as well as catching a ball while on the broom. Together, on Halloween, defeat a Troll that was loose in the dungeons. Someone took control of Harry’s broomstick nearly accosting him his life. Later the trio hears that there is a giant dog hiding something, so they go investigate it. Some research later about Nicholas Flamel, they realize what it is that the school is protecting. The trio got caught sneaking after dark and had to serve detention. Wanting to see what the three headed dog was hiding the trio go. After some trials, Harry meets Professor Quirrell at the end of the maze that was set up to protect the Sorcerer’s Stone. Except it isn’t just Quirrell, Lord Voldemort is a nasty leech off the bald head of the professor. They duel and Voldemort loses. At the end, when the school year is all done and over with, Harry had gained new friends and a drive to go back to Hogwarts to be away from the terrible Dursleys.

I had recently found the entire hard copy set of all the Harry Potter books that were in excellent condition. I wanted to relive the whole journey as well as go down memory lane by rereading from Year One to Year Seven. This was the book series that got me started to wanting to read in the first place. The wonderful adventure of the trio first forming in this book does hint that in the rest of the books that they would be best friends until the end. That is ultimate friendship goals! As an adult reflecting about twelve years since I have read the entire series, I found myself finding little lines and such that I hadn’t noticed before. I relived that spark of passion to read and I was so emotional when I finished the first time, I read this book and wanted to read the rest. I highly recommend to read all the Harry Potter books because the movies don’t do the books justice. This book is for all ages.

A Darker Side of the Lost Boys

Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook – Christina Henry

Peter Pan, Never Ever Land, fantasy, horror, fiction, retelling

Rating 15/10

In this novel, it is a retelling of a classic childhood favorite but through the eyes of Captain Hook and his origins. Jamie was originally a lost boy that Peter Pan had rescued from the Other World. Peter Pan rescues these boys and whenever the boys start to age, they were cast off the island. Sometimes they survived to become pirates, some don’t survive at all. Whenever a boy would fall to illness and death, they were simply replaced. Peter Pan never ages, that is a fact here. Jamie slowly got tired of Peter Pan’s behaviors and decided to rebel against Peter after an incident that changed Jamie forever. He slowly started to grow up and Peter did not like that at all. So Peter cursed Jamie to be forever an adult and to remain on the island. Jamie was never meant to be the villain; it was Peter whom made Jamie the villain. Made Jamie into Captain Hook by cutting off his left hand as well as the whole curse.

I really enjoyed this novel so much. I had loved the idea of the other side of the fairy tale, no matter how dark it would be. This was just the right amount of horror I wanted as well. It is interesting to hear how the famous villain, Captain Hook, was originally was a lost boy. Made me sympathize with Jamie because Peter Pan kept bringing more and more boys onto the island and not really caring for these boys. Let them die of sickness or being killed and the sad part was that Jamie buried these boys that came and went. I would’ve done the same thing as Jamie did. Just give it all up, just grow up, and attempt to leave. I will for sure plan to reread this book in the future.

Mermaids, Dragons, Phoenixes, Vampires.. Oh My

Siren Prophecy 1: Shifted – Tricia Barr, Jesse Booth, Joanna Reeder, Angel Leya, Alessandra Jay

Mythological creatures, science fiction, fantasy, fiction, young adult

Rating 10/10

Myreen, a teenager whose mother moved around many times had always wondered why they kept moving around and the rules. Rules such as no staying out after dark and never go swimming. Up until Myreen had it with the rules decides to defy her mother and go out with her new friend Kenzie. After coming home to find her mother dead and a guy taking her off to a school where there are shifters. Oberon introduces her to a whole new world her mother kept from her as well as the fact that Myreen is a mermaid. Myreen has trouble shifting but later on finds out she is a chimera, she can shift into more than just a mermaid, she’s also a siren and part vampire. She is now being hunted by not just any vampire but her father. Myreen sees why her mother had to protect her and forgave her a little.

I really enjoyed this book and can’t wait to read more of this series. Not much more to say other than this was an incredible book that had a plot twist.

Twilight Was Better Than This..

50 Shades of Grey – E.L. James

Adult situations, romance, bdsm, drama, fiction, fantasy

Rating 1/10

“50 Shades of Grey” by E.L. James, it is about a rich man, Christian Grey, who has a dark side to him that prevents him from loving a woman the right and proper way due to his upbringing. Ana Steele is a woman who went for her best friend to interview this rich man and she is instantly captivated by Mr. Grey. Later on, they cross paths and eventually date. Not actually date but discus his dark pleasures. Ana is curious about said dark pleasures and he takes her to his room where his dark pleasures happen. His dark pleasures is bondage sexual activities. She signs to be his mistress and apart of his world. After regretting one taste of his darkness she runs away from him and he wants to reconcile. He goes groveling to her.

I have to say I hate this book because of the themes and ideas. Originally, I was curious as to what was the whole hype. I deeply regret ever reading this book. Terrible written porn and unless one is a bored house wife, one would find this thrilling. Never will reread this book. Not sorry.

James, E. L. Fifty Shades of Grey. Vintage Books, 2012.

A School for Good? Evil?

The School of Good and Evil – Soman Chainani

Children’s fiction, fantasy, good, evil, school, adventure, fairy tale,

Rating 10/10

In the children’s book, “The School of Good and Evil” by Soman Chainani, it’s not just any children’s fairy tale book. It starts off with Agatha and Sophie living in a village where they fear a monster that takes two children each year and those children are to never be seen again. These children are sent to The School of Good and Evil where boys and girls are separated into two categories. Good and evil. They are trained to succeed in the fairy tale they have to play out. Sophie wanted to be “kidnapped” due to possibly going to the School of Good as she sees that she is good and Agatha would go to the school of Evil. Agatha doesn’t feel nor agree with Sophie. Both of them are swiped up and to their surprise their fates are reverse. Agatha falls into the school of good while Sophie falls into the school of evil. Fearing that this is a mistake, they plead that they got the wrong fates. In the end, in order to succeed, they have to face their new fate by playing out their fairy tale.

I LOVE this book. I feel that any age audience would enjoy this book. Given that there are elements for everyone and has a lot of strong messages. I reread this book as many times as I had reread the Harry Potter series. Totally worth giving it a read.

Chaniani, Soman. The School for Good and Evil. HarperCollins Childrens Books, 2013.

Snow Falling- Always Romantic

Snow Falling – Jane Gloriana Villanueva

Romance, fantasy, historical time era, drama, fiction

Rating 8/10

This is a book from a telenovela, Jane the Virgin, “Snow Falling” by Jane Gloriana Villanueva, by the main protagonist. Jane wrote a love romance inspired by her love with Michael but in a romantic retelling historical view point. Josephine Galena Valencia wanted to write a novel and it was uncommon in her time era of the nineteen hundred. She was engaged to a detective, Martin Cadden, while working at this hotel. After one misunderstanding and getting a bit drunk, Jane makes a terrible mistake that changes her life forever. Now she is in love with another man by the name of Rake Solvino. Along with possibly being pregnant, her mysterious father whom her mother never mentioned comes into the picture, and a very threatening crime lord thrown into the mix. The drama continues as Josephine tries to manage her feelings and her life. She has to face a final decision of who she truly loves.

As my soul sister had introduced me the show Jane The Virgin, I was hooked on it. I was not expecting a telenovela to publish a book that a fictional character wrote yet alone expect this book to be decent. However, I was not expecting my soul sister to have another copy and gave the spare copy to me. I was thrilled and excited. I was a bit disappointed in the main character’s choices and petty misunderstandings, but it had to happen to ensure the plot to thrive. It is a decent book and I would give it another read.

Villanueva, Jane Gloriana. Snow Falling. Adams Media Corporation, 2017