Sunday, July 31, 2011

Harry Potter Wrap-Up

I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.

I thought it fitting that I end my Harry Potter posts today, on July 31st, which is of course both Harry Potter and JK Rowling’s birthday.

So happy birthday, Harry! And happy birthday, Jo! I love you both so so much.

Thanks to all of you who have read my Harry Potter reread posts, I hope you enjoyed both revisiting each story with me and gaining a small insight into the insane lengths my mind can go to when it comes to these wonderful wonderful books. :)

I just have a few more things I want to share with you. First of all, my lovely companions throughout this process (and every time I read Harry Potter, actually):

I have quite a large bookmark collection, but I absolutely love these, especially the set of six. I’ve had them for so long I don’t even remember where they came from. <3

And also, I know there are many bands out there that are devoted to creating music inspired by Harry Potter, and I recently discovered one that I have now become obsessed with. They’re called Ministry of Magic and they currently have four albums out, all of which are available on iTunes. The songs they write are amazing, both in terms of lyrics and the music they use. I’ve had a medley of four or five of them stuck in my head for the past few days, but I’m not mad about it at all. They’re sooooo catchy.

My current favorite is ‘The Bravest Man I Ever Knew.’ To those of you who have been reading my posts and are aware of my tendency to fangirl over Snape, I’m sure this comes as no surprise to you. :P

Check it out!

A few of my other favorites include Lily, Don’t Leave, and Accio Love. Listen to them and be in awe of these people with me.

Alright, well I suppose I’ve dragged on Harry Potter “week” for as long as I can without it being absolutely ridiculous. :P This is the end, folks. Except it’s never really the end, is it? Why, before you know it Pottermore will fully be here and then there will be all new Harry Potter stuff to gush over! Yay! (Also, today is the day when we get more information about how to get the chance to enter Pottermore early! I'm currently in the mountains somewhere so I can't go check it out, but you can find out here.)

I feel so lucky to have grown up in this Harry Potter generation. I can’t imagine that anything will come close to having this same scope of awesomeness anywhere in the near future. Long live Harry Potter!

Happy reading, everyone. :)

Mischief managed.

In My Mailbox #12

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren that gives book bloggers the opportunity to showcase the books they’ve received that week. You can learn more about it here.

So I’m not really here right now, as you can see by the sticky note at the top of my blog. By this Sunday, I’m somewhere in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, hopefully enjoying cooler weather than I’ve previously been experiencing this summer. :)

Before I left I did get just a couple more books, so I thought I’d go ahead and make a little mini-IMM to post while I’m away. Then my next IMM will be in two weeks, and it will include all the books that arrived while I was gone.

From the library:

Leviathan (Leviathan 1) by Scott Westerfeld
Behemoth (Leviathan 2) by Scott Westerfeld
I recently received Goliath, the third book in the Leviathan series, for review, so I figured I should start with these two! I’ve always wanted to read Scott Westerfeld, and I think the steampunk genre is so interesting, so I’m really looking forward to these.

From NetGalley:

How to Seduce a Scoundrel by Vicky Dreiling

From Galley Grab:

Flawless by Carrie Lofty

What’s in your mailbox this week?

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 Movie Thoughts

Okay, so overall, I loved Deathly Hallows Part 2. I definitely cried, which I knew I was going to do. I teared up a bit at the beginning just because of the overwhelming thought that this is the last one, the last time I’ll ever sit in the theater for a midnight showing and hear that music and see those words and be that excited. And then I think the waterworks really started for real when they were fortifying the castle and McGonagall awakens the statues and then is all adorable and goes “I’ve always wanted to use that spell!” Love her. The music in that scene (titled ‘Statues’) is just so effing epic. I’ve been listening to it over and over again.

But yeah, after that, the tears never really stopped. I was pretty much a blubbering mess. Haha.

So, things I liked, in no particular order:

- The castle fortification scene, obviously. When I get the DVD I’m going to watch that on repeat for about a week, I’m sure.

- Neville is so badass! I love him. And he and Luna were adorable.

- McGonagall, also badass. When she steps in front of Harry and starts battling Snape… ugh. So awesome. And okay, probably my favorite line of the movie is when Neville is like “Wait, you’re giving us permission to do this? We can blow it up? Boom?” and McGonagall goes, “BOOM!” Hahahahahahaha. And then her line “I seem to remember Mr. Finnegan has a particular proclivity for pyrotechnics.” This woman. *shakes head* Honestly, she is fantastic.

- I liked the explanation they come up with for how Harry knew where the Horcruxes were, that since he was one of them, he could sense them. Since they left out all those memories from Half-Blood Prince that told Harry what objects Tom Riddle used, I think this was a good way to get around that.

- Alan Rickman is a god. ‘Nuff said. You guys know he broke my heart.

- On a related note, Nagini killing Snape was absolutely brutal to watch. But I think it was perfect.

- I think that this movie is my favorite of Ralph Fiennes’ portrayal of Voldemort. He was so fantastic. Especially during the part when Harry and Co jump off the dragon into the lake and we see the flashes of Voldemort finding out that they’re hunting Horcruxes… I actually felt sorry for Voldemort during that scene, that’s how good he was. Man.

- Loved the scene in the Forest with Harry’s parents and Sirius and Lupin. So simple and beautiful.

- I thought the scene in King’s Cross with Dumbledore was really well done, although the Voldemort baby soul thing was way grosser than I had imagined it. It looked like something from the Bodies exhibit. *shudder*

- When everyone thinks Harry is dead and then he plops out of Hagrid’s arms and Voldemort just stares at him… that scene was GOLD. Loved it.

- Also loved Draco’s awkward hug with Voldemort (hahahahaha) and LOL at the Malfoys fleeing for their lives. Haha. I did really like the way Narcissa was played in this movie. I wish we could have seen her a bit more throughout the films.

- I think Helena Bonham Carter is an absolutely fantastic actress, but I’ve never liked the way she chose to interpret Bellatrix. I picture Bella as more deadly and terrifying, and less crazy and manic. BUT, I do want to give her props for portraying Hermione pretending to be Bellatrix. I thought she was excellent in those scenes.

- The adorable little grin that Hermione and Ron give each other after the kiss. Love! Also, I love how Ron keeps suggesting these awesome ideas and Hermione’s just like, “Brilliant,” in this confused voice. Always the tone of surprise! :)

- I thought the epilogue was well done, and I’m really glad they didn’t use different actors. I feel like it’s more about the idea behind it rather than the actual execution of them all looking like they’re 19 years older (Hermione ages super well, btw. As in, not at all. And Ron… not so much. Ha.). Also, the kid who played Albus Severus was absolutely adorable. But BLUE EYES! WHY HAS HARRY ALWAYS HAD BLUE EYES?? Colored contacts, people, it’s almost like magic. Sigh.

Things I didn’t like or had issues with, again, in no particular order:

- Fred’s death. I wish they had kept this more like the book, because I think it carries more weight that way, instead of just seeing him after the fact. I did think the passing glance over Lupin and Tonks was lovely though.

- I wish they’d kept Percy’s return in the movie, but I guess they didn’t actually make as much of a big deal about his falling out so it wouldn’t have been as dramatic. Also, I think they did film the scene, so hopefully we’ll get it as a DVD extra!

- I didn’t like the effect they chose to use for the Imperius curse. That colored smoke and the giddy look that came over the victim just didn’t do it for me.

- I missed Grawp. :(

- Luna somehow mysteriously travels from Shell Cottage to Hogwarts, and when Harry, Ron, and Hermione show up in the Room of Requirement and she’s already there it’s like no big deal and they’re not surprised to see her, even though they just left her. But really, why the hell would she come back to Hogwarts if Neville didn’t send for her? I think they could have so easily gotten her to Hogwarts in a way that made sense. This just bugged me.

- Daniel Radcliffe and Bonnie Wright have absolutely zero chemistry. They’ve always had zero chemistry. That kiss on the stairs? What WAS that? That wasn’t a kiss! He’s going to die! She’s going to die! KISS LIKE YOU MEAN IT, PEOPLE!

- Overall, I thought Snape’s memories were fantastic, I just had one small issue, and that was the way his relationship with Lily was portrayed. In the movie they made it look like he and Lily were childhood friends before Hogwarts, and then when they got to school they were sorted into different Houses and that is kind of why their friendship fell apart. There’s nothing about him calling her a Mudblood, his rivalry with James, her issues with the people he’s hanging out with… I just feel like all of those things are so important and they could have easily added another minute or two to his memory sequence and fleshed some of those scenes out a little more to show us the development of their relationship. This movie is the shortest of all eight Harry Potter films, so they definitely could have added in a little more content, and I think this would have been the place to do it.

- I understand why they did it, but I wasn’t really a fan of the final Harry/Voldemort duel. I mean, I get it, they want to make it an action packed movie and show off their special effects. Okay, cool. But the whole point of their final confrontation is the conversation that they have and the things that Harry reveals to Voldemort during that conversation. It’s not all about falling off parapets and flying smoke and sparks and curses. Also, I hated the way Voldemort disintegrated. What was up with that? Now they’re all going to be breathing in Voldemort for the next few days. Blech.

- I’m mostly okay with Harry snapping the Elder Wand, although I do wish he would have mended his own wand first. Also, if the Elder Wand is supposed to be so incredibly powerful and everything, shouldn’t it be harder to break?

- I know that this movie IS the second half of a story, but one thing I didn’t like is that it really FELT like the second half of a story. It didn’t feel like a complete movie on its own. And obviously it can’t ever be a stand-alone movie, I know that, but I think they could have done more to make it feel a bit more complete by itself.

- One thing I’ve always had issues with about the movies is that Hogwarts looks different in almost every single movie, and this one was no exception. Where did that massive long staircase come from? And what about those random rafter-type things that they were fighting in? And the huge chasm in front of the school? And the boat house? How hard would it have been to have the Voldemort/Snape scene in the Shrieking Shack like it’s supposed to be?

And lastly (although this isn’t a dislike), I saw the movie both in the regular 2D theater and also in the IMAX 3D, and I have to say, I am normally not a fan of 3D at all, but this one was incredibly well done. Everything was done so subtly that you got have the awesome 3D effect without feeling like you were watching 3D, if that makes sense. There were no corny moments where things jumped out at you, it was really more about enhancing the details that were already there. I forgot I was watching it in 3D, which was perfect for me.

So yeah, even with the issues I had with it, I loved this movie. I <3 HP. I can’t believe it’s over!

What did you all think of the movie? Were you pleased? Disappointed? Did you cry like a baby?

Thoughts on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

So here it is, my last Harry Potter reread post! I’ve really enjoyed writing these, even if I was maybe a little overzealous at times. :P Check in later today for my thoughts on the Deathly Hallows Part 2 movie, and then on Sunday for an overall wrap-up of these posts, as well as some Harry-Potter related goodies I have to share with you.

If you’ve missed any of the previous posts, you can find them here:

Each time I read Deathly Hallows I like it more and more. And oddly enough, I also find that each time I read it I’ve managed to forget little details, so I find myself more excited and intrigued than I normally would be while rereading a book, which is awesome. We just get so much information in this one, it’s wonderful.

- Okay, so this is probably a stupid question/comment, but I’ve been thinking about it a lot recently. They frequently refer to the protection that Harry has from Lily’s sacrifice as a “charm,” mentioning the protection that Lily gave him and that the charm will break under certain conditions, etc. Before Deathly Hallows came out and everyone was still speculating about what was going to happen, I remember two pieces of information we were given: one, that Harry having Lily’s eyes was important, and two, that it was important that Lily’s wand was good at charmwork (Ollivander mentions this at one point). Now obviously, Harry having Lily’s eyes is important for Snape-related reasons, but the charm thing never really came into play. So I started wondering whether the protection/love charm was something intentional that Lily did to protect Harry. I’d never thought this before, and I still don’t know if I believe it, but it’s just something that’s been running through my mind.

- I. Love. Ron. Case in point:

“Yes, good point,” said Mrs. Weasley from the top of the table, where she sat, spectacles perched on the end of her nose, scanning an immense list of jobs that she had scribbled on a very long piece of parchment. “Now, Ron, have you cleaned out your room yet?”
“Why?” exclaimed Ron, slamming his spoon down and glaring at his mother. “Why does my room have to be cleaned out? Harry and I are fine with it the way it is!”
“We are holding your brother’s wedding here in a few days’ time, young man – “
“And are they getting married in my bedroom?” asked Ron furiously, “No! So why in the name of Merlin’s saggy left – “
“Don’t talk to your mother like that,” said Mr. Weasley firmly. “And do as you’re told.”
Ron scowled at both his parents, then picked up his spoon and attacked the last few mouthfuls of his apple tart.

Aaaahhh I love him so much.

- “When I get married,” said Fred, tugging at the collar of his own robes, “I won’t be bothering with any of this nonsense. You can all wear what you like, and I’ll put a full Body-Bind Curse on Mum until it’s all over.”

Sniff. Oh Fred.

- I love The Silver Doe chapter, both because of the Snape parts of it and because Ron comes back! This is one of my two favorite chapters in this book (I’ll give you one guess what the other one is :P).

- I love the bit when they’re at the Lovegood’s and Hermione is trying to reason with Xenophilius and she’s just getting so frustrated:

“All right,” said Hermione, disconcerted. “Say the Cloak existed… what about the stone, Mr. Lovegood? The thing you call the Resurrection Stone?”
“What of it?”
“Well, how can that be real?”
“Prove that it is not,” said Xenophilius.
Hermione looked outraged.
“But that’s – I’m sorry, but that’s completely ridiculous! How can I possibly prove it doesn’t exist? Do you expect me to get hold of – of all the pebbles in the world and test them? I mean, you could claim that anything’s real if the only basis for believing in it is that nobody’s proved it doesn’t exist!”
“Yes, you could,” said Xenophilius. “I am glad to see that you are opening your mind a little.”

- Potterwatch!! I wish they’d put this in the movie more. It’s one of my favorite little details of the book. I especially love the bit about Hagrid throwing a “Support Harry Potter” party in his house… hahahahahaha I love Hagrid. That is so something he would do.

Also this:

“… I’d like to introduce a new correspondent: Rodent.”
“Rodent?” said yet another familiar voice, and Harry, Ron, and Hermione cried out together:
“No – is it George?”
“It’s Fred, I think,” said Ron, leaning in closer, as whichever twin it was said,
“I’m not being ‘Rodent,’ no way, I told you I wanted to be ‘Rapier’!”
“Oh, all right then. ‘Rapier,’ could you please give us your take on the various stories we’ve been hearing about the Chief Death Eater?”
“So, people, let’s try and calm down a bit. Things are bad enough without inventing stuff as well. For instance, this new idea that You-Know-Who can kill with a single glance from his eyes. That’s a basilisk, listeners. One simple test: Check whether the thing that’s glaring at you has got legs. If it has, it’s safe to look into its eyes, although if it really is You-Know-Who, that’s still likely to be the last thing you ever do.”
“Point is, people, don’t get lulled into a false sense of security, thinking he’s out of the country. Maybe he is, maybe he isn’t, but the fact remains he can move faster than Severus Snape confronted with shampoo when he wants to, so don’t count on him being a long way away if you’re planning on taking any risks. I never thought I’d hear myself say it, but safety first!”

Fred's my boy. <3

- I get all teary eyed and squee when everyone starts pouring into the Room of Requirement. First it’s Luna and Dean, and then Ginny, Fred, George, and Lee Jordan. Then when Harry and Luna get back from Ravenclaw there’s even more. Kingsley, Lupin, Oliver Wood, Katie Bell, Angelina Johnson, Alicia Spinnet, Bill and Fleur, Mr. and Mrs. Weasley… It just makes me so happy. I love Harry’s reaction too. He’s all WTF? And he describes the group as “the mingled members of the Order of the Phoenix, Dumbledore’s Army, and Harry’s old Quidditch team.” <3 <3 <3

- I love the scene where Percy returns as well. Everyone is just so awkward, it’s fantastic.

- Of course I have to mention Ron and Hermione’s kiss. That deserves a <3 for sure. All that work Hermione put into S.P.E.W. and it finally paid off! :P

- In addition to Snape, I’m a huge Fred fangirl, and his death scene is absolutely heartwrenchingly tragic. I remember I was so devastated when I first read it, I walked around depressed for about a week. (It didn’t help that at the same time I was watching the end of the second season of Doctor Who, and for those of you who watch it you know exactly what I’m talking about.) I still cry every time I read it.

- I love how desperate Snape is to find Harry, both when he runs into McGonagall in the hallway and when he’s talking to Voldemort in the Shrieking Shack. He keeps saying “let me go to the boy,” you can tell he’s getting frantic. That poor poor man.

- Snape’s death <3
Do I even need to say more? What an awful reason to die. Hurts my heart. I also love that Harry goes to him, even after everything he’s done. Harry is just so good.

- Okay, so OBVIOUSLY my favorite chapter is ‘The Prince’s Tale’ I ADORE IT. SO SO MUCH.
Some of my favorite bits:

“And will it really come by owl?” Lily whispered.
“Normally,” said Snape, “But you’re Muggle-born, so someone from the school will have to come and explain it to your parents.”
“Does it make a difference, being Muggle-born”?
Snape hesitated. His black eyes, eager in the greenish gloom, moved over the pale face, the dark red hair.
“No,” he said. “It doesn’t make any difference.”

GUH. Just writing about this is making me tear up. “It doesn’t make any difference.” My heart can’t take this.

“Tell me about the dementors again.”
“What d’you want to know about them for?”
“If I use magic outside school – “
“They wouldn’t give you to the dementors for that! Dementors are for people who do really bad stuff. They guard the wizard prison, Azkaban. You’re not going to end up in Azkaban, you’re too –“
He turned red again, and shredded more leaves. Then a small rustling noise behind Harry made him turn: Petunia, hiding behind a tree, had lost her footing.

This is the conversation that Petunia mentions in Order of the Phoenix, when she says she heard “that awful boy” telling Lily about the dementors once. She also quotes Snape word for word: “They guard the wizard prison, Azkaban.” Knowing what we know now about how desperately she wanted to go to Hogwarts herself, can you imagine how much she must resent Harry even more for his magical ability?

I love getting to see Sirius and James on the train, taunting Snape from the very beginning about being in Slytherin versus Gryffindor.

Everytime I read about the scene where he calls her a Mudblood I always hope he won’t do it. Why, Snape? Why?

I love getting to see the development of the relationship between Snape and Dumbledore, and I especially love that we see that Dumbledore really did know everything going on (he tells Snape to keep an eye on Quirrell, almost as an afterthought to the rest of their conversation…  Dumbledore telling Snape that he’s a braver man than Karkaroff for not running when they feel the Mark getting clearer, and that sometimes he thinks they Sort too soon (I especially love the stricken look on Snape’s face when Dumbledore says this)… Dumbledore knows that Voldemort plans to have Draco murder him… asking Snape to protect the students when Voldemort inevitably takes over…  And OF COURSE, Dumbledore saying, with tears in his eyes, “After all this time?” “Always.” STOP IT SNAPE I AM PUDDLE OF GOO. I CANNOT. <3 …. I love Snape still getting advice from Dumbledore’s portrait … Snape finding and crying over the letter from Lily in Sirius’ bedroom… Phineas calling Hermione a Mudblood and Snape saying, “Do not use that word!”

Oh, there are just so many good moments. I could read that chapter over and over again.

- I absolutely love the end bit when Harry is hidden under the Invisibility Cloak casting all these jinxes and Shield Charms and nobody knows where they’re coming from. SO GOOD.


‘And now there were more, even more people storming up the front steps, and Harry saw Charlie Weasley overtaking Horace Slughorn, who was still wearing his emerald pajamas. They seemed to have returned at the head of what looked like the families and friends of every Hogwarts student who had remained to fight, along with the shopkeepers and homeowners of Hogsmeade. The centaurs Bane, Ronan, and Magorian burst into the hall with a great clatter of hooves, as behind Harry the door that led to the kitchens was blasted off its hinges.’

And then the house elves just swarm in and everything goes crazy.

Also at one point Trelawney is chucking crystal balls at the Death Eaters which I think is just so hilarious and fantastic.

- I love the last epic confrontation, when Harry has his conversation with Voldemort and tells him that Snape was never his, that he was always Dumbeldore’s, and that the Elder Wand doesn’t belong to who he thinks it belongs to, I love him asking for remorse because he’s seen what Voldemort will become, and I especially love the fact that even though Snape killed Dumbledore, he never DEFEATED him, which makes all the difference in the world.

- Also, I tear up when Harry walks into the headmaster's office and sees Dumbledore’s portrait crying.

- Okay, so now it’s confession time. And my confession is that I actually really love the epilogue. Yes, it’s corny and silly and a little lame, but I love it for all of those things. I love that JK Rowling just let herself indulge in it and for that reason maybe it has some fanfiction tendencies. Whatever. And as lame as it is, I love that Harry named his kid Albus Severus, and that he is the only one who has Lily’s eyes. I’m a gushy goofball like that. I can totally understand why a lot of people don’t like it and I generally agree with most of the points they raise, but I still love it. And I’m not sorry. :P

Oh also, I adore Ginny telling James to give Neville their love and he goes: “Mum! I can’t give a professor love!” Hahahaha.

Basically I love these books. A lot. Obviously. :D

The jacket illustration:

And the special edition!

That’s all for now! Just a couple more HP posts and then that’s it! :S

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

"Waiting On" Wednesday #11

"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted at Breaking the Spine that spotlights an upcoming release (or releases) that we're eagerly anticipating.

What I’m waiting on:

The Fine Art of Truth or Dare
By: Melissa Jensen
Publisher: Speak
Release Date: February 16, 2012
Add it on Goodreads

From Goodreads:

Pretty in Pink meets Anna and the French Kiss in this charming romantic comedy.

Ella is nearly invisible at the Willing School, and that’s just fine by her. She’s got her friends – the fabulous Frankie and their sweet cohort Sadie. She’s got her art – and her idol, the unappreciated 19th century painter Edward Willing. Still, it’s hard being a nobody and having a crush on the biggest somebody in the school: Alex Bainbridge. Especially when he is your French tutor, and lessons have started becoming, well, certainly more interesting than French has ever been before. But can the invisible girl actually end up with a happily ever after with the golden boy, when no one even knows they’re dating? And is Ella going to dare to be that girl?

Okay, so I was sold as soon as Anna and the French Kiss was mentioned. I’m definitely getting really into the contemporary YA romance genre and this one looks great. Bring on those steamy French tutoring sessions! :)

Elemental Reality
By: Cesya MaRae Cuono
Publisher: Revolution Publishing
Release Date: August 11, 2011
Add it on Goodreads

From Goodreads:

When Callie Pierce was ten, her mother disappeared without a trace. On the eve of her disappearance twelve years later, the Earth seemingly comes alive. The elements speak to Callie, and that’s only the beginning. Everything she has ever known was a twisted fabrication to protect her. Now the truth is set free. Callie and her sister are more powerful that any Faerie ever born. Now they have to use their powers to save their mother and family from the evil hands of fate that threaten to tear them apart. Welcome to her elemental reality.

I’m especially excited about this one because I’m participating in the Elemental Reality Blog Tour, so keep your eyes open over the next few weeks for a review and a guest post from author Cesya MaRae Cuono (isn’t that such a cool name?). And the book itself looks awesome! It’s the first of what I believe is a trilogy (there are at least three, I know that much), and I can’t wait to dive in. Also, this is possibly the most gorgeous cover that I have seen EVER. I am in love with it. I've seriously been sitting here staring at it for about 20 minutes. I absolutely cannot wait to have my own copy so I can just sit and stroke it. Swoon.

What books are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Thoughts on Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

It’s Half-Blood Prince time, folks! I’m finding that as I go on with these “reviews,” they’re becoming less and less content-based and more along the lines of “Omigosh, I love it when… Here’s a quote!” Haha, but that’s okay! Gushing about Harry Potter is one of my favorite things to do, so I’m just going to go with it. :)

If you’re interested, you can catch up with my previous Harry Potter ramblings:

Diving right in:

- We start off with some more of Dumbledore being awesome. I particularly love his comment to Harry about the Ministry of Magic pamphlet on security measures:

‘”Sir – I got a Ministry of Magic leaflet by owl, about security measures we should all take against the Death Eaters…”
“Yes, I received one myself,” said Dumbledore, still smiling. “Did you find it useful?”
“Not really.”
“No, I thought not. You have not asked me, for instance, what is my favorite flavor of jam, to check that I am indeed Professor Dumbledore and not an imposter.”
“I didn’t…” Harry began, not entirely sure whether he was being reprimanded or not.
“For future reference, Harry, it is raspberry… although of course, if I were a Death Eater, I would have been sure to research my own jam preference before impersonating myself.”’

Ha. I love Dumbledore’s sense of humor. I’ve said it before, this is something that I’ve always felt was definitely lacking in the movies.

- This is the book where Snape finally gets to teach Defense Against the Dark Arts, as I’m sure everyone remembers, but in my reread I realized that I had some questions about the reasoning behind it. First of all, I’m not sure I fully understand why Dumbledore never let him teach it before. Someone says in one of the books that it’s because he doesn’t want Snape to be swayed back to his old ways and he’s worried that if Snape is given that job it will be too tempting for him to resist, but I’m not sure I really believe that. For one thing, how exactly would teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts tempt Snape? It’s not like he would be learning any more information about the Dark Arts than he already has. Maybe it’s just that being around it all the time and having to talk about it to his students would remind him how much he loves it? Shrug. I don’t know. The other reason I don’t fully buy that is that Dumbledore trusts Snape implicitly.  Absolutely 100%. So I feel like he wouldn’t be worried about such a little thing as letting Snape teach DADA.
Another possible reason for Dumbledore not giving Snape the DADA position that occurred to me (although I have no idea how credible this thought is), is that Dumbledore knew that the position was jinxed after Voldemort tried to get the job and he didn’t want to lose Snape at Hogwarts. Although he could have kept Snape on in another position.
I just don’t know. Does anyone have any thoughts or theories on this? I’m sure there are posts about it in forums and stuff, I just haven’t been bothered to do any research. :P

My second point about Snape finally getting the DADA job is why? Why all of a sudden did Dumbledore decide to let him teach it? (Also, the fact that Dumbledore did let him teach it makes the theory above about him being worried about it tempting Snape lose plausibility. Dumbledore knows he’s nearing his end, if he really thought that the DADA job would cause Snape to cross over, now was NOT the time to give it to him.) A few theories came to mind as I was reading, although I don’t know that any of them are very realistic:
                1. Dumbledore knows that Harry wants to be an Auror and that he won’t be able to take Newt level Potions if Snape is still teaching it, so he lets Snape teach DADA so Slughorn can teach Potions and Harry can continue to study it.
                2. The only class that Slughorn will agree to come back and teach is Potions, so Dumbledore needs to free that position up and has to let Snape teach DADA.
                3. Dumbledore knows he’s dying and that Snape will have to kill him and will be exposed as a “traitor,” so it doesn’t matter anymore if the jinx on the job causes Snape to leave after one year, since everything will be so screwed up anyway.
                4. Dumbledore feels sorry for forcing Snape to kill him and lets him teach DADA as a sort of bribe/apology/compromise/last wish sort of thing.

Haha okay so that last one I kind of just made up. I feel like it’s probably some combination of a few of those theories. It would help my guesswork if I knew the reason that Dumbledore wouldn’t let him teach it in the first place. Ah well. Theorizing and analyzing little details is part of the fun of Harry Potter! :)

- Speaking of Newt level Potions, I absolutely love the scene in the movie when McGonagall calls Harry over to tell him he can take the class and then forces him to drag Ron along with him. Hahaha, she’s so great.

- Now that Buckbeak is back on Hogwarts grounds and living with Hagrid, wouldn’t Draco recognize him? Although now that I think about it I guess Draco has moved on to bigger and better things and can’t be bothered with a stupid hippogriff anymore.

- Harry gets pretty cheeky with Snape in this book. My favorite example:

‘”Do you remember me telling you we are practicing nonverbal spells, Potter?”
“Yes,” said Harry stiffly.
“Yes, sir.”
“There’s no need to call me ‘sir,’ Professor.”’

!! He’s got a lot of nerve, saying that to a professor. I’m surprised Snape didn’t give him worse than a detention.

- I adore Ron so so much. And Rupert Grint is fantastic. Ron is one of the few characters that I actually like in the movie just as much as I do in the book. There’s one particularly great scene in this book when Hermione is trying to explain why so many people are trying out for the Gryffindor Quidditch team:

‘”Oh, come on, Harry,” said Hermione, suddenly impatient. “It’s not Quidditch that’s popular, it’s you! You’ve never been more interesting, and frankly, you’ve never been more fanciable.”
Ron gagged on a large piece of kipper. Hermione spared him one look of disdain before turning back to Harry.
“Everyone knows you’ve been telling the truth now, don’t they? The whole Wizarding world has had to admit that you were right about Voldemort being back… And you’ve been through all that persecution from the Ministry when they were trying to make out you were unstable and a liar. You can still see the marks on the back of your hand where that evil woman made you write with your own blood, but you stuck to your story anyway…”
“You can still see where those brains got hold of me in the Ministry, look,” said Ron, shaking back his sleeves.
“And it doesn’t hurt that you’ve grown about a foot over the summer either,” Hermione finished, ignoring Ron.
“I’m tall,” said Ron inconsequentially.’

LOVE him. <3

- The Quidditch tryouts are also hilarious. I just love the fact that so many people came to try out, and some of them weren’t even in Gryffindor! Poor Harry, he was so exasperated.

- Sticking with the Quidditch theme, I really miss Lee Jordan as a commentator. BUT, Luna’s commentary is absolutely my favorite. I’m resisting the urge to quote the entire thing here, but it starts on page 413 of the hardcover edition, so go read it! :) Also, at one point Zacharias Smith acts as commentator, even though he’s a player on the Hufflepuff team. I really feel like commentators should not be team members, because there’s such a strong bias there, it’s clearly not going to go well. Just a thought.

- A couple more examples of Ginny being awesome:

‘”It was an accident, I’m sorry, Demelza, really sorry!” Ron shouted after her as she zigzagged back to the ground, dripping blood everywhere. “I just – “
“Panicked,” Ginny said angrily, landing next to Demelza and examining her fat lip. “You prat, Ron, look at the state of her!”
“I can fix that,” said Harry, landing beside the two girls, pointing his wand at Demelza’s mouth, and saying “Episkey.” “And Ginny, don’t call Ron a prat, you’re not the Captain of this team – “
“Well, you seemed too busy to call him a prat and I thought someone should – “’


‘”YES!” Harry yelled! Wheeling around, he hurtled back toward the ground, the Snitch held high in his hand. As the crowd realized what had happened, a great shout went up that almost drowned the sound of the whistle that signaled the end of the game.
“Ginny, where’re you going?” yelled Harry, who had found himself trapped in the midst of a mass midair hug with the rest of the team, but Ginny sped right on past them until, with an almighty crash, she collided with the commentator’s podium. As the crowd shrieked and laughed, the Gryffindor team landed beside the wreckage of wood under which Zacharias was feebly stirring. Harry heard Ginny saying blithely to an irate Professor McGonagall, “Forgot to brake, Professor, sorry.”’

I feel like such a broken record, but I love this girl.

- A quote from page 239, when Harry is looking through his Potions book:

‘While the wind and sleet pounded relentlessly on the windows, and Neville snored loudly, Harry stared at the letters in brackets. Nvbl… that had to mean “nonverbal.” Harry rather doubted he would be able to bring off this particular spell; he was still having difficulty with nonverbal spells, something Snape had been quick to comment on in every D.A.D.A. class. On the other hand, the Prince had proved a much more effective teacher than Snape so far.’

Oh, the irony. JK Rowling must have been having a good laugh to herself as she wrote certain sections of these books.

- ‘Lupin burst out laughing, “Sometimes you remind me a lot of James. He called it my “furry little problem” in company. Many people were under the impression that I owned a badly behaved rabbit.”


- Dobby and Kreacher following Malfoy for Harry is one of my favorite things ever. I wish the house elves had a more prominent role in the movies. I can totally picture the two of them trying to sneak around after Malfoy, peering around corners and shoving each other, Malfoy looking back suspiciously every now and then... But at least we got that scene with Dobby and Kreacher bringing Mundungus back to Grimmauld Place. That was definitely great. Here's a little snippet of the Malfoy tracking report from the book:

‘”Master Malfoy moves with a nobility that befits his pure blood,” croaked Kreacher at once. “His features recall the fine bones of my mistress and his manners are those of – “
“Draco Malfoy is a bad boy!” squeaked Dobby angrily. “A bad boy who – who –“
“Yeah, we don’t need to hear about you being in love with Malfoy,” Harry told Kreacher. “Let’s fast forward to where he’s actually been going.”
Kreacher bowed again, looking furious, and then said, “Master Malfoy eats in the Great Hall, he sleeps in a dormitory in the dungeons, he attends his classes in a variety of –“
“Dobby, you tell me,” said Harry, cutting across Kreacher. “Has he been going anywhere he shouldn’t have?”’

- There are several times when Slughorn calls Ron by the wrong name, and at one point he calls him ‘Rupert.’ A little nod to Rupert Grint from JK, maybe? I’m choosing to believe it is, anyway. :)

- There are lots of things I don’t like about the way they chose to do the big climactic scene in the movie, and one of the huge ones is that Dumbledore doesn’t immobilize Harry in the film, therefore making it look like he could have possibly done something to try and prevent Dumbledore’s death, and yet he just stood there. I love that in the book Dumbledore knows Harry so well, and he knows that Harry won’t just stand there if there’s anything in his power to help, so he has to immobilize him.

- I love the detail of Dumbledore’s conversation with Malfoy on the tower, another thing largely missing in the movie. Dumbledore offers to make it look like Draco is dead, offers to hide his whole family… Draco could have so easily switched sides at this point.

- The agony on Snape’s face as Dumbledore pleads with him to kill him is heartbreaking. (‘Snape gazed for a moment at Dumbledore, and there was revulsion and hatred etched in the harsh lines of his face.’) Can you even begin to imagine being asked to do something like this?

- Yet another thing missing from the movie is the huge fight at the end. In the movie, they all just walk out. Um, what? No. Come on. It’s so anticlimactic. I love Harry telling Ron and Hermione to be on their guard, I love the reactivation of Dumbledore’s Army, I love the fact that Harry gives them the rest of his Felix Felicis, and I love the whole fight scene itself. That would have been awesome to see on the screen.

- Another Oh-my-poor-Snape-in-such-agony moment:

‘”Kill me then, panted Harry, who felt no fear at all, but only rage and contempt. “Kill me like you killed him, you coward – “
“DON’T – “ screamed Snape, and his face was suddenly demented, inhuman, as though he was in as much pain as the yelping, howling dog stuck in the burning house behind them – “CALL ME COWARD!”

This scene is even more heartbreaking to me when I remember the epilogue, and Harry telling Albus Severus that Snape was probably the bravest man he ever knew.

- Okay, the last thing (I promise), is Fleur telling Mrs. Weasley that she is good-looking enough for both herself and Bill. Hahaha, oh Fleur. Don’t ever change.

And the jacket illustration:

Oy, these posts just keep getting longer and longer. Sorry about that! The next one will be shorter, I think. :)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

In My Mailbox #11

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren that gives book bloggers the opportunity to showcase the books they’ve received that week. You can learn more about it here.

This was a pretty good week for me. I also forgot to mention some e-galleys that I got last week, so I’m including them here. Also, I’m going out of town this Friday until the middle of August (vacation, woot!!), so this will probably be my last IMM for a couple of weeks.

In my actual physical mailbox:

From the publisher:
My Life Undecided by Jessica Brody
The Midnight Gate by Helen Stringer
A Scary Scene in a Scary Movie by Matt Blackstone
All three of these came in a package from MacMillan Children’s Publishers, although I can honestly say that I have no idea why. I don’t remember signing up for anything or entering a contest, and there was no note with the books. I guess it must just be some promotion thing they’re doing. Ah well, not like I’m complaining! :)

From BookMooch:
I Love You, Beth Cooper by Larry Doyle

Also from the publisher:

Storm Born Graphic Novel Volume 1 by Richelle Mead

From the library:

Die For Me by Amy Plum
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
Crave by Laura J Burns & Melinda Metz

The Hollow (The Hollow 1) by Jessica Verday
The Haunted (The Hollow 2) by Jessica Verday

From GalleyGrab:

The Hidden (The Hollow 3) by Jessica Verday

Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst

Sacrifice (Crave 2) by Laura J Burns & Melinda Metz

Goliath (Leviathan 3) by Scott Westerfeld

From NetGalley:

The Iron Knight (The Iron Fey 4) by Julie Kagawa

Eve by Anna Carey

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

Vanish (Firelight 2) by Sophie Jordan

Whoo! I’m really glad I’m going on vacation so I’ll actually have time to read all of these amazing books. What’s in your mailbox this week?
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