YouTube Catch-Up

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

This post is a quick catch-up where I simply throw all of my recent YouTube videos together and hope some of them entice you.

JULY WRAP UP

JULY BOOK HAUL

BOOKISH PET PEEVES

HAMILTON BOOK TAG

BOOKS I HAVE READ SO FAR THIS YEAR

MY 5 MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASES FOR THE REST OF 2017

MY TBR PILE

5 TV SHOWS THAT I'M MOST THANKFUL FOR

UNPOPULAR OPINIONS BOOK TAG

BOOK WISHLIST

WHAT'S IN MY TRAVEL MAKEUP BAG [CRUISE EDITION]

TV Shows That I Am Thankful For


Like it says on the tin, this is a post (and video) about the television programmes that I am most thankful for. Thankful in that they mean everything to me and have brought everything to me. They have a special place reserved in my heart. They are my happy place. They are constantly not far from my mind (seriously, I can relate anything back to Sanctuary at the moment) and they are very near and dear to me. So without rambling on too much, (this is a pretty succinct intro), let's get into it. 



S T A R    T R E K :  V O Y A G E R

This show meant everything to me when I was 11-years-old. I first started watching it in the summer between primary school and high school and it opened my mind to all kinds of possibilities. I wanted to be in that world. I wanted to be Kathryn Janeway. I wanted to be Kate Mulgrew. I wanted to be on Voyager and have these adventures.



At the same time, I wanted to know everything about this show and everything about Kate Mulgrew. That in turn lead me onto the internet to the realms of online fanclubs and forums. Safe forums where fellow fans can talk and chat. There I met one of my dearest friends and longest friend that I met through the internet. We've been friends for close to 14 years and I've only met her a handful of times as she lives in Spain. Being a fan of Voyager and Kate Mulgrew has brought me many new friends from all over the world all of whom I adore and call my family.

Additionally, Star Trek: Voyager introduced me to the world of fan-fiction. It was the first fandom that I ever endeavoured to write fan-fiction for. Some still reside in the realms of fanfiction.net but they weren't the best. To this day, I love reading Voyager stories. I'm thankful that the book series continues long after the series has ended. Kirsten Beyer continues to do an amazing job and I cannot wait for the next installments. Janeway and Chakotay live on in the books as an actual couple. I'm ridiculously happy about this.



T H E    O . C .

Probably a show that you wouldn't expect considering that I'm science-fiction on the brain, but The O.C. was the show that launched everything that was to follow. This show led me to the forum for Kelly Rowan which we affectionately called KRO and then TPU. I met and made friendships with a lot of girls all over the world on that forum, we're still friends to this day.

 

The O.C. led me to the online blogging forum Livejournal. After that, the rest as they say was history because it led me to the vast majority of my online friends and my 'sisters' because I met all of them through Livejournal. The O.C. introduced me to graphic art. The forums that I became a member of through The O.C. all had avatars and banners. I wanted to make my own because I didn't like a lot of the ones that I was seeing. I started off using Paint Shop Pro and using trial and error to make my own. Now, I use Photoshop. I still Macguyver everything I do but I still love my art.



B A T T L E S T A R    G A L A C T I C A

As with all of my shows I fixate on one actor and then watch everything they do. With BSG, I fell in love with Mary McDonnell who played Laura Roslin. I then watched a crap ton of her work. I fell in love with Dances With Wolves. I cannot stomach the theatrical release of that movie. I need to watch the director's cut every time despite it being spread over two DVD discs and being about 3 hours long. Ass-numbing for sure. But it simply makes more sense to me than the theatrical version.


But with this love for Mary McDonnell, I was led to Major Crimes. If you've been around my blog for a while, you will know that my blog was practically a guide to being Mary McDonnell a couple of years ago. I was obsessed with Major Crimes and there was a Major Crimes related post every week at least. I'm not so obsessed with it at present but this show still brought me amazing friends because they found my blog posts and they started commenting and following me on my social media accounts and we bonded from there. People still visit my blog for those Mary and Major Crimes related posts. So thankful.



S A N C T U A R Y

This show is high on my 'thankful' list, right behind Voyager. This show introduced me to the most amazing girls that I have ever met and they are my sisters-in-arms and I cannot imagine my life without them.

Sanctuary and Stargate SG-1 came into my life at the same time. When on Livejournal, a lot of the girls that I had become friends with through a mutual love of Voyager were also fans of SG-1 and a new upcoming show (then in the webisodes phase) called Sanctuary. They say curiosity killed the cat and in this case curiosity killed me, buried me, dug me up again, revived me and then killed me again because Sanctuary had that great an impact on my life.



I fell in love with Amanda Tapping, Emilie Ullerup, Christopher Heyerdahl and Robert Lawrenson. Especially Emilie and Robert. I loooooved their characters beyond words. I still despise the show for killing off Emilie's character and I will forever hate Will with an undying passion (I would watch it every day if it weren't for Will. DIE!). Nevertheless, thanks to this show it introduced me to the world of Role-Playing Games. I signed up for one and I played Ashley Magnus (Emilie Ullerup's character) and my character started to interact with Declan Macrae (Robert Lawrenson's character). I loved it. It was so much fun. The characters never actually shared a scene in the show but that didn't stop me and the player behind Declan Macrae from bonding. We started talking and we quickly became friends. I absolutely adore her and cannot imagine my life without her. We have been through so much together. And I am forever thankful to Sanctuary for that.

As I mentioned with The O.C., I started becoming interested in graphic artwork and fanart. Well, Sanctuary took it to a whole new level. This show inspired me to no end and still inspires me to this day. Sanctuary is still a large part of my life. When I'm reading books, I find characters and threads in them that remind me of Sanctuary. If you've watched any of my Wrap Ups, there probably isn't one where I don't mention Sanctuary and Sanctuary vibes. It's so ingrained in me. Plus, my graphics and fan-art and manipulations usually have an element from Sanctuary in them. I love it and I regret nothing. #dieWilldie



Sanctuary is by no means a perfect show. I hate the vast majority of seasons 3 and 4 but Robert Lawrenson and Jonathon Young make up for it somewhat.



S T A R G A T E   S G - 1



SG-1 and Sanctuary go hand-in-hand because of Amanda Tapping and that love for her so I don't really have much more to add to that. I will say that SG-1 is one that inspired an essay that I never would have imagined myself writing. In my third year of university, a module that I was doing allowed me to write my own essay question and I chose, 'War Discourses and It's Influences In The Media With Special Emphasis on Stargate SG-1 and Battlestar Galactica'....or something to that effect. I wrote it over 7 years ago so I can't exactly remember the title but it was about SG-1 and Battlestar Galactica. I had the most fun with this essay. If you can ever have fun writing an essay. I got to watch SG-1 and BSG. Who wouldn't love that?




There you have it, the five television programmes that I'm thankful for. What are the television shows that you're thankful for? I would love to know. Let's talk in the comments below.


My Dream Bookish Panel

Tuesday, 15 August 2017


As a card-carrying fangirl, I love when I get the chance to go to conventions to meet my favourite actors and actresses. I love watching panels from conventions where they answer questions given to them by fans and tell anecdotes from the set and so on. The majority of the time I end up nearly falling off of my chair because they are just too witty. I know who my ideal panel of actors and actresses would be but what about my dream panel of authors and fictional characters. In this blog post, I share with you four fictional characters and four authors that I would have on my imaginary panel.


F I C T I O N A L   C H A R A C T E R S

I honestly could cheat and say that I would have Captain Kathryn Janeway on the panel as a fictional character. Why not? She's a literary fictional character thanks to the Star Trek: Voyager pocket book series. There are dozens of books for Voyager. Ergo, Captain Janeway is a fictional character and could take up a seat on the panel. But I'll be fair here.



A N N A B E T H    C H A S E
(PERCY JACKSON AND THE OLYMPIANS || HEROES OF OLYMPUS)
The daughter of Athena. If you know me, or truthfully if you've looked at the header image of this blog, Annabeth will not come as any kind of surprise. Athena is my favourite of the Greek deities and as a result, her daughter, Annabeth from the Percy Jackson series is by default (and a lot of merit), is my favourite character. Take a seat, Annabeth. 


D O N A T E L L A    D R A G M A
(CARAVAL)
Despite not featuring heavily in Caraval, Donatella still made an impact on me. At the beginning of the book she's very much a wilful girl who does whatever she wants without any regard for the consequences. Then she's taken captive at Caraval. The participants have to solve the clues to find her. Then she appears again at the end and drops the biggest bombshell that I did not see coming. She really surprised me as a character. She reminded me of Morgana from BBC's Merlin. She appears to be this weak, willful, spoilt girl but at the end, she completely blew me away with her intelligence and her determination. I loved it. Plus, since I've fancast her as Katie McGrath, why wouldn't want her on my dream panel?

S A R A I
(STRANGE THE DREAMER)
The Muse of Nightmares. YES! I absolutely loved Sarai when I was reading Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor. To be honest, it truly was a coin toss between Sarai and Minya. Yes, Minya. The pint-sized little evil one. She was a contender because I love my villains. Nevertheless, I went with Sarai because her story, her abilities and her history with regard to the other characters.

This is probably where I would include a male fictional character. To be completely honest, I haven't encountered a fictional male character that I like beyond Percy Jackson. I dislike Harry Potter with a passion. Most males in the books that I read are chauvinist brutes, wusses, overly weak or just plain meh. After digging through the recesses of my brain, I've come up with....

N I K O L A I    L A N T S O V
(SIEGE AND STORM)
After falling madly in love with The Darkling in Shadow & Bone, the first book in the Grisha trilogy, I was not expecting myself to fall even deeper in love with Nikolai Lantsov in Siege & Storm. This guy, let me tell know, is sarcasm, wit, charisma and charm personified. I absolutely loved his witty nature. He always had an answer for everything and he could disable even the most cold-hearted person with just a look. I loved him so the honourary bloke on the panel card goes to Nikolai. 





A U T H O R S

Like with having Captain Kathryn Janeway as a fictional character, I could also have Kate Mulgrew as an author. But for the sake of keeping the obsessive-fangirl out of this post, I'll pick the following four...

R I C K    R I O R D A N
A man that writes about Greek, Roman and Norse mythologies? HOW CAN HE NOT BE FIRST IN LINE?


D A N I E L L E    S T E E L
Danielle Steel, really? You've never mentioned her. Yes, Danielle Steel. Since birth I have been surrounded by Danielle Steel books. My mother has every single book that Danielle Steel has ever written. She has an entire bookcase dedicated to all of her books, and a number of which she has multiple copies. They aren't even different covers. They're the exact same book. She has three copies of 'Malice'. My first foray into recreational reading was by picking up Danielle Steel books. I must preface this by saying that I was about 15 years old and I am not Danielle Steel's target demographic. Nevertheless, I have read a number of her books and have thoroughly enjoyed her books. Every time a number release from her comes into work, I instantly pick it up to surprise my Mum. Lately, she's been releasing books every few months and I would love to know how she comes up with stories so quickly and how she cranks them out so quickly. I just bought Mum a book in July and another is due in September. What? 


L E I G H    B A R D U G O
One of my favourite author discoveries since Ransom Riggs. I love Leigh Bardugo's writing. I've loved it since I read Shadow & Bone, the first book in the Grisha trilogy. I have currently read the first two books in this series and have loved every single sentence of them. I love the way that she seamlessly uses Russian phrases and terms in her sentences without losing so much as a beat. 


E L I Z A B E T H    W E I N
I have only read one book by Elizabeth Wein and that was Code Name Verity. I adored that book. I was extremely confused by it for the longest time but then like a light-bulb, everything started to make sense and in that moment, my mind was blown. I'm looking forward to picking up Rose Under Fire and she has also penned a Star Wars novel which I am beyond intrigued and excited for. She writes strong female characters that dare to push the boundaries of what people expect from them. In Code Name Verity, her two lead characters, 'Verity' and Maddie were between them, a pilot, a translator, a bomber, an interrogator, a resistance fighter, a collaborator, a traitor and a soldier at one point or another. I loved them so much. 




Q U E S T I O N S

What would I ask my favourite characters and favourite authors. Naturally I should ask about their whole writing process and what made them come up with their characters yaddy yaddy yadda. But where would the fun be in that?

My question to Annabeth would be with regard to her author. This is assuming that the characters know that they're fictional constructs and are facing their creator for the first time.... What about yourself would you like your author, Rick Riordan to change about you? Your answer cannot be that you wished for less peril or, 'a broken ankle? Seriously?'

My next question would be to Leigh Bardugo and Rick Riordan. How do they feel their characters would be in the two met? What would happen if Camp Half-Blood met the Grisha? I know that sparks would fly for sure and by sparks, I mean magic and a lot of it. And possible some fighting. I don't know.

Another question I would have for Leigh Bardugo is how she seamlessly segways those Russian phrases into her prose without so much as making the reader stumbling over it. As  a reader, I'm conscious of the flow of writing. If a phrase or a word just doesn't sit right in a sentence, I'm stumbling over it and I'm reading the sentence again. I hate having the read sentences again.

I'm not sure what I would ask Danielle Steel beyond the typical question of where she gets her inspiration from. This past year alone she's churning out books like nobody's business and I don't know how she does it. They aren't even short books. How does she do it?

To Elizabeth Wein I would ask what the ultimate character for her would be. Would it be a combination of Verity, a hint of Annabeth Chase with the determination of Donatella Dragma? Or something else. Also, if she could, what alter-ego would she give to Annabeth Chase. Oh my goodness, a team-up between Rick Riordan and Elizabeth Wein would be on a level of epic proportions.

Nikolai, how are you so awesome?


T H E   M O D E R A T O R

A N N A    K E N D R I C K
She's an author so she counts. She is freaking hilarious. I am such a sucker for the Pitch Perfect movies. I love Beca so much and I loved her book, Scrappy Little Nobody. I laughed out loud on practically every page. Anna Kendrick is ridiculous witty that it isn't fair. She would be the perfect moderator for this. I don't know if any of these characters and authors will appreciate her wit but I sure as hell will. Though I would pay good money to see Anna Kendrick go up against Nikolai Lantsov.



W H E R E ?

Ideally, I would love the conference room of the USS Voyager. Seriously, I could use Voyager as an answer for anything. It's a gift. I can still use it, right? This is my blog post and I say it counts so it'll take place in the conference room of the USS Voyager. If I'm going to have fictional characters, I might as well use a fictional setting. LOGIC.


There you have it, my dream book-ish panel, fictional characters and authors. There may be characters you didn't expect and some authors that you didn't anticipate me picking. Let me know what dream panel you would have, what you would ask them and who would moderate the mayhem. In the meantime, you can use EventBrite to check out what book related events are happening around you. I love checking out their stuff. Facebook even lets me know what people I'm friends with are interested in attending and letting me know what else is on offer.



The Raven Boys || Maggie Stiefvater

Saturday, 12 August 2017


I finally gave in to the hype surround The Raven Cycle Quartet by Maggie Stiefvater and purchased the series. At the beginning of the month, the first book was picked up and I delved into the word of Blue Sargent and the Raven Boys.

When I picked this series up, all I knew was that the main character, Blue, came from a family of psychics and that she had been told throughout her life that when she kissed her true love, he would die. Such a cheerful read already, right? It gets weirder. I also knew that the Raven Boys that the book is named for are on a hunt to find a legendary noble called Glendower who has been missing for thousands of years and are on a mission to wake him up. Physics and legends? Where do I sign?

The first thing that I will mention is that this book had a lot of links to Sanctuary for me. If you're unfamiliar with Sanctuary, it was a Syfy TV show starring Amanda Tapping about a 176 year-old Victorian doctor in modern day Old City, (*cough*Vancouver*cough*), who is on a mission to protect the Abnormals (creatures/people with supernatural and unexplained abilties) of the world. This book reminded me a lot of that series, if only for the names dropped into this book. Helen, Ashley and Declan were dropped. Ashley and Declan were actually in a relationship in the book which made me ridiculously happy because I ship their characters beyond reasoning in the TV series even though they never shared a scene. Yup, you read that correctly. So when I read that two characters called Declan and Ashley were in a relationship...




If I could've kissed Maggie Stiefvater, I would've. 

Also, the character of Helen could fly helicopters (and miraculously not crash them) and honestly, was just as sassy as Helen Magnus. And there was a crap tonne of Latin strewn throughout the book. Bhalasaam, anyone? This book make me think that Maggie Stiefvater is either a fan of Sanctuary or was aware of it as she wrote this series. Whenever I write stories, I always use the names of some of my favourite characters from TV. I wonder of Maggie Stiefvater did the same thing...

Okay, back to the actual book.

Aside from adoring the names of the characters, I loved the characters themselves. I loved them all. Usually there are characters that I simply don't care much for, but I adored them all. Okay, I will admit that I hated Whelk. His story line killed my attention for the majority of the book until his role started to really make sense. That's when he became interesting.

I do have a soft spot for Ronan. Everybody loves a bad boy, right?

Sanctuary again, sorry. I'm really not sorry.


What I loved the most about this book was the writing. I found it very easy to get into and to stay into. The writing flowed beautifully and that's what I constantly look for in writing. If it doesn't flow smoothly then it detracts my enjoyment of it. The writing also made me believe in the characters and their authenticity in the way that they spoke and interacted. Everything felt organic and unforced and didn't move with haste. The Raven Boys themselves felt like typical private school characters; the rich philantropist, the thug that doesn't want to do anything but has a heart of gold, the poor kid that breaks his back to pay for his tuition with a shit home life and lastly, the quiet one. 

The plot of the book itself was intriguing and very much captivating. From the first page to the very last, I was hooked to the plot. I was surprised by a number of the twists and turns in the plot. There were things that I didn't expect and when the fantastical aspect started to come into play, I was onboard and I had my seat-belt buckled for the ride. 

The only downside that I can find to this novel is that it felt very much like a staging book. By that I mean that this book gave the reader all of the information that they needed in order to set up the rest of the series. When I look back on The Raven Boys, I don't feel like a lot actually happened. Yes, the plot was fantastic and I loved it, but for me, there didn't seem to be a lot going on, it felt like it had a lot of exposition. There were probably three instances were my interest was truly piqued and that made me want to read on and on and on past my bed-time. 

Nevertheless, this was a very strong first book to a series and I can only imagine where it goes from here. I cannot wait to continue on onto the rest of the books. I wonder how many more Sanctuary references I can create with the characters. It's a gift that I have. I regret nothing.

Let me know what your thoughts are on The Raven Boys if you have read it. 


Heroes of Olympus || The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan

Friday, 4 August 2017


When I started reading Percy Jackson and the Olympians at the end of March, I had no idea that the series had grown to span another series called, 'Heroes of Olympus'. I knew that the original series was more than one book because of the movies that were subsequently spawned; two having been made. I have such an obsession with Greek Mythology that it was a no-brainer that I had to picked up the entire Olympians series and then the following Heroes of Olympus series.

When I found out the titles involved in the Olympus series I was most excited for was 'The Mark of Athena', the third book in the series. Athena is my favourite out of all of the Olympian gods. I love the story surrounding her birth, the naming of Athens, how she created Medusa and basically everything about her. So, The Mark of Athena was a highly anticipated read for me. 


When you think of Athena, you instantly think of Athens, right? Therefore, you would assume that this book with her name in the title would be set in Athens or a new version of Athens like New Rome aka Camp Jupiter in The Son of Neptune. Right?

Imagine my surprise when a good chunk of The Mark of Athena was set in Rome. Italy. Not Greece. Italy. That threw me off somewhat.

I've been to Rome and Athens. I was very excited to read that the characters were walking around places that I visited when I was in Rome. It really helped me visualise what was happening because Rome is such a unique place. It has narrow side streets where you would never expect them, the traffic is ridiculous and there are ruins everywhere. You throw a stone and you'll more than likely strike a ruin. They are everywhere. It would easy to get lost in the labyrinthian Rome that my imagination would concoct but with my own knowledge of Rome, it helped to focus my mind. 



What I loved most about this book in the series is that I got to learn an awful lot more about Annabeth and Athena and their relationship, however frayed due to Athena's war between her two personae; Athena and Minerva. I felt a lot of sympathy for Athena because she has been the only Olympian god, so far, that has found it difficult to navigate between her Greek and Roman personalities. Mostly because Athena and Minerva are so different that she finds it difficult to marry the two and it feels like personality overload. Athena is such a powerful and strong personality in Greek Mythology whereas Minerva has been stripped of some of Athena's more powerful attributes and downgraded somewhat. I can imagine it being difficult for Athena to go from such a strong character to an essentially weaker one.

I wanted Annabeth to succeed at her quest to follow the Mark of Athena because I wanted it to help Athena. Of course, I wanted a successful quest to help unite the Greek and Roman sides too.

I loved that Annabeth got to face such unique tasks in order to follow the mark. She faced her greatest fears and she showed a lot of pure determination and true grit. Annabeth shows why she's my favourite character. I will admit that I am biased towards Annabeth because she is a daughter of Athena. I also will admit, that when I watched the movies I was wondering how Athena had children because she's a maiden goddess. That thought was quickly answered in the first book series and I love that this discrepancy is mirrored in the Roman demigods' minds when they find out that 'Minerva' has children. Spoiler alert - it has to do with Athena's birth. I wonder if Minerva was born the same way (Roman mythology isn't my forte). I really want them to find this out but Annabeth didn't feel like furnishing them with that bit of information. TELL THEM GIRL AND SHUT THEM UP. #TeamHalfBlood



I adore Rick Riordan's writing. I don't know what it is about his writing that makes me devour his books in a matter of days. I love that his writing is so informal yet undeniably clever. The amount of cultural references that I recognise are bountiful. I love when they pop up because they cement it in the modern day and also serve to remind me of my age.

Also his characters. I love his characters. I adore how smart they are without being egotistical about it. Most of them, anyway. I love how proud they are of their demigod status yet recognise the flaws in their godly parent. Also, they are snarky as hell and I love when they get snarky.


The ending of The Mark of Athena was something that I was not expecting at all. When I read that last ten pages or so, I literally blocked out everything else around me and simply focused on the words on the page. An epic read. I didn't give it 5 stars, however and my reasoning is that the action sequences, specifically the ones in Rome, overwhelmed me. Slightly. That dampened my enjoyment somewhat as I did get lost to the action.

Nevertheless, I loved The Mark of Athena. I love Rick Riordan's books and I cannot wait to continue on with the series and read The House of Hades which will be my August Rick Riordan Read. I pretty much read a Rick Riordan book every month. I don't want to finish them and then have nothing to read for months on end. 



Books I Want to Read Again

Sunday, 30 July 2017


It takes a rare book to make me read it again. Usually for me, it's an ordeal to get through it once so nevermind putting myself through that again. However, there are a few beauties that have made me fall so heavily in love that I'm willing to turn that first page again and dive back in. These books are very special.

Check them all out in the video below. 



MID-YEAR BOOK FREAKOUT TAG


It's the middle of the year. That's a good enough reason to freak out. I swear. It honestly felt like it was only yesterday that I was in Manchester. That was in February! Where has the time gone? 

A couple of weeks ago, I noticed this tag floating around the YouTube realm and decided to do it for myself. It was a lot of fun to do a tag for once. Well, I had previously filmed a tag but that was years ago. Hands up if you remember that. Nobody but me, huh? Oh well. 

Q U E S T I O N S
1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2017.
2. Best sequel you've read so far in 2017.
3. New release you haven't read yet, but want to.
4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year.
5. Biggest disappointment.
6. Biggest surprise.
7. Favorite new author. (Debut or new to you)
8. Newest fictional crush.
9. Newest favorite character.
10. Book that made you cry.
11. Book that made you happy.
12. Favorite book to film adaptation you saw this year.
13. Favorite video you have done so far in this year)
14. Most beautiful book you've bought so far this year (or received)
15. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

Check out my answers in my video below. Be sure to let me know what your answers are. 



June Book Haul

Friday, 7 July 2017


In June, I bought a grand total of 15 books and pre-ordered one for August. Six of the books that I bought are previewed in this blog post. Spoilers! A number of them are series starters or the continuation of a series. I love a good series. I love how deep you can get into a series and how deeply they, in turn, suck you in. 

Check out my book haul down below where I take you through all 15 books. You already know six and so I'll take you through the other 9 that I bought and then forget to mention the pre-ordered one. I slip it in near the end. Plus, I share a view book related goodies that I picked up too.






June Wrap Up

Tuesday, 4 July 2017


How is it July? How? How? How? With the end of the month, comes my favourite videos to film; wrap-up. haul and TBR. The first of which, my wrap up is now up on my YouTube channel. Check it out down below. I read 6 books and 1 comic book which I think is great. I'm not the fastest reader in the world and none of the books that I read where my any means, short. Well, one of them and the comic book were short but the others were 400-500 pages long. 



Harry Potter Turns 20 || Harry Potter and Me

Monday, 26 June 2017


Harry Potter, probably one of the most recognised names on the planet (probably after Jesus), is turning 20 today! This day, June 26th, 1997, Harry Potter and The Philsopher's Stone was first published. Which means that 18 years ago, I found out about Harry Potter.

I first became aware of Harry Potter, The Philospher's Stone and J.K. Rowling when I was in Primary Seven, I had just turned 11 years-old and one Monday mid-winter, my Headmaster took my class after lunch and read from The Philospher's Stone. I will admit that I'm not the best when it comes to imagining things from something being read aloud and I doubt that I remembered much from what he said as he read, but all I remember was that I wanted to get that book and read it for myself. 

A week or so later, (he had read to us the following Monday too but never finished it), my Mum and I were in Easons in the town and I found it. I got home and I read it. I remember enjoying it greatly but unaware that it was going to be a series. This was before the Internet was a thing and I could find out everything. 


It wasn't until a couple of years later that I picked up the second book in the series, The Chamber of Secrets. I borrowed it from my high school's library. However, I didn't get through it fast enough and I had to return the book early without finishing it. From that moment, that's where my interest in Harry Potter kind of dwindled. 

I watched the movies as they came out. I didn't see them all in the cinema. I only went to see The Half-Blood Prince in the cinema with my brother. Don't fret, friends, I did pick the books up, however late.


At the start of this year, there was an offer in a local supermarket to get two books for £7 or £4 individually. All seven of the Harry Potters books where included in this offer. So, I did the mathematics in my head. I could get six books for £21 and the final one for £4 bringing my grand total to £25. (Plus the fact that I get 10% discount because I work there...). The regular retail price for each books is roughly £8.99 (depending on where you get them) which brings the total to approximately, £63 (give or take a copper or two).

I started all over again. I read The Philsopher's Stone again, I finished The Chamber of Secrets and read The Prisoner of Azkaban, The Goblet of Fire and The Order of the Phoenix for the first time. My favourite so far has definitely been The Goblet of Fire. It's my favourite out of the movies and so I loved the new things that I discovered from the book and how different and informative it was because the books are usually better than the books. 

With the movies, though, I will say that at times, the movies had made a better decision to change who said certain lines. In the books, Ron or Hermione would say a line that a secondary character would take in the movie. Sometimes I preferred that and sometimes I didn't like it. Another thing that the movies did that I was a fan of was that they took them out of the robes. In every single situation, J.K. Rowling had them wearing robes. When Harry was swimming in the Goblet of Fire as part of a task, he was wearing his robes. Going to the Ministry of Magic to get the Prophecy, guess what they're wearing? Robes. It's like they never packed normal clothes with them. 

Honestly, after reading The Order of the Phoenix, I had to take a break from the Harry Potter universe and by that I mean that I had to take a break from Harry Potter, himself. In all honestly, I don't like Harry. I like practically every other character in the books but Harry. In the books, he whines and moans so much that I couldn't support him or like him anymore. It took me longer than I anticipated to get through the Order of the Phoenix purely for this reason. In every chapter, he moaned and groaned about something. I get it, Harry. Okay. I get it. It was just a struggle.


Another confession; I'm not a huge fan of J.K. Rowling's writing. Don't get me wrong, the world that she has created is phenomenal and I'm by no means trying to take that away from her. However, the way that she keeps using people's full names when the characters are the sole ones with that name is pointless. For example, there is only one Neville and I don't need to know that it's 'Neville Longbottom' every single time he's mentioned. I can understand it when a teacher is involved, but not when the kids are involved. At times, it makes it tedious to read. At times. If it was simply to get to the required word-count, then I think taking out the surnames would've added about 100 words that could've gone to something else. 

Nevertheless, I do love the universe that J.K. Rowling has created and I enjoy the vast majority of the characters. I love Hermione and Luna. Ginny is less annoying in the books as she is in the movies. I'm not the biggest Ginny fan. I loved the backstory of Voldemort and history that you get with the books. They explained more than the movies did (naturally). I should continue with the series soon because I only have two more books to go.

I joined Pottermore a couple of years ago and was sorted into Ravenclaw (which I managed without even having to cheat), I love my wand, (12.5 inch holly wood with a Phoenix feather core) and my Patronus is a swallow. I was beyond excited that my Patronus was a bird because what that quiz came out, I was obsessed with Miss Peregrine from Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. Naturally, when the twentieth anniversary House editions came out, my priority was to get the Ravenclaw book in the hardback cover. My house. I have priorities. I then added to my collection by getting Slytherin in paperback. I may get the Ravenclaw version in paperback. Maybe.

In my Harry Potter and the Philospher's Stone collection, I have four versions. My original copy that I got in 1999 (and it's still in remarkable condition, even though I wrote my name in it and put a Star Wars sticker on the inside. I was 11 and stupid, okay), a more recent printing that I got in January 2017 and the newly published twentieth anniversary editions.

I adore the Harry Potter realm. I would love to add to my Funko Pop collection and Luna Lovegood is the top of my wishlist. I would love two wands, Luna Lovegood and Fleur Delacour specifically and my own house badge. I got the Slytherin one for my brother because he's evil as most big brother's are.

How has Harry Potter effected and affected your life throughout the past twenty years?



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