I feel like the subtitle for Eclipse could be “Let’s Feel Sorry For Jacob.” I can’t help but think that Jacob (in real life anyway) wouldn’t be comfor...moreI feel like the subtitle for Eclipse could be “Let’s Feel Sorry For Jacob.” I can’t help but think that Jacob (in real life anyway) wouldn’t be comforted by his ex-girlfriend that he still can’t have. But that’s just me. Of all the books in the series, this one is by far the most romantic. There are so many scenes where Stephenie takes the time to just have some cute, romantic scenes between Bella and Edward. I find myself smiling and sighing at how cute they are. There are some great sarcastic lines and I’m surprised every time I read this book (this is the 3rd time now) at how sarcastic and funny the book is. Maybe Stephenie isn’t the most brilliant writer around, but she is a genius at characterization. Her characters never do what you think they should. They are unpredictable and realistic which is why people feel so passionately about them. It’s a testament to her characterization that people are so polarized on either Team Jacob or Team Edward. Go Team Edward!!
Don't get me wrong - I can relate a lot to Bella in this book. Oddly enough, my first break-up felt the same way. Her bitterness especially about how...moreDon't get me wrong - I can relate a lot to Bella in this book. Oddly enough, my first break-up felt the same way. Her bitterness especially about how love gives someone the power to break you gets to me. But this book drags. There isn't much plot and even the conversations seem to take forever. Just spit it out already! And I don't like Jake. I know. Shoot me now. Jake is nice and he is the kind of guy I would have been friends with in high school, but I don't find him attractive. The whole book makes me feel anxious. And sad. And depressed. That being said, New Moon is my favorite movie so far. The pace was a lot better and it was just beautiful to look at. If the pace were faster I think I would like this book a lot more. The reason I love this book is that it makes you FEEL. Every time I read it, I just feel such gut-wrenching sadness. I know Bella is over-dramatic sometimes, but at the same time who hasn't felt the same way as she has? It's hard to judge her if you've ever had your heart broken. Even though you know it's not realistic, you feel like your world has fallen apart and you'll never be the same again. Stephenie is still sarcastic. Not often, but it's still there. Watch for it and it'll make you smile.
Bella is sarcastic. In fact, the whole book is more sarcasm and less drama - I'd just forgotten that :) My sister was reading this book and when she t...moreBella is sarcastic. In fact, the whole book is more sarcasm and less drama - I'd just forgotten that :) My sister was reading this book and when she told me it was about vampires, I was seriously concerned that she had gone all goth on me. To make sure she wasn't reading weird stuff, I decided to read it and I loved it. The part that I loved the most about this book was how Stephenie captures the feeling of what it was like to fall in love for the first time. I didn't fall in love with a vampire, but my first love felt exactly the same way. Bella is so relatable that it comes to the point where you fell like you ARE her and you are living this intensely romantic love story. The ending was completely surprising to me and not at all what I was expecting. I was completely floored. The rest of the series is good, but Twilight will always be my favorite.
This is the third time I’ve read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I really enjoyed reading this along with Pottermore. Pottermore incorporates a...moreThis is the third time I’ve read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I really enjoyed reading this along with Pottermore. Pottermore incorporates a lot of the details mentioned in the story. It was fun to pay attention to the little details this time since I know the story so well. I also liked reading the bonus material she wrote on Pottermore – it adds a lot to the story. I don’t know if I realized this before, but J.K. Rowling is excellent at showing and not telling. For example: “[Mr. Dursley] hummed “Tiptoe Through the Tulips” and as he worked, jumped at small noises.” She doesn’t have to say that he’s starting to lose it because I’ve decided that for myself. The books have so many fun characters that aren’t in the movies. I love how optimistic and humble Harry is. I also like how light-hearted and quirky the books are. The movies tend to focus on the darker aspects of the story. I never get tired of reading these books.
I love the way that J. K. Rowling twists traditional mythology and history. When at the begin...moreThis book is also reviewed on my blog Books: A true story
I love the way that J. K. Rowling twists traditional mythology and history. When at the beginning Harry is writing an essay about witch burning, it's just funny that the witches thought it tickled when they were burned. The title of the essay, "Witch Burning in the Fourteenth Century Was Completely Pointless - discuss", is just charming. There is so much great humor in the books that just didn't make it into the movie. Ron's phone call is my favorite. Even her book titles are funny. "Broken Balls: When Fortunes Turn Foul." I just get giddy, now matter how many times I read these books, at the creativity and humor for even the minor details.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was so fun to re-read because she does an excellent job of foreshadowing. It's so fun seeing something differently for the first time or knowing what she is talking about this time around instead of it being a mystery. I also noticed how good J.K. Rowling was at recapping the first two books very quickly and yet covered all the major things you needed to know. I don't think I've ever noticed this before but there are a lot of letters and news clippings throughout the book. I liked how much depth it added. Definitely more interesting than just being told there was something in the newspaper.
Let's gush a little more about J. K. Rowling's writing. She has the best blunt honesty that somehow comes off as hilarious. For example, her observation of Aunt Marge loving to criticize people so Harry looks untidy on purpose to please her. And Ms. Rowling can spin a web of mystery better than an evil spider from Mirkwood. She presents these extremely probable but completely wrong answers to keep you off the trail until she wants you to know the answer. The best example of this was her clever clues about Sirius Black.
Harry's bittersweet life and humble gratitude make him so likable and relatable. I say bittersweet because he is neglected by his family but his life at school is magical. Harry is very resilient and can joke about the bad things that people say about him. I thought it was an admirable quality. I also liked the life lessons that Harry learns at this point in the series. Sad things happen to Harry to give an opportunity for better things to happen - like when his broom got completely smashed.
Can I just say that I'm totally a Hermione and I would take 6 classes, including Muggle Studies, just to see how wizards viewed them.
Something I experienced for the first time was relating to the adults in the story. After having my son go to school the first time, I couldn't imagine how hard it would be to put your kids on a train for an entire semester.
On a side note - I'm still curious about how special cats are in Harry Potter's world since they are important in witch mythology. In the Harry Potter universe they seem to have more intelligence than an average cat, but I'm wondering if there is more to them than that.
I read this book along with Pottermore and I really enjoyed the rich backstories. Even though they never show up directly in the plots of her novels, it's amazing to me the amount of thought that went into even minor characters. Marge Dursley, the awful aunt, has an entire backstory that makes everything click about why she acts the way she does. A huge hallmark of Ms.Rowling's writing is that none of her characters do things without legitimate motivation even if we, the reader, don't know what it is.
As far as the Pottermore website's new look and navigation go, I hates them both. It's hard to tell where you are in the story with the new layout. I really, really miss the old layout. Pottermore now looks like a bad social networking site with way too many sidebars cluttering things up. It's just unattractive. I liked the ending quotes that used to be there so you knew where you were and now they are gone. It feels like you don't need to read the book as much with the new site, which is sad. The one nice thing I have to say about it is kudos to them for being extremely accurate with what happens in the book. That being said, you should definitely check out the site for the awesome backstories and bonus material. They are pure gold.(less)
My favorite thing about this book is how we get to see that wizards and Muggles are much the same. Mr. Weasley actually thinks that Muggles are fasina...moreMy favorite thing about this book is how we get to see that wizards and Muggles are much the same. Mr. Weasley actually thinks that Muggles are fasinating and even "magical" in their own way. It's a nice little theme that I only picked up since it was my third time reading it. It's a subtle contrast to the "Muggle-born" hate the goes along with the opening of the Chamber of Secrets.
And enter Lockhart - the fun, semi-villain. He's fun to make fun of and laugh at but I think he represents a villan that we are more likely to encounter in real life or even become ourselves if we're not careful. He's selfish, vain and will do anything to get ahead including hurting others.
Honestly, this book gave me chills when I first read it. I was not expecting what I considered to be a "kids" book to be scary. I had to finish it in one night so I could sleep. If I didn't find out how Harry got rid of the voices talking about blood and killing, my subconscious would have no way to fight back in my nightmares. I have nightmares about everything.
The magical world J.K. Rowling has built is so fantastic and unbelievably real that it makes me ask questions like, "Why is Peeves physical when ghosts are not and why is he afraid of the Bloody Baron?" And I seriously want an answer. There is no level of detail that is too much in my mind. I must know all the things about Hogwarts. And oh how I love Professor Binns. He's the ultimate old and boring teacher (another thing that Muggles sadly have, too).
I really can't get over how very relatable this book is to kids. It deals with the big and small struggles that kids go through every day. It shows how the characters deal with unfairness and how tedious and boring school can be. And Harry really acts like a kid - he doesn't tell Dumbledore important things in the fashion of any kid who is afraid. Who as a kid didn't tell their parents something even though they knew they should?
After reading it for the third time, it's fun to pick up on the foreshadowing that I missed. I'm noticing that Ms. Rowling often disguises important things as jokes or just another detail to make the world more interesting and colorful. Ooh I just get chills when they figure out who Moaning Myrtle is. See? She's important although at first she appeared to just be a colorful character to annoy them in the bathroom.
I can't end this review without the best quote of the book:
It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.
- J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (p. 333)
The beginning is really boring to get through, but once you get into her adult life it was a great page turner and one of the best love stories I have...moreThe beginning is really boring to get through, but once you get into her adult life it was a great page turner and one of the best love stories I have ever read.
I read this book because I wanted to know what really happens at the ends since this 1400 + page book is usually abridged. I have to say it was worth...moreI read this book because I wanted to know what really happens at the ends since this 1400 + page book is usually abridged. I have to say it was worth it. The ending was amazing! He would often interrupt the story with these political rants that ranged from universal education, the usefulness of nuns, and the public sewer system.
Breaking Dawn was so much better when I read it the second time. The first time I read it, I loved part 1, was shocked for part 2, and disappointed fo...moreBreaking Dawn was so much better when I read it the second time. The first time I read it, I loved part 1, was shocked for part 2, and disappointed for part 3. Part 1 is still my favorite. The wedding and honeymoon are pure bliss to read. Bella's reaction to the honeymoon (where she's sitting on the floor in the bathroom) is so completely honest and so relatable. And then we get to part 2. I was completely shocked. I like being surprised, but Stephenie sailed right over surprise and stunned you with pure bizarre. As Robert Pattinson put it, "She's not even thinking outside the box anymore. She's broken the whole box!" If it weren't for Jake's great sarcasm and the humor he brings, there's no way anyone would make it through part 2. The second time reading part 2, I found it mostly funny since I knew what to expect. It was so close to real life, but heightened by supernatural horror. I feel bad for Edward during part 2, but come on. His melodrama mostly amused me. The first time I read Breaking Dawn, part 3 dragged like a bag of rocks. Who are all these new people suddenly showing up? And then the anti-climatic no-fight at the end was very disappointing. However, when I read it the second time and knew that was going to happen, I actually enjoyed part 3 and it didn't seem so long. I think people's main dislike for Breaking Dawn came from the fact that too many things were unexpected. If there had been better foreshadowing, I think people would have enjoyed it more. So, if you read Breaking Dawn once when it first came out and didn't like it, read it again. It was much more entertaining the second time around.
The most interesting part of the book was the autobiography at the beginning. If you couldn't get through that, it doesn't get better. The exceptions...moreThe most interesting part of the book was the autobiography at the beginning. If you couldn't get through that, it doesn't get better. The exceptions to this are Chapter 21 Education and Income Inequality and the Epilogue. If you want to know what the book says without going through the pain of reading the whole thing, the last chapter, the Delphic Future, summarizes the second half of the book fairly well. All in all a very dry book.