Worse upon reread. Though I guess the gender role stuff bothered me a little the first time too, but um, anyway. I needed some better fluff than the oWorse upon reread. Though I guess the gender role stuff bothered me a little the first time too, but um, anyway. I needed some better fluff than the other lesbian princesses book I read....more
This has a lot going for it on paper -- the POC cast, the bisexual protagonist, the diversity and richness of the world. But I just couldn't really geThis has a lot going for it on paper -- the POC cast, the bisexual protagonist, the diversity and richness of the world. But I just couldn't really get lost in it like I wanted to, which was unfortunate, but maybe just me? It didn't compel me the way I felt like it should have.
(view spoiler)[ALSO, I did not care at all about the dude. Ugh, whatever, like all the book could talk about was how hot and sad he was, and I did not give a shit. I was real worried that she was going to end up with him, but then she ended up with the girl! I was so pleased. Although when I was telling my girlfriend about this book, she got real annoyed and complained that bisexual characters are always getting one female and one male love interest, and why can't they have just one person or two love interests of the same gender. Which, same. (hide spoiler)]...more
I loved this book so much I can hardly believe it.
It's not perfect. Probably closer to a 4.5 rating, but I wanted to round up because GODDAMN, was itI loved this book so much I can hardly believe it.
It's not perfect. Probably closer to a 4.5 rating, but I wanted to round up because GODDAMN, was it just what I needed. It's the perfect heartwarming antidote to this terrible fucking year. This book makes everything seem hopeful again. It's like reading a long Firefly adventure, before you found out that Joss Whedon was going to have Inara gang-raped in season 2. That and it's way, way more diverse. Full of shenanigans and things going awry and amazing alien characters. It was so much fun.
Dark in all the right ways. The love interests are all pretty meh, but the female characters are great. Really, really looking forward to the next booDark in all the right ways. The love interests are all pretty meh, but the female characters are great. Really, really looking forward to the next book....more
This book always holds up slightly less for me than the others, mainly due to Harry's total idiocy (which, I acknowledge, is a lot due to the fact thaThis book always holds up slightly less for me than the others, mainly due to Harry's total idiocy (which, I acknowledge, is a lot due to the fact that he's 15). But still, as an adult I'm still so MAD about his behavior....more
Maybe not quite four stars, but it was close enough for me.
You know what? I knew the spoilers going in, and I still had a pretty good time. I think thMaybe not quite four stars, but it was close enough for me.
You know what? I knew the spoilers going in, and I still had a pretty good time. I think the reason it's hard for a lot of people is because they've lived with these characters in their heads and hearts for so long, it's difficult to let go and see them change. And characters are allowed to change. Harry becomes an adult, and I responded to him as an adult. In a way, this was a rare gift -- to grow with someone you knew so well and loved so much -- to grow as he's grown.
I was honestly surprised by the nuance Jack Thorne brought to the story. It had a certain messiness that I appreciated that felt more real than the other books. It felt like it engaged me as a grown-up. I mean, yes, I knew what it was going to be -- it did sound like a ludicrous plot construction -- but reading the script made it...believable? Like, not entirely so, but more so. I bought it. But it wasn't the plot that got me, it was the relationships, the dynamics, the complexities of love and family and parenting and children. At its crux, Harry Potter has always been about the power of love, and I think the Cursed Child continues that tradition. It was a wonderful and, indeed, magical story about love, and I was moved.
I couldn't help but be extremely sad that I'll never get to see it staged though. I can only imagine how powerful this performance would be. I can see why critics have raved about this production.
+ DUDE. We have to stop buying into the idea that Snape is a GOOD PERSON. He is NOT a good person, and no amount of JK Rowling trying to force me to accept the idea will get me to take it. He's a psychotically deranged child abuser, and the play continues to push this idea that he's a hero. He was a selfish, horrible man who backpedaled on his decision to join the KKK, treated an orphaned child with undeserved vitriol for YEARS, and we're supposed to just applaud him? Sorry, being spurned by a girl doesn't get me to pity you.
+ Oof. Okay, yeah. The Delphi plot is...a little far-fetched. I mean, it's alluded to a lot, but I -- I have a hard time accepting this plot point. It's hard because I actually do love the other aspects of the story. I like the time-traveling, the alternate worlds, Albus and Scorpius's relationship, but I did feel that Delphi was a little...flimsy. I mean, I don't have a better suggestion. It just feels very much like a Construct and not organic at all. I would have preferred Voldemort defying death once again to shoehorning in a daughter we had no inkling about.
+ God, how gay were Albus and Scorpius, because seriously. I like how they want us to think they're heterosexual by alluding to straight love interests, but please. PLEASE. I see through this.
+ Everything about the relationship between Harry and Albus was great. Really great. The frustration. The pain. The love. I felt so much for both of them with each other. I thought it was wonderful, and more importantly, I thought Jack Thorne did a lovely job of imparting that. Plays are hard -- it's all show and no tell. Thorne is massively talented, and his writing made this relationship so real.
+ I enjoyed Draco a lot in this as well. His love for Scorpius. His love for Astoria. His identity as Scorpius's father. I was moved. Also, there was one Ron and Draco interaction that made me giggle.
+ "You have a nose." Lololololololol. Thanks, Rose.
+ Hermione makes some questionable decisions as Minister of Magic, yiiiiikes. Like, it's really unprofessional to keep a dangerous magical artifact IN YOUR OFFICE?? No matter how many books you have guarding it??? Otherwise, I like seeing her as Minister. It was nice.
+ As per usual, Ron Weasley is useless in relation to everyone. He doesn't even play chess. This is not his fault, as he is given nothing of importance to do but be...Ron. BUT LIKE he is a valuable person in the other books and like here he's just like DA DA DA I RUN A JOKE SHOP I SNOG MY WIFE WHATEVER.
+ Oh, except for the part where it's actually IMPORTANT that Ron was jealous of Hermione during the Yule Ball because otherwise THEY NEVER WOULD HAVE GOTTEN MARRIED?????? I was so mad about this. This is insane. What a message! His jealousy was what got them to realize they liked each other? Why not just, you know, ADMITTING FEELINGS LIKE NORMAL PEOPLE????? Ron's jealousy in the fourth book is kind of stupid and terrible because he's FOURTEEN. I'm not interested in continuing to further a message to young women that if men are jealous, it's because they like you. This is toxic and damaging to everyone in our society. I was really, REALLY pissed about this.
+ Some of my Dumbledore complaints from the books were addressed, though not entirely in a satisfying way. At least they did actually talk about how it was kind of terrible that Dumbledore never told a child that he may have to die to save the world?
+ Uh, does Draco Malfoy suddenly know a lot about Muggles now? Why is he going around Godric's Hallow talking about farmers' markets as if he has some sort of intimate familiarity? Now I'm just imagining Draco at the Saturday market, bringing along his canvas bags, buying some purple carrots. "Ooooo, look at the cheese they have this week, Scorpius!"
+ I could have done with more Ginny. Always. She played second-fiddle to Harry a lot, which I do understand since this was about Harry and Albus's relationship, but still. Still. She does call Harry out though, which I liked. Long live book!Ginny. May everyone forget boring movie!Ginny forever.
+ HARRY DOES MOST OF THE COOKING. I am DELIGHTED. Awww, Harry! Harry in an apron, making Christmas dinner for his family! Harry making eggs and toast for the family on weekends! Harry putting a casserole together for them to eat after they get home from work!!!!!! So charmed.
+ THE TROLLEY WITCH. I feel like this is a point of contention from what I've seen. Some people hate this; some people loved it. I loved it. It was batshit crazy, and I thought it was perfect. I never would have expected it in a thousand years, and here it was, and I actually really enjoyed it. What a horrifying transformation.
+ On that note, I didn't have a problem with alterna-Voldeland. Voldemort and Valor? Eh. The Blood Ball? Whatever. They're not the most creative, but they make sense to me. I don't know why everyone hates it so much. I mean, I guess it's related to the Dephi situation, but. I've always had a soft spot for time-traveling and butterfly effect stories.
+ Hard no on Albus kissing Hermione as Ron. HARD NO. That is NOT CONSENSUAL and NOT OKAY. Polyjuice Potion is... It really should have age restrictions. ALSO, is it just me or does Polyjuice Potion get easier to brew every time it comes up in this series? I feel like in book two it was SUCH A TRIAL, and now it's like water. Available everywhere!
+ Would have been fun to see how more Muggle technology is now incorporated in the wizarding world, I say wistfully. Or are wizards still being stupid about tech? Seems unfathomable, given how convenient the internet and cell phones are. (hide spoiler)]
I could talk for a lot longer about my thoughts, but yes. I would recommend this play with some caution. Think long and hard about this story that you love. Can you accept that things won't stay the same? Can you accept that these characters are not entirely the characters you know? If you can, you'll enjoy this. It's a good time. If not, leave it. Walk away. Enjoy the original book canon. It's always going to be there for you, and you don't have to let this play ruin it. It's not a necessary thing. But it was fun....more
Man, I still can't tell if I enjoyed this or not. I feel like half the time I was rolling my eyes, but I did actively listen to the entire thing whileMan, I still can't tell if I enjoyed this or not. I feel like half the time I was rolling my eyes, but I did actively listen to the entire thing while I put together an Ikea dining table and chairs, so.
The premise of this book is actually pretty great. I loved the dimensional travel. The Romanov world! That was so, so cool. But otherwise, UGH, boring teen romances. I liked Marguerite fine. What I particularly enjoyed about her was the fact that she really wasn't inherently "special." (view spoiler)[I liked that it was a product of chance and deliberate plotting, rather than her being some sort of prophetic dimensional traveler or whatever. (hide spoiler)]
I did end up predicting the twist real early on, so that was kind of a letdown. I thought more stuff was going to happen! That love triangle was real dull too. Too much romance! Not enough dimensional travel!
Despite that -- #TeamPaul, forever and ever, since like the first paragraph of this book....more
I actually did like this sort of "filler" compendium. I understand that it's quite frustrating waiting for the next issue and the return of the main sI actually did like this sort of "filler" compendium. I understand that it's quite frustrating waiting for the next issue and the return of the main storyline, but this was nice. It was interesting to see different artists illustrating the backstories of various members of the Pantheon, and it did deepen the mystery of certain individuals while clarifying others.
Still. Looking forward to pushing on with the story. :)...more
All in all, this is a very good fantasy YA novel. It's grim and dark, furious and angry. It has a compelling protagonist -- one that perhaps martyrs hAll in all, this is a very good fantasy YA novel. It's grim and dark, furious and angry. It has a compelling protagonist -- one that perhaps martyrs herself a bit too much, but I'll give her that. The world, the story, and the pace all worked really well for me.
HOWEVER. I am pretty pissed about one thing.
(view spoiler)[Elli is a bisexual protagonist, something that rarely happens in these YA fantasy novels. I was so excited when I realized she loved her handmaiden as something more than a sister or friend. Thank god, a queer YA girl that wasn't relegated to a secondary character. But, obviously, this wasn't meant to be. Elli's "real" love interest is some boring white dude named Oskar, who is filled with his own torment. Elli's crush, her companion for twelve years, her handmaid Mim? She disappears for most of the story -- only to reemerge and be killed. Yup, killed. Mim, the potentially queer girl, dies. Oskar, Elli's heterosexual love interest, lives to see the end.
Fuck. That. Shit.
Sarah Fine could have chosen to give Elli the queer representation we need, to give her a love interest that isn't just another man, but nope. And to punish queer readers further, she kills Mim off in a brutal and heartbreaking fashion. To further the narrative of how this world is broken. I got that. This world is broken. I didn't need Mim to die to know that. I didn't need a queer girl to be punished for that reason. To top it all off, she barely gets the mourning she deserves, because Elli is so wrapped up in her newfound romance with Oskar. God, FUCK YOU, OSKAR. I could've LIKED YOU if not for this.
Basically, it's 2016, and queer girls still don't get happy endings. Cheers, Sarah Fine. Thanks for that. (hide spoiler)]
4 stars for story and plot; 1 star for queer representation. Fuck you....more
I enjoyed this a surprising amount for it being your typical YA dystopian fantasy novel. I actually found the characters, relationships, and plot to bI enjoyed this a surprising amount for it being your typical YA dystopian fantasy novel. I actually found the characters, relationships, and plot to be engaging. I do wonder if that had to do with the fact that it's an interesting twist on Little Women, but I thought it was well done. And, also, as an escape room aficionado, I think the Fives were a unique and fun device. I also appreciated Jes being a character of color, as well as the rest of the diverse cast. It made the story that much richer and interesting....more