Here we are, book three. And like a certain (mild spoiler) loveable werewolf introduced in this spell-binding story, third books also seem to be suffeHere we are, book three. And like a certain (mild spoiler) loveable werewolf introduced in this spell-binding story, third books also seem to be suffering from a curse, the curse of "wow i feel like a just read this book in book one and two", and "can't you get any original ideas, you call yourself a writer?" Jk has somehow avoided this curse and put forward a book which is not only the best one of the three, but probably one of the best books I have ever read. As I write this, I am currently reading not one, but three other third sequels and all three feel like carbon copies of their former two novels. So instead of reading them, here I am, writing a review about the best third sequel I have ever read.
In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, characters continue to grow, relationships continue to flourish (Ron + Hermione = <3), mysteries unfold, secrets are discovered.
Best new characters: Sirius Black (he is announced as an evil mass murderer, he holds many secrets, and is one of the best and most flawed yet brilliant characters to grace our pages). Remus Lupin also is an amazing character, I just love him to bits and I wish he was my teacher.
The new creatures and locations introduced are great, from the sinister dementors to Buckbeak the Hippogriff, along with Hogsmeade and all its shops to the Knight Bus.
A great part of book three that I haven't mentioned in previous reviews are the animals. From Fang, to Crookshanks, to Scabbers, to Hedwig, the animals of Harry Potter feel as real as the humans.
Ok, big spoiler, but my absolute favourite part was when Harry and Hermione use the time-turner to go back and fix everything. I definitely did not see that one coming. I love time travel and the way Jk used the time turner throughout the entire book with the whole 'hey where did Hermione come from?' thing was genius.
The twists and secrets revealed seem in hindsight a bit predictable, but when you're nine years old like I was when I first read it, you were completely shocked when it was revealed all the truths about the Mauraders and their amazingly cool map. The Mauraders are the epitome of coolness and if Jk ever decides to write another series about the wizarding world, they're the characters I would be rooting for her to feature.
Overall: 5 stars ***** for breaking the curse of the third sequel, and for being an awesome page-turner....more
Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much. They were the last people yoMr and Mrs Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much. They were the last people you'd expect to be involved in anything strange or mysterious, because they just didn't hold with such nonsense.
Just from this paragraph, even if you hadn't bothered to read the back of the book, you knew something strange or mysterious is going to happen. And it did. Thus began the tale of Harry Potter, the hero of the greatest saga ever written (in my humble opinion).
Harry is an orphan (yes that is cliche), and lives with his horrible relatives, the Dursleys. He soon finds out he isn't who he thought he was ('gasp'!) and is whisked off to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for a magical and sometimes dangerous education.
What makes it so absolutely amazing: - The characters: Every character is so unique and fleshed out, with a very distinct personality, strengths and weaknesses . Every single individual we meet has a signature 'something', be it the glasses, scar and impossible hair or Dumbledore's piercing eyes and long white beard. The characters manage to be over the top without seeming to try hard to be so, so they come across as natural even while wearing floor length robes or being twice the size of a normal person. Best characters in book one: Harry (of course), though he doesn't come to his potential into book two when he stops feeling like just an observer and more of the real hero. Ron: funny, loyal and red-headed :) Ron is Harry's best friend and a master at wizard chess. Hermione: in the beginning she is just so annoying! the best part of her story is to watch her grow from the girl we first meet to the girl who would break the rules to help her friends. Hagrid: The friendly giant (half-giant, actually), Hagrid will win you over with his sweet personality and love for all things creature (spoiler: giant-three headed dogs and illegal dragons are just some of those animals he loves). Honorable mentions: Dumbledore, Professor McGonagall, Snape, Dudley, Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia, Quirrell, Neville, Draco. - The plot: Again, the perfect word for Harry Potter is unique. Though the simplest plot of all seven books, Sorcerer's Stone still manages to keep you turning the pages uncontrollably. - The locations: From Diagon Alley in London, to Hogwarts castle in Scotland, every location Harry visits jumps off the page with absolute clarity and again, uniqueness. - The details: The pages are just filled with amazing details and interesting facts about the wizarding world making it come alive and feel very real. - It's hilarious: Harry Potter is one of the rare books that aren't 'funny' books, yet make you laugh anyway. The Dursleys are extremely funny in their effort to be 'normal' which they fail at horrendously. The best part about the comedy is that there are little lines here and there that are hilarious, yet fit into the page like they are totally normal and not going out of their way to be funny. Ex: ""No post on Sundays," he (Uncle Vernon) reminded them happily as he spread marmalade on his newspapers." pg. 34-35. I love this line since it so easily goes unnoticed, since he's just spreading marmalade. I read this aloud to my little brother and he didn't notice what it said, until a second later when he realized and he was like 'What?' and burst out laughing. - The fact that it can combine all kinds of themes and totally work. Magic, adventure, suspense, comedy, a kids story that adults love, romance (not yet, but you just wait), friendship, family, belonging, death, etc etc. The best books are the ones that can span all borders and categories they are boxed into, and this is one book that does so extremely well.
My few complaints (since this is an honest review) - The writing: JK is a story teller and it shows. Luckily, I can tell you that her writing style and prose greatly improves over the course of seven books, which shows even the best writers need improvement. - The names: Maybe I'm alone on this, but I never like names like 'Hogwarts' or names which always seem to start with the same letter twice like Severus Snape and Minerva McGonagall (plus they all come from obvious origins even if you don't know much greek or french, btw I'm fluent in french and go to an all french school, so its even more obvious) but this minor enough that it doesn't bother me anymore, not in the slightest.
Overall: 4.5 stars ***** for amazing creativity and unique plot, characters and locations. If you haven't read this book yet: what's wrong with you, get a copy immediately! If you saw the movie and think it is enough: read comment above. people who think this way have no idea of what they are talking about. ...more
So Wanderlove is about two things I love – art and traveling. What more could I ask for? But the thing is, Wanderlove is really about so much more thanSo Wanderlove is about two things I love – art and traveling. What more could I ask for? But the thing is, Wanderlove is really about so much more than just that. It’s about two amazing, well-developed characters on a journey to leave their old selves behind. It’s about them discovering themselves - and each other. And I loved every minute of it. What really shines about this novel is the characterizations and character growth. Bria and Rowan are flawed, unique, real, beautiful, broken characters. They never come across as perfect. They have real flaws, secrets, doubts, goals, passions. They jump off the page and feel completely and utterly real. I absolutely loved Bria’s voice. It’s refreshing and unique. And I admit, I have fallen completely in love with Rowan. I would sell my little brother to the jungle cult to have the chance to go backpacking with him. The other amazing thing is the character growth. For once, there actually is character growth. For Bria and Rowan both. There is a slow-building relationship with no insta-love or love triangle in sight. To sum it up, the characters are what make this novel stand out. The second thing that makes it worth reading is the setting. Just like the characters, it is flawed and far from perfect and idyllic. But it’s also so excruciatingly beautiful and realistic. I have no doubt in my mind that Kristin Hubbard has really been to those places. The way she describes them is magic. After this book, I desperately need to go to Central America. In fact, I just need to travel right now. I don’t care where. This book is not helping me cure my travel bug. The third thing worth mentioning is the drawings by the author herself. They fit so well into the story that you forget they aren’t Bria’s. They’re beautiful and simple, and they add another layer to this wonderful story. My favourites are the one of Rowan and the one of Bria in her long skirt with the butterflies. Other awesomeness? The ending was perfect. It was satisfying, yet it left me wanting more. The plot was a page-turner and it unfurled at exactly the right speed, letting the reader dive deeper and deeper in Bria and Rowan’s many layers and complexities. Oh, and Bria and Rowan are amazing names. ‘Nuff said. I recommend this book for anyone who: - Longs/loves to travel and explore the world - Loves flawed, complex characters - Hates insta-love - Loves/appreciates art - Is looking for their next great read Honestly, I can’t think about anything wrong with this book except that there could have been a little more character development for the secondary characters and there could have been a few less exclamation marks in the dialogue. Overall: 5 stars: Completely refreshing and unique, with amazing characters and a gorgeous setting. ...more
Better than the last! So completely unputdownable that once I finished I was so angry I wanted to throw my book across the room since there was no wayBetter than the last! So completely unputdownable that once I finished I was so angry I wanted to throw my book across the room since there was no way I could wait for another year for the next book.
Characters: Yes! I still loved Elder and Amy (and even better, Elder&Amy) and could totally relate to what was going on (ok mostly, since they were on a spaceship). I felt their pain along with their happiness and I simply couldn't wait for them to finally get together! The supporting cast were awesome but I didn't care for any of them other than Amy, Elder and Harley (I miss him so much!). You never knew who to trust, and I completely guessed the wrong killer this time even though it should have been obvious.
Plot: So good, just so good. Unbeatable. Unstoppable. Fast-paced and simply so intense you could do nothing but read and read and read.
Action/Adventure: One word, intense.
Romance: Amy+Elder<3 I love them together. They're simply perfect for each other and their relationship came naturally. Amy is smart to question her feelings instead of jumping into the 'oh I love you but don't even know why since we're horrible together' like so many stupid teen novels. She's smart to think, 'well do I love him since we're the only kids on board and we have be together, or would I love him above all the other boys if he was on earth with me?' but after a while I was just like get together already!!! Thankfully they do:)
Writing style: The writing suits the book perfectly, never pausing in intensity, its the kind of writing that makes you desperate for more.
POV: Same as last book, the POVs weren't written differently, but the characters are still different. Elder and Amy think differently, process info differently, and have different opinions on things. This is what makes reading the dual voices so interesting.
Plot twists: The first surprised me sometimes, yet I still managed to predict most of it. This one however, I predicted one major plot development, then feeling proud of myself attempted to figure out the rest before the characters did. I failed miserably. It should have been so obvious as to whodunit but somehow it managed to elude me. My suspect however, was involved just not the mastermind which should have been completely easy to figure out but nope, it wasn't. It didn't come out of no where though, and I along with the characters are far from stupid. Well done, Beth Revis. All the clues Orion gave to Amy were just genius! And I admire her even more for managing to solve them. Man, that girl is smart!
Page-turning ability: This is what all books aspiring to be page-turners should look up to. I couldn't finish fast enough, yet I never wanted it to end. Ugh!
Names: I loved how the names reflected the setting. Names are gonna change throughout the centuries, of course they will. The names of the characters on the ship mix names from present days and give them a believable futuristic spin. Ex: Mary or Mara to Marae. Plus, Elder is such a good name. Not sure why, but it just suits him. Amy suits her too, since it's good to have one normal common name thrown in.
Similarity to other works/uniqueness: This book manages to be very unique in a time of cliches and rip-offs and offers a fresh view of sci-fi. The next book seems like it will be sorta like Avatar and that makes me so excited.
Ending: OMG I nearly died! I equally hated and loved this cliffhanger since I'm so happy that what happened at the end happened but I simply cannot wait for an entire year before learning what happens next!!!
Title: BEST TITLE EVER! Seriously, it's just beautiful and perfectly fits the book.
Cover: Gorgeous, but what else can you expect from an Across the Universe book? I want whoever published it to publish my book (when I finish it) so I can get a gorgeous cover like that.
"It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities." - Albus Dumbledore
That one line is basically what Harry's story"It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities." - Albus Dumbledore
That one line is basically what Harry's story is all about. Put aside the amazing characters, plot, twists, humour, locations, and details that make up the world of Harry Potter and what have you got? a young boy discovering who he is and making the choices which will determine his caracter forever.
Harry is an orphan who's never known his parents and lives with the insufferable yet hilarious Dursleys, and discovers he is a wizard. Book one deals with introducing us to the world of Hogwarts and wizardry, book two delves into who Harry really is, besides being a wizard. Spoiler, sorta: Is he the heir of Slytherin? Is he really like Voldemort? And as Dumbledore said, does it matter if he can make the right choices? After Harry, the other characters who populate this magical book also dazzle the pages with their trademark charms. Best new characters: Lockhart, the hilariously self-absorbed DADA teacher and Dobby the adorable little house-elf. Plus the characters who were already introduced continue to grow and develop especially Hermione as she eases towards breaking the rules and becoming more easy-going. Hermione and Ron's romance starts to develop, though very slowly and sweetly throughout the second book.
Another new aspect is the mystery, which wasn't as dominant in the first book but takes center stage in this instalment, as mysterious attacks spread through the school and the sinister chamber of secrets have been opened. Who opened it? What's inside? And how can Harry and his friends stop the mysterious killer before he strikes again? It'll take all their bravery and wit as they 'Spoiler': battle giant spiders, monstrous serpents, and Harry's own dark suspicions about himself as they race to uncover a plot an evil plot thousand years in the making.
Yet another bonus is the obvious Voldemort-Mudbloods, to Hitler-Jews, and basically all racism. Jk explores racism through the eyes of a world and through the eyes of kids at school where it is the norm.This also exposes Harry to the truth that his world of magic and adventure isn't as perfect as it seems. The parallels between Voldemort and Hitler are numerous, from their hatred against a certain race/group, to their stereotype of the perfect person/wizard which they don't fit into themselves (Hitler wasn't the blond and blue-eyes perfect he strived everyone to be, just as Voldemort in all his anti-muggle views had a father who was a muggle himself).
Overall: 5 stars ***** for taking the story to the next level and for continuing a saga that is extremely enjoyable and keeps up the twists, turns and magic in a way that is new, fresh and never boring, even after 15 re-reads....more