Bookish Survey: Cast a HP Spell

hp survey

Jasmine from Flip That Page came up with this brilliant idea and yes it is indeed brilliant. Use magical spells from Harry Potter to categorize books. Its simpler than it sounds and more fun than it seems.

Jasmine gives us several spells that we would cast on books. For instance Reparo would be used on a book that could use some fixing, or reworking. Get the idea? Good, because I’m starting!

Reparo–fixes damaged objects

A book that needs serious fixing: Fallen by Lauren Kate– The story idea had potential and in a market where angels are booming Kate had all the advantage but the writing, characters and overall story just fell flat.

Lumos— creates a narrow beam of light

A book that deserves more attention: Ballad by Maggie Steifvater– Stiefvater’s Shiver trilogy is all the rage, as it should but I think her book about faeries is just as good if not better. The characters are living, breathing creatures and the writing lyrical. Read this book!

Nox–counters the effects of lumos

An overhyped book: Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis– I adore Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Magician’s Nephew and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe but Prince Caspian was a couple hundred pages of NOTHING happening and Susan complaining, yet it’s the second most popular in the Chronicles of Narnia. Why???

Accio— summons an object from a significant distance

A book you’re anticipating: City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare– The final installment in the Mortal Instruments and so many turning points happened in the previous novel I simply can’t wait to see how Clare sums it all up in her end to the rollercoaster series.

Alohomora— opens unlocked doors, unless bewitched

A book you want to be more open about: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo– Okay listen, I know everyone is absolutely in love with this book but I’m not. I enjoyed reading it but I just don’t understand why everyone is RAVING about it. Except for the Darkling. That I understand.

Expecto Patronum— conjures an incarnation of positive feelings

A book that made you cry, or at least want to: A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini– Although I didn’t shed any actual tears I was heartbroken with how women were treated in this novel. And what’s even more disheartening is that this is real and still goes on today.

Mosmorde— conjures the dark mark

A book you wish to mark as one of your favorites: Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern– I picked this novel up on a whim (an example of when judging a cover works out well) and fell in love with the intricate story. And to think this was Morgenstern’s debut novel, I can’t wait to see what she will write next.

Petrificus Totaluspetrifies victim

A book you wish to keep forever: Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine– This was one of the books that first cast it’s spell on me and since then it has always stuck. I can pick it up anytime and enjoy it no matter how many times I’ve reread it. It’s simply enchanting.

Protego— shield charm

An intimidating book you keep putting off: Divergent by Veronica Roth– I’ve heard so much about this book so if I read it I’m going to feel a lot of pressure to love it. Hence the procrastination.

Riddikulus— used against a boggart

A book with a deceiving synopsis: The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling– I loved the book but the synopsis made it seem like the whole town was vying over this city council seat when in actuality is was about the ugly truth of ordinary people. Not what I expected but definitely an excellent read.

Lacarnum InflamaraeShoots fireballs

A book you wish to burn out of your mind completely: L.A. Candy by Lauren Conrad– I shouldn’t have expected much but I can’t help it when I get a new book and with this one well… it wasn’t interesting. As simple as that.

Wingardium Leviosalevitates objects

A book you wish to reread: The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman– I’ll never forget reading this in the tiny school library of middle school. Lyra was my first hero and I can’t wait to reread it from an older perspective.

Avada Kedavracauses instant death

Worst book EVERMarked by P.C. and Kristin Cast– Can be summed in two words; exaggerated and shallow.

Stupefyputs victim in unconscious state

A book with a chapter you couldn’t seem to get over: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins– The chapter where a certain someone tries to strangle another certain someone? As Yoda would say “Stunned into silence, I was.”

Confundocauses befuddlement or forgetfulness

A book that generally caused confusion: The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis– Not so much as confused as bewildered that my beloved Narnian world could end so quickly.

Crucioinflicts unbearable pain

A book that was a pain to read: The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck– I love East of Eden  but this one I struggled through. I think it was the whole you-must-read-it-for-school thing, kind of puts a damper on it.

Episkeyheals relatively minor injuries

A feel good book that you enjoyed: The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffeneger– I adore the fleeting romance in this novel; its quick beginning and the way it burns out just as quickly. Definitely good on a Sunday afternoon.

Expelliarmustemporarily disarms an opponent

A book with a swoon-worthy character: The Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare– Will Herondale, enough said.

Impedimenta impedes target’s process

A book that kept you all night reading: Twilight by Stephanie Meyer– I’m not going to lie, once upon a time before the movies came out I enjoyed Twilight. So much so that I lost a good deal of sleep over it.

Silencio– immediate silencing

A book that left you speechless after you read it: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green– The story was a simple one but with complex characters. To this day I have trouble summarizing my feelings over it except that it was incredibly enlightening.

Legilimensallows you to delve into someone’s mind

A book with well-developed characters: The Stand by Steven King– King’s reputation for outstanding characterization isn’t false, King is a master when it comes to character development.

Levicorpusa spell that turns you upside down

A book that changed your mind about a character from it’s prequel: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling– Severus Snape is AMAZING and I’m sorry for ever doubting him!

Obliviateused to hide memories

A book with a story you can’t remember: I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore– I remembered liking it and that it was a science fiction novel about aliens but I can’t remember the details. Just means its time for a reread!

Peskipiksi Pesternomiuseless spell

A boring book that had absolutely no effect on you: The Lord of the Flies by William Golding– I did not enjoy this book at all and frankly I saw the ending coming a mile away.

Reducto– breaks through solid objects

A book that convinced you to reconsider a certain genre: The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connolly– Talk about your fast paced thrillers! This book delivered on all accounts and officially got me hooked on the Thriller genre.

Rictusempratickling spell

A book that made you laugh: The Help by Kathryn Stockett– When I read about Minnie’s pie I just about died from laughter. The paramedics were called and everything…

Sectusempraoffensive spell that violently wounds the target

A book that may have scarred you for life: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson– I liked the book but I swear if I read the word IKEA one more time…

Tarantallegramakes you dance uncontrollably

A series finale that made you feel giddy: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling– No other feelings can compare to how I felt about opening this book up for the first time. It was definitely a bittersweet moment.

Bombarda Maximacauses an explosion that breaks through walls

A book that made you explode with the feels: Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare– When I finished this novel I literally ran into my sisters room at 2am and demanded that she wake up so I could talk about how this book made me feel. Sometimes I still do.

Finite Incantatem– nullifies other spells

A book you’d thought you dislike but ended up lovingEast of Eden by John Steinbeck– After reading his previous work I was very wary of venturing into another Steinbeck novel, but homework called and I took the plunge. It was worth it! Just a typical soap opera, what’s not to love?

Feel like participating? Just check out Jasmine’s blog for the details and feel free to link back so that I can see your answers. If you have any comments or suggestions feel free to share them below and happy reading!

Dreaming Novel Things: Who Were You in English Class?

dreamingnovelthingsDreaming Novel Things is a feature in which I discuss book related subjects, but in a creative way. I’ll use interviews, narratives and lists to talk about book trends, book opinions and bookish matters. If you have any book related subjects you’d like to see me discuss just leave me a comment below!

So I’ve been preparing for my high school reunion which is coming up in… seven years and I was reminiscing the good old days in English class. The people in that class were definitely characters and are burned into my memory as types (I know that sounds bad); for example– the know it all type, the couldn’t care less type and the crack a joke every minute type. Then I started thinking about who I was to my class mates, did I fit into a type? So I made a handy dandy guide to figure it out, scroll down if you want to know who you were in English class. (But be prepared, you may not like what you see).

hermione grangerThe Know it All Type:  This person is often mistaken for obnoxious but this is an unfair accusation. This person CAN’T HELP THEMSELVES. The moment a book is assigned this person reads it using sticky notes on every page, types up their notes to further analyze them and has the essay done all before the class discussion day so they can answer every question the teacher asks and even ones they didn’t ask. This person can usually reference any book at the top of their head and if they can’t pull it from the top of their head they have it written down somewhere in a notebook that they carry on their person. They know about all the small irrelevant facts of their favorite authors and their hand is always the first one up when class begins. Often before the teacher has even begun talking.

ron weasleyThe Couldn’t Care Less Type: This person didn’t care why the author wrote the curtains blue. They didn’t care if there were several themes to be found in the novel. They read it and that was it. They either enjoyed it or not but they didn’t look for hidden meanings because they DIDN’T CARE. During class discussions they roll their eyes because they think it’s ridiculous to assume that because the author made the curtains blue that the author was ‘really’ trying to symbolize depression. They think the author made the curtains blue, TO MAKE THE CURTAINS BLUE. They might read for enjoyment not for any literary insight. They are often seen at their desk staring into space, lost in thoughts about lunch.

thCAOVTCU0The Make it Up as You Go Type: This here is our procrastinator. It’s not that they don’t like reading it’s just that they are always putting it off to do something else. So by the time the class room discussion rolls around they are left struggling to say something that makes sense. They usually try to repeat what someone else has said but try to rephrase it so that it sounds like a different opinion. For instance, one person could say “I thought C.S. Lewis used Aslan to represent Jesus Christ in the Christian religion.” Then our ‘make it up as you go’ type person would say, “I almost think Lewis was giving us subtle hints with that character Aslan. It almost seemed that he was referencing the Christian religion.” Then our person will nod eagerly to emphasize their point.

To be honest with you guys, I was the make it up as you go type. I’m a HUGE procrastinator and for some reason when someone said that I HAD to read a book, I didn’t want to read it. That led to a lot of awkard moments of me pulling things to say out of thin air. (I pulled it off though)! 😉

Who were you in English class?  Share it below and happy reading!

Bloggin’ Recap

bloggin'recapWelcome to my first ever Bloggin’ Recap. A new feature inspired by A Bookish Heart. Every Sunday I’ll get the chance to tell you what’s going on in my life, what I’ve posted for the week, what to expect in the upcoming week and posts I enjoyed from other bloggers.

In the Real World:

The school year has finally begun so that means I’m back to work! I work as a Food Service Aide (fancy terms for lunch lady) and it’s only a part-time job while I’m in school. Oddly enough I really like it, the people are work with are such characters and always make work fun. Tomorrow I actually test for a job that will bring more hours and higher pay raise so even though I’ll be sorry to say goodbye to my lovely co-workers, keep your fingers crossed for me!

I’ve been in the midst of preparations for next month as I am directing a play, Bus Stop for my local theater. I still haven’t quite worked out how I’ll be doing work, directing and blogging but I’ll find a way, blogging has become too important to me to give up.

I started The Stand by Stephen King on Friday, and realized that the edition I’m reading is the “Complete and Uncut” edition making it a whopping 1153 pages long. I’m going to try to finish on time to review this upcoming week but…I don’t know if it’s physically possible. The good news is I’m 100 pages in and really liking it! As my first Stephen King novel I was a bit intimidated but he’s a fantastic author, gripping me with his writing from the first page.

That’s all the news from me this week, how did your week turn out?

What I’ve Posted This Week:

I’m proud to say that I’ve been doing well at keeping up with the 30 Day Book Challenge, I’ve posted:

Along with the challenge I’ve posted:

Posts to Look Forward to this Upcoming Week:

  • What kind of Book Shelf Person are You?
  • Converting People to the Bookworm religion

Posts from Blogging Buddies that I’ve enjoyed this Week:

That’s the end of today’s recap, what was this week like for you? Read anything good? Do anything fun? Share it below and happy reading!

Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites 02I stumbled upon this meme at the adorable blog, Tessa’s Wishful Endings. Really it’s as simple as the name; you talk about a favorite book related subject on Fridays. It could be anything from favorite authors, books and genres to favorite reading spots, opening sentences and love triangles. Basically the world of novels is our oyster and with Friday Favorites, we can conquer it.

Favorite Opening Lines

Call it cheating if you will, but I have more than one. Hey, don’t look at me like that you try to pick just ONE opening line throughout the entire novel universe and tell me it’s easy. Not likely. There’s just so many great ones that it would be unfair to only share one with you fellow bookworms. So read on if you would like to learn my favorite opening lines in novels (if you don’t then scroll down anyway, you’ve read this far might as well read the entire thing).

1. It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife”– Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

It’s a classic for a reason, in ONE line she sets the tone for the entire novel leaving the reader with no question of subtle (and not so subtle) satire. When I read this I instantly get a feel for Austen’s humor and want to know more. From this line we can see that we are in for a novel full of wit and fun in the best kind of way. Not many people can sum up their novel in one line, but this right here ladies and gentlemen is a prime example. Bravo, Austen!

2. “There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.”– The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis

I couldn’t help but laugh when I opened up this book to find this hilarious opening line. Right away Lewis breaks the rule of the ‘Fourth Wall’ and interacts with the reader, adding a level of excitement to the tone. I immediately wanted to know more about Eustace and already had an idea of what I was in for with this character. The opening line’s job is to get the reader hooked, and Lewis does just that with this one.

3. If you are interested in stories with happy endings, you would be better off reading some other book.”– The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket

Again, we see another master with the ability to stroke our curiosity. Snicket also breaks the rule of the ‘Fourth Wall’ by interacting directly with the reader and this only adds to the overall tone of the novel. Plus, it is an inevitable truth that telling someone not to do something only enhances the want to do it. Snicket knows how to grab a reader.

4. To Sherlock Holmes she is always the woman.”– A Scandal in Bohemia by Arthur Conan Doyle

I guess for this line to resonate with a reader the reader has to have had a familiarity with Sherlock Holmes otherwise, it’s an ordinary line. However all the Sherlock fans will recognize the greatness that is this line. Sherlock was always this person that was more brain than human so to refer to a true love captures our attention right away. The line refers to a side in Sherlock that we have never seen before, therefore we can’t resist the temptation. As Yoda would say, “A true master, Doyle was.”

5. Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.”– Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

I know, I have an issue. I just can’t help but find a way to mention Harry Potter in almost every post, but you know what the reason why; is because it is an EPIC story and therefore justified in every way. In this line J.K. Rowling like Lewis sets a tone of playfully poking at characters. The way she implies the Dursleys of being proud of being normal suggests almost a type of satire as if we should laugh at these characters. The reader can’t help but wonder why someone would pride themselves on being normal, an explanation being that abnormal must be abundant. Why is it abundant and why is it bad? From line one J.K. Rowling has the readers inferring about her book and it a genius move on her part.

What’s your favorite opening line in a novel? Share it below and happy reading!

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

witch*This review does contain spoilers

Novel Facts:

  • Published: October 16, 1950
  • Publisher: Geoffrey Bles
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Series: The Chronicles of Narnia
  • Pages in Paperback: 76
  • Preceded by (chronologically): The Magician’s Nephew
  • Followed by (chronologically): The Horse and His Boy
  • First published of seven novels although chronologically it takes place secondly in Narnia history
  • Quote: She did not shut it properly because she knew that it is very silly to shut oneself into a wardrobe, even if it is not a magic one.”
  • Goodreads
  • Amazon/Barnes and Noble/Book Depository
  • threeandahalf

Plot:

When Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy took their first steps into the world behind the magic wardrobe, little do they realize what adventures are about to unfold. And as the story of Narnia begins to unfold, so to does a classic tale that has enchanted readers of all ages for over half a century.

Review of the Characters:

Aslan– The King of Narnia, who is both Great and Good. I love the way the beavers describe Aslan to the children, how he is not safe but he is on the side of good. As the son of the Emperor-Beyond-the-Sea Aslan’s power and goodness is unmatched. It is obvious that C.S. Lewis intends for Aslan to represent Jesus Crist in the Christian religion. Aslan sacrifices his life for others; endures torture during the process and after being sacrificed is resurrected. Aslan is almighty and it will be interesting to see his participation throughout the rest of the Chronicles of Narnia.

The White Witch– Just as in The Magician’s Nephew, the White Witch is evil to the core which again, is forgivable since she is not human. She represents everything humans should avoid: cruel, power-hungry, sadistic and lack of hope (I mean she made it always winter but never Christmas for goodness sakes). Since Lewis deemed the White Witch as the “Emperor’s hangman” ensuring the right to kill any Narnian caught in the act of treachery, it can be said that she therefore represents Satan; to whom the souls of damned sinners are forfeited. However I am conflicted in making this connection as Aslan so clearly represents Jesus while the connection to the White Witch is not so clear. (Can I say that she died pretty easy? If I was an animal in Narnia I would wonder why Aslan did not dispose of her before, but then again you don’t question Aslan).

Edmund– I liked Edmund very much as I feel he was one of the more accurate descriptions of humans. I’m not saying that I would find it normal for humans to betray family, I’m saying it is normal (especially for children) to give in to temptation. It was nice to see him grow and learn from his actions as we did when we were young. (I have countless stories of learning about the consequences of my actions). Edmund was human, he was a good person but a person with faults which is all the more relatable to children.

Review of the Story:

You can’t help but become enchanted as you read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. It is a dream world that beckons all children. Full of talking animals, palaces and evil witches, this novel makes for an epic fantasy adventure. My only concern was that the ending was a bit easy, however I do have to take into consideration that it is children’s literature. I was expecting a suspenseful battle scene with the White Witch, who seemed unbeatable but further thinking on this made me realize that she was already beat when Aslan sacrificed himself for Edmund. Therefore, the battle scene did not matter.

Review of the Writing:

As he does in The Magician’s Nephew, C.S. Lewis continues to write in a tongue-in-cheek way that speaks to children. This tone contrasted with fantastical creatures makes for a fun read. Along with this, Lewis includes several references to the Christian religion such as an allegory of Christ, Satan and the Stone Tablets. Since the connection of Aslan to Jesus and the White Witch to Satan has already been touched on I’ll move straight to the Stone Tablets. The Stone Table in Narnia represents the Stone Tablets that Moses brought down which contained the 10 Commandments. In this period it was very harsh, with the punishment of death for sins. However, after Aslan is resurrected the Stone Table breaks in half representing the end of the harsh period and the beginning of more forgivable time in which you can seek atonement for your sins. (That’s just my take anyway). I should note that although these religious references can be made they do not in any way eclipse the story. In other words, I do not consider this a novel in which the author is preaching.

Rating:

I highly recommend The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe for anyone who would like to partake in an enchanting adventure. Although written for children, it is a story that all ages can (and should) enjoy!

witchandwardrobe.jpg

Overall Rating:
threeandahalf

P.S.– My next read is The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis (the horse better not die)!