Book Reviews

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

I CANNOT BELIEVE IT’S OVER! Books never make me cry, they don’t have that kind of effect on me. But my eyes definitely got a little misty over this one…. 

In this book, everything finally comes together. Questions are answered and good ultimately triumphs over evil. Yet, it was not all sunshine and roses. There were some heart-wrenching parts that simply tore me to pieces. Fred…Lupin…Tonks… I can’t even. I feel like this had to happen, though. This was war and couldn’t come without its losses. 

“He can run faster than Severus Snape confronted with shampoo.”

Harry’s decision at the end felt right too. After all of his character growth, he finally came to this moment and made the right choice. I’ve definitely been frustrated with him on many occasions, but I think he wouldn’t have become that wizard without those struggles. 

“Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living, and, above all those who live without love.”

I really loved Mrs. Weasley’s moment of triumph. I was cheering her on like crazy! 

A few things that I didn’t care for in this book…. The pacing was a bit slow in some parts – something  I’ve never really noticed in this series before. It was especially so during those weeks that they weren’t sure what to do next. I understand that Rowling wanted to finish everything at the end of what would’ve been their seventh year at Hogwarts, but it was frustrating that they didn’t take action for so long. I was also surprised that Harry didn’t seem shocked after he saw Snape’s memories. That was a big deal but instead, he obsessed over his own death. Also in this book, I found multiple editing errors. 

Ah, but what to say in closing? I was rather skeptical when I started this series. Yet, I was dragged in – hook, line, and sinker. Rowling has created a wonderful masterpiece that isn’t just about a boy who could do magic. It’s about loyalty, friendship, courage, endurance. It’s about the conquering of good over evil. Yes, the world-building is fantastic, yes, the characters are wonderful, but I think that these values inspire the reader and cause them to walk away feeling stronger. I think that is the true magic of the Harry Potter series.  

“We’re all human, aren’t we? Every human life is worth the same, and worth saving.”

P.S. That last scene “nineteen years later” is so sweet. 

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”

Book Reviews

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling

“It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more.”

I can’t take it anymore! Things are getting way too intense. I know how it all ends, but still, it’s just so much. 

The golden trio is growing up. It amazes me that in every book, the growth is so evident. After finishing each one, I was struck by the way Harry, Ron, and Hermione had changed. In this one, they have to overcome yet another hurdle in their relationship. What I mean is that Ron and Hermione finally get more serious, but of course, it’s not as easy as all that. I don’t think it’s ever that simple with Ron and Hermione. They always seem to take the long bumpy road rather than the straight and easy one. Which was sometimes frustrating, but I think that’s the nature of their relationship. Then there was also Harry and Ginny. Sooo cute. I really love Ginny, I think she’s a great fit for Harry. 

“Dumbledore says people find it far easier to forgive others for being wrong than being right.”

It was really great to learn about Voldemort’s origins. So far I’ve been thinking of him as a black picture – he’s just bad. But this added so much more depth to him and also showed the reasons for some of his actions, as horrible as they might be.

And Snape! I’m trying to figure him out, but I just can’t! He’s too good at what he does. 

“Let us step into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure.”

One thing that annoyed me a bit was the way that Harry constantly questioned Dumbledore. I thought that Harry should trust Dumbledore a bit more considering that he is one of the greatest wizards. I constantly thought, ‘Alright, Harry, relax. Dumbledore knows what he’s doing.” Maybe, though, all these questions came out because Dumbledore was the only one who had answers. 

Well, on to the next one! Hold onto your hats, friends. This is going to be a wild ride. 

“Do you remember me telling you we are practicing non-verbal spells, Potter?”
“Yes,” said Harry stiffly.
“Yes, sir.”
“There’s no need to call me “sir” Professor.”
The words had escaped him before he knew what he was saying.”

Book Reviews

Gellan Parker and the Black Owl by A.L. Wicks

BLURB

Gellan always was odd. He just didn’t realize how odd. It all started when he happened to be exploring along the cliffs like he usually did. Or maybe it had started long before that.With no other option, he ends up in Cremstoll at a school called Gilsthorne. Only this school is different, like him. He finds he just might fit in for the first time. Until he realizes he can’t quite do everything everyone else can . . . and maybe, just maybe, that’s a good thing.

REVIEW

This was a really fun read. I don’t typically read children’s fiction, but I’ve been making my way through the Harry Potter series, so I thought “Why not try this one?”

I think my favourite thing about it was the setting. For some reason, I got a Nova Scotia, Newfoundland sort of vibe and I thought that was really fun. Overall, Wicks built an interesting and compelling world.

The characters were great too! I especially loved Drina. She was smart and brave, and her relationship with Gellan was really sweet.

I thought that the pacing was a bit slow, though. It felt like there was a lot of explaining at the beginning that dragged down the action. I was really excited for Gellan to arrive at Cremstoll, but it took him a while to get there.

I also found that there were a lot of details that were very close to the Harry Potter series. It was interesting how Wicks put her own twist on these details, but I did wish that she had strayed a little further away from them.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Book Sirens. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Book Reviews

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter #5) by J.K. Rowling

“Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike.”

This has got to be one of the biggest books I’ve ever read. It was mammoth size! (Over 200,000 words) So where to begin… 

“Just because you have the emotional range of a teaspoon doesn’t mean we all have.”

I was thrilled to join Harry, Ron, and Hermione once again. I’ve been reading a bit about what makes the Harry Potter series so compelling and a lot of people name the characters as a key component. I have to say that I agree with them. The golden trio was, as always, absolutely charming. From Ron’s reaction at discovering that he was a prefect, to Hermione’s Christmas gift of homework planners, to Harry’s dedication to the DA, I was spellbound. And I know you will all agree when I say that Umbridge was absolutely horrible. Rowling did a really good job of portraying this and making me want to just reach inside the story and ring of Umbridge’s neck. I have to admit, though, that this one was a hard one to read in terms of Harry’s ever-shifting moods. He was angry a lot of the time and now I know why, but it was a little frustrating to read. I really wanted to tell him to just calm down and take a chill pill.  We’ll see what he’s like in the next book. 

“Wit beyond measure is man’s greatest treasure.”

The plot of the Order of the Phoenix was interesting as well in that I felt it didn’t have a crystal clear end goal. With the others, usually there was something that the characters were working towards throughout the entire book (i.e the finding the Philosopher’s stone, discovering the location of the chamber of secrets, surviving the Triwizard tournament). Rowling still made it work, though, and did an excellent job of keeping things rolling and engaging the attention of her readers. Lastly, I was very much intrigued by Snape’s memory. Up till now, Harry has thought of his father as a great and noble hero, but in this book, he discovered that his father wasn’t all that. I think especially in this book we see Harry step away from the naivety of a child. 

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I’m looking forward to book 6. Although things are becoming sooo intense, I’m not sure I’ll be able to handle it…..

Book Reviews

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter #4) by J.K Rowling

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“If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.”

This was another great read from J.K Rowling. Everything became a little bit darker and more intense. Again, we had the privilege of travelling with Harry, Ron, and Hermione through another year at Hogwarts. I will confess, that I watched the movie before listening to the audiobook. I really can’t say if I regret it or not, but I think maybe if I had listened to the book first, I would have been immensely disappointed by the movie. But who knows, I might have still liked it. 

“It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be.”

Anyway, the extra details in the book and of course, the complexity of the characters were so fun to read about. Hermione’s tirade about elf freedom gave her character a whole new depth. I think it showed that she’s starting to grow up and look more at the world around her. This was also shown through her relationship with Krum. Which brings me to a whole other thing. The boys and girls of Harry’s year started to notice each other. His dilemma of having to ask a girl to the ball was quite amusing. Also, I’m really starting to get a sense of the chemistry between Ron and Hermione which is interesting to see. Oh, and I must say, I really liked the addition of Bill (the “cool” brother) and I’m excited to read more about him in the next book.

“We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.”

The Triwizard tournament brought many more exciting thrills and dangerous experiences that had me sitting at the edge of my seat. Sometimes I got really frustrated with Harry and wanted to just grab his shoulders and shake him and tell him to hurry up and figure out the next task. Seriously, he needed to get his priorities straight. I can’t finish without mentioning the ending. It was actually quite scary! Rowling does a fabulous job of painting Voldemort as a terrible, frightening, and evil villain. When he came out of that cauldron…… I wanted to hightail it out of there. I’ve already started reading the Order of the Phoenix so far and I’m absolutely loving it. Fred and George are a hoot and Dolores Umbridge is a complete toad. 

Stay tuned for my next review and a little (or big…) writing update. 
Ta ta for now. 

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Book Reviews

My Top 10 Reads of 2020

I know this is a little late, but here it is: my favorite books of 2020. Because I am so indecisive, they are in no particular order and I cheated a little by counting a series as one book.

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Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan

An absolutely charming and enthralling read! I was blown away by every splendid detail. This was a story about love, abuse, literature, friendship, and faith. 

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Lost Shadow (The Neverwood Chronicles #3) by Chanda Hahn

What a crazy, intense, exciting read! I’ve been in love with series since book #1 and in this last book, all the pieces come together to create this insane conclusion. Reading this book made me want to start all over again at book #1 so I can take this journey again. 

Harry Potter Volumes 1 - 3 Box Set: J. K. Rowling: Amazon.com: Books

The Harry Potter Series #1-3 by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone; Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets; Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Witch of Edgehill Series # 3 & 4 by Melissa Erin Jackson

Pawsitively Secretive ; Pawsitively Swindled

If you haven’t read the Witch of Edgehill this series and enjoy cozy mysteries, I absolutely recommend that you do!

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Spellbreaker (Spellbreaker Duology #1) by Charlie N. Holmberg

This was the first book I’ve read by Charlie Holmberg and I must say, I was absolutely charmed.

The Orphan Queen (The Orphan Queen #1) by Jodi Meadows; The Mirror King by Jodi Meadows

I found myself being swept away by these stories. 

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The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

This was a lovely and unique adventure! Harrow has a beautiful writing voice that is quite charming. I think it was my favourite part of the book. I found myself lost in a forest of colourful descriptions and creative similes. It was quite enjoyable to read! 

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Dance of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson

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Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger

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Jackaby by William Ritter

So there you have it! Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them? Let me know in the comments below!

Book Reviews

Pawsitively Betrayed by Melissa Erin Jackson

And here we are with the great finale to a pawsitively magical and mysterious series. I was so excited for this last book and it was definitely as intense and exciting as I had hoped it would be.

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It has been amazing to watch Amber grow as a character throughout this series. She went from being someone who kept to herself, a reclusive cat lady, to someone who had a lot of strong friendships. I was a little sad that we didn’t get to see as much of Chief Brown as we have in the other books. Amber’s friendship with him was one of my favourites of the series. However, we did get to see lots of Edgar. Poor guy! I’m so glad things started working out for him (sorry, I can’t say more without giving anything away). Also, to be honest (and I think this was my least favourite thing about this book and maybe the whole series), I was not a fan of Jack. Sure, he was sweet and caring but felt a little useless (sorry!). I was really hoping that he would step up in this book and take a more leading role in the action, but he seemed to stay more as a side character.

The plot was quite fast-paced and I often found myself trying to figure out what was going to happen and who Amber could trust. I mean, the book is called “Pawsitively Betrayed” so a part of me was expecting one of Amber’s closer acquaintances to suddenly reveal themselves to be with the Penhallows. As result, I felt a lot like Amber: always being wary of people and wondering how in the world the Penhallows could be stopped. I would say this is a spot of good writing on Jackson’s part.

And, of course, I must mention the ending. It was really nice. Amber finally got some peace, was able to open the Quirky Whisker again, and reunited with some people she thought she would never see again. Overall, it was a lovely ending to this series.

A Witch of Edgehill Mystery (5 book series) Kindle Edition

If you haven’t read the Witch of Edgehill this series and enjoy cozy mysteries, I absolutely recommend that you do!

I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book. All opinions in this review are my own and freely given.

Until next time! Keep your eyes open for my review of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, it will be coming soon.

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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

“I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.”

This was another fantastic Harry Potter read! If I hadn’t watched the movie (I know, I know! Don’t throw your book at me!), I wouldn’t have guessed the outcome. Rowling was very clever with giving hints that were subtle, yet kept me on my toes. 

“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

Best Crookshanks Gif GIFs | Gfycat

For the new characters… Honestly, who doesn’t love Lupin and well, Black too. They’re both like the cool uncles. After all of the hype of Sirius being a hardened criminal, by the end, I loved him and was so sad that his name wasn’t cleared. I wanted Harry to finally have a father figure. And who wouldn’t want a teacher like Lupin? So far, he’s the very best Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. Another new character was Crookshanks. I was never quite sure what to think of him! Sometimes I was annoyed, but sometimes I suspected that he was onto something. I hope we get to see more of him in the following books. Also, Professor Trelawney was an interesting character. She was humorous in a ridiculous sort of way, but I have a niggling feeling that perhaps her predictions aren’t as far fetched as they might seem.  

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Harry, Hermione, and Ron’s friendship was, of course, classic. They had a bit of tension throughout this book which was hard to read. I kept yelling at Ron and Hermione to just make up, but with a little extra time, it was all good in the end.  

I’m really not sure what else to say. It’s all been said a hundred times over already. I’ve already started listening to book #4 and I can’t wait to see where this adventure will lead to next!    

“Mr. Moony presents his compliments to Professor Snape, and begs him to keep his abnormally large nose out of other people’s business.
Mr. Prongs agrees with Mr. Moony, and would like to add that Professor Snape is an ugly git.
Mr. Padfoot would like to register his astonishment that an idiot like that ever became a professor.
Mr. Wormtail bids Professor Snape good day, and advises him to wash his hair, the slimeball.”

weasley family in egypt | Weasley family, Ginny weasley, Weasley

Book Reviews

Spellbreaker (Spellbreaker Duology #1) by Charlie N. Holmberg

This was the first book I’ve read by Charlie Holmberg and I must say, I was absolutely charmed. The first few chapters were a bit of a rough start not because of the writing or the story, but because I picked it up near the end of my semester when deadlines were crashing in around me. Once things settled down and I could simply sit and read, I was transported to a unique and exciting magical place. We are given a Victorian England where magic is commonplace and most of those with magic are part of an organized system. The protagonist, Elsie Camden, is unregistered and works in secret for an insurgent group. Through one of her missions, she is discovered by Bacchus Kelsey who promises to keep her secret if she helps him break some spells.


Their relationship was a slow burn and was very sweet. They went from disliking each other to being friends to having feelings for each other. I also loved Elsie’s relationship with Ogden and Emmeline. Although they were not related they created a beautiful family atmosphere.

The writing was very nice. It was not extremely flowery, but it had some nice flourishes to it. Holmberg also moved things along nicely. She spent time where time was needed but didn’t dwell on things either.

Lastly, I loved that the ending surprised me! I was not expecting Elsie’s secret employers to be who they were and I was not expecting them to be so devious either. I had thought that there would be some great reveal of how the Cowls were right and the others were misusing their power, but I was so wrong!

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This was a clean read – there was no profanity or explicit scenes.
I am excited to read the sequel to Spellbreaker which will be coming out on March 9, 2021.

Thank you to NetGalley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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my writing

Veralisa’s Song from my WIP

Happy Thursday everyone!

I have been quite diligently plugging away at the sequel to Beautiful Beast and I can now proudly say that I am 62,000 words in! It feels like the end is finally in sight. While writing this, I found I was in need of a song and not just any song. It had to be Veralisa’s song.

So this is what I came up with. What do you think? Is there anything you would change?

Ashes of cities
Lost to the wind
Blood of my people
Cruelly shed
Snow white and pure
Cover the land
Keep her strong
Keep her long

Here are a few pictures from my Pinterest board to go along with it.

That’s all I can tell you for now, but stay tuned for the big title and cover reveal!

Ta ta for now.

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