The Goodreads Challenge | 2021 Goals!

Hello!

When I started my journey of reading ‘20 books in 2020′ I had no idea how much fun I would have but also creating the review pieces on here! As you might already know, I don’t do what my fellow bloggers who do these types of reviews – I like to be creative with my wording and try my hardest to make you understand my issues and loves with every story each month. I’m not your average person, why would I be an average book blogger too?

One of the things I did at the start of 2020 was give you a little peek at what kind of books I would be reading–and at the time of that post, I hadn’t been introduced to Prime Reading nor Kindle Unlimited yet so all of the books listed on there were ones that I bought myself and actually stayed on that same course for a good three to four months before getting into Prime Reading and then it was like, all bets were off! Once I discovered PR and KU, it was like an endless sea of books at my disposal and it became a little hard to breathe because I could constantly search for new treasures, which was the reason why I was never able to read the classics like I wrote about in that post. I’d still give Little Women by Louisa May Alcott a second chance but as for the others, I just don’t really know at this time.

Here are some of the books I have on my list to possibly read in 2021.

  • A Touch Of Darkness by Scarlett St. Clair | the review will be up next Wednesday!
  • A Game Of Fate by Scarlett St. Clair
  • Still Me by JoJo Moyes
  • Crown Of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
  • Elizabeth Woodville: Mother Of The Princes in the Tower by David Baldwin
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K Rowling
  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  • Finding Love At The Christmas Market by Jo Thomas
  • Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
  • The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  • The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins
  • Wicked Beat by Olivia Cunning
  • High On Arrival by Mackenzie Phillips
  • Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard
  • Court of Thorns & Roses by Sarah J. Maas
  • One Of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus

Of course, if you read my previous post I had both Glass Sword and Wicked Beat on that list too, so even though I have this giant list already together, I may not even get to it but I hope I can finally make some time for them because they’ve been on my list for a long time. I desperately want to finish more books this year. There were two things that happened in 2020 that I have to say, irritated me but made me feel so proud at the same time. I was able to complete my first ever book series with Jenny Han’s “To All Of The Boys I’ve Loved Before” going into autumn and last bit of the year. I felt so accomplished by doing this, especially still having vivid memories of just hating books and reading as a whole.

There are just two series where I am itching my way to finishing it and I am very excited about this. It is pretty daunting task, especially with Still Me and Wicked Beat, since they are the last in both of their series’. After doing this, I would like to finally get all of the books and store them along with my Jenny Han books too. I love having them close and on display because I feel like they bring out positive energy for me that I will need for the days, weeks, when I don’t feel like doing anything, especially read a book.

Another goal I would like to do is read more romance. Now, at the time I made this goal, I hadn’t found the Hades x Persephone series, so although they are very erotic, I just want more stories that were featured in The German Midwife by Mandy Robotham. The romance aspect wasn’t the biggest part of the main character’s life, I did end up enjoying it anyways and I definitely want more stories like that. So, if you or anybody out there who may have some ideas for me to go, please let me know!

What are some of your goals you want to accomplish in 2021? How many books do you want to read this year? What is your favorite book series too?

Book Review: “Harry Potter and the Prisoner Of Azkaban” by J.K. Rowling

Hello!

When I published my review of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children last month, I mentioned that there had only been one other book I have had issues with in the past and taken multiple tries to complete, and it was Prisoner of Azkaban. Well, I can officially cross it off my TBR as I gave it one more chance this fall and I am so unbelievably proud of myself to have read both of these books in the same year!

I originally started reading this book in 2016, and only got to the fourth chapter because my mind was so busy comparing the scenes I was reading with the film. If you didn’t know, Prisoner of Azkaban is actually my favorite film out of the entire collection, so I knew I would be very hard on myself there, so I stopped completely. I remember I had even asked my cousin Taylor, how much would I miss, if I just skipped it? His reaction told me a lot, so I waited and waited, until that’s all I really wanted to read in October.

We were already going up north to visit with family anyways, and so I asked Taylor, if I could borrow this book again. What I didn’t expect was that he decided to donate the whole series to me. So, I came home after three days with a whole stack of books! I am thrilled to have these books on my bookshelf but even more excited to get back into the wizardry world of Harry Potter too!

WARNING: If you have not read and/or watch the films, but would like to in the near future, be cautious as there are a lot of spoilers below. You may want to skip this post today!


Harry Potter’s third year at Hogwarts is full of new dangers. A convicted murderer, Sirius Black, has broken out of Azkaban prison, and it seems he’s after Harry. Now Hogwarts is being patrolled by the dementors, the Azkaban guards who are hunting Sirius. But Harry can’t imagine that Sirius or, for that matter, the evil Lord Voldemort could be more frightening than the dementors themselves, who have the terrible power to fill anyone they come across with aching loneliness and despair. Meanwhile, life continues as usual at Hogwarts. A top-of-the-line broom takes Harry’s success at Quidditch, the sport of the Wizarding world, to new heights. A cute fourth-year student catches his eye. And he becomes close with the new Defense of the Dark Arts teacher, who was a childhood friend of his father. Yet despite the relative safety of life at Hogwarts and the best efforts of the dementors, the threat of Sirius Black grows ever closer. But if Harry has learned anything from his education in wizardry, it is that things are often not what they seem. Tragic revelations, heartwarming surprises, and high-stakes magical adventures await the boy wizard in this funny and poignant third installment of the beloved series.

taken from Goodreads.

Now that I have finished reading, I am glad I didn’t skip it because it answered a lot of questions for me that I thought the film never answered for me, like the origin story of Professor Lupin and The Marauder’s Map, I feel like those explanations were heavily missed in the film, and as someone who only knew the series from the movies, I felt very puzzled by each section, but I think it was the driving force to want to read the books after all of these years too!

It also helped solve several other mysteries for me as well, like how and why Snape knew where Harry, Ron, and Hermione in the Forbidden Forest. The other one that has always bugged me was Harry’s Patronus, why was it a stag? And now that I think about it, I feel like it was answered in the movie but I never managed to understand everything about it, so it makes so much sense now.

Another thing that I thought was interesting, is how much Quidditch was featured and I have to say, I loved it!

Everytime I read about the various matches against the other houses, they sound exciting! Quidditch is like my basketball I guess, it seems very intense and despite the fact that it’s not just about one thing going on, you have the beaters, quaffle, chasers, and the snitch all happening at once whereas in basketball you are basically going after the ball, but you’re busy guarding the rival team members away from your basketball too. Honestly, Quidditch sounds more interesting, and as I found out through Jeopardy! a couple of months ago, it does exist but unfortunately there are no flying on broomsticks but I still think it sounds cool!

I think that’s all I have to talk about, I talked about everything that was driving me crazy before and after reading so that’s a plus!

So, now it is up to you, what were your favorite parts of the book and/or film? Are there certain areas where you thought were left out of the film and should have made aware of in the movies?

snowflake

Book Review: “Children Of Blood and Bone” by Tomi Adeyemi

Hello!

Back in 2018, I finally got my feet on Children Of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi. As much as I would have rather have the paperback version, I’m very happy I grabbed the hardback instead. This book is massive! It has over 500 pages of fantasy written inside of it.

Truth be told, this was actually an impluse purchase, and when it comes to books, this rarely happens with books, especially when they’re this big! Before getting it, I had been seeing it pop up BookTube and everybody was talking about how good this was, so the first chance I saw it I knew I had to have it.

I do remember reading the first couple of chapters after I got home that day, but I didn’t even make a dent into it until this summer. It isn’t a part of my ’20 Books for 2020′ reading challenge but I have that a blessing in disguise. I literally thought I’d take a longer break (I didn’t read for two weeks straight!) but I didn’t. Anytime I went outside to sit out on the porch with the cats, I wanted something to read, so this was the next one in line.


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They killed my mother.
They took our magic.
They tried to bury us.

Now we rise.

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers and her growing feelings for an enemy.

taken from Goodreads.


I think the first thing I loved about it was how it started; it began with humble beginnings with Zélie’s sassy self. The reader is invited to watch her attempt to win a fighting match against a local girl in their home Ilorin. You are able to see how driven she is. She’s not exactly cocky but strives to be better than her opponent. You get a little taste of what’s to come later in the story.

Her world is circled around one event and that makes the plot interesting for the readers, because even though Zelie thinks it was only the diviners who were affected, you start to understand that isn’t right. There are two other characters who end up being as part of it too. This realization will change everything for everyone.

The objective is to find three ancient artifacts and do a ritual. This may seem easy enough to say, but thanks to the map that is tucked inside of the hardback, the journey from one place to another is really far, and I became really worried that the story itself would become boring in between point A to point B, but thankfully I was wrong! The middle was my favorite sections, because everything was written in great detail! I was able to see everything going on, what everyone was wearing, what kind of magic they can do, etc. This was what I enjoyed so much in The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones by Cassandra Clare as well!

I finally understood why all of my teachers in school would fail me for not going deeper into a situation, and I hope it sticks within me for the future.

Unfortunately, I don’t read a whole lot of books that are written by a black author nor with characters of color. This year has been a changing time to support black creators in every career and situation. However, I didn’t want to be forced into reading it because of that reason. I wanted to view it as any other book on my bookshelf and that’s why I was more intimidated about its sheer size than focus my whole attention on this element.

I am super excited to maybe add the next book: Children of Vengeance and Virtue sometime later this year or early 2021. I have a large list of books that continues to get larger and larger in every series!

Have you read this book yet? If you have, what were your favorite things about it?

snowflake

Book Review: “Throne Of Glass” by Sarah J. Maas

Hello!

On the day I published my review of “Women Of Scotland” by Helen Susan Swift, I finished reading my then current book “Throne Of Glass”. If my mom hadn’t been ready for bed the night before, I would have been done with it because I was like 10% of the done so I will be forever kicking myself for that!

I have known about this series for an awful long time. I have seen their beautiful covers all over BookTube and they are one reason why I absolutely hate the saying “don’t judge a book by its cover” because that’s how I became interested in the series in the first place! I was attracted by their covers and I just wanted them for their beauty. So, the fact that I had an open opportunity to get the first book of the series for like a dollar on Amazon, a week or two after Christmas was amazing!

WARNING: There are spoilers included below! If you haven’t read the book/series, I’d highly recommend you skip the rest of this post

16034235After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for four years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilarating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her … but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead … quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

taken from Goodreads


I knew very little before going into this, I vaguely remember reading the description when I first heard about it (seven years ago is a long time!) and checked it as “want to read” on my Goodreads account. Other than that, I never really expected to see it anywhere but on my TBR list for the next decade. That’s part of my problem when I watch book hauls on YouTube, because I will collect over 20 books at a time and look into them on the site, and I will either leave it out or put it on my “curious” shelf with the others!

The book itself is very hefty and honestly it scared me in the beginning.

It had been a while since I’ve read an over 300+ page book, but I took the challenge and was quite proud of myself for buying it back in January. I was also extremely happy I still adored fantasy/historical fiction. After going reading Melissa de la Cruz’s novel “The Ring and The Crown” a couple of years ago, I was for sure thinking I had lost all desire to read another type of book that were written in both topics again.

This book hooked the moment we hear Celaena is being taken out of the salt mines and is escorted by the Captain Of The Guard and several other guards to this strange place. I immediately fell in love with Celaena, but what is so interesting is that she has this cocky attitude during this part and if you know me well enough, you’d understand that I do not like anybody–both real and/or fictionized–that acts this way! I also have to say that I remind family members to not be like that because karma is a real bitch and she’ll find you out quick! So, the fact that I loved Celaena was semi-cocky around her guards, especially Choal, cracked me up!

Although, there were times where I had issues with imagining the glass castle and various characters, I was still able to enjoy myself while learning more about Celaena’s world and it wasn’t until I was halfway in the book did I start to see everything come together in my head. Once I established this, I could see Nephemia easier and the smallest details of the castle and what everyone was wearing in the different chapters.

Another part that I loved was the fact that even though I knew in my mind I would start to figure out how everything ends for Celaena. The duel was a huge deal for her and us, of course, but from the time I had begun reading the second chapter I was spoiling the ways everything could work out for her in the end. However, once I got there I realized that I hadn’t done anything to mess things up for myself. It was still concealed and those final three chapters moved rather fast at first but nicely stilled for a moment, but I wasn’t in the know of what was about to happen afterwards.

I have to add one more thing. It is mostly for anyone who has read the book and possibly the rest of the series. Who were seeing in your mind as the “perfect” person to play each character? For me, I had issues coming up with both Celaena and Chaol, but Dorian was actually the easiest out of the bunch. I instantly thought of Dylan O’Brien. I’m not too familiar with him, but I loved him in the movie American Assassin (2018) and the way he looked in that film, became part of the map I was seeing described in the book. Choal was next and I am furious with myself that this one appeared, but an image of the actor who played Joffrey in Game Of Thrones popped in my head. I just imagined him a little older, so they matched in age. Choal was actually my favorite male character of the book.

Now as for Celaena though, I had the worst luck figuring her out. After several chapters and learning more of her personality, I finally came to the conclusion that Dove Cameron would be perfect! I’ve seen her play a villian on Agents Of S.H.I.E.LD. so that helped me establish she could fight hard and of course, she’s a natural blonde on top of it!

Have you read Throne Of Glass yet? If you have, what book (without spoiling too much for me!) are you on now? What were your thoughts on the first book?

snowflake

The Ultimate Harry Potter Tag

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Howdy!

Today I am doing a fun tag and it’s all about HARRY POTTER!

Unfortunately, I haven’t finished reading the actual series. In 2016, I borrowed my cousin Taylor’s first three books, just to see if I could actually get into them as I have with the movies. I made it through both The Sorcerer’s Stone and Chamber Of Secrets like it was nobody’s businesses, but I’ve been kicking myself for not being able to stop comparing The Prisoner of Azkaban to its film release. I’m still hoping that one day I’ll finish it, but right now I’m just content with that I managed to read the other two!

I found this on the same blog: A Geek Girl’s Guide, but the questions were taken by two separate tags and so instead of doing both of them, I just meshed them all together! I would also like to point out that I’ve left out a question or two from the original layout. Hope you don’t mind that too much, so let’s get into it! 🙂

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Favorite Book?

Surprisingly I liked Chamber of Secrets a lot more than I thought I would. There were a lot of good and interesting material that I felt was left out in the film that would have made better sense to the person watching the movie, like the ghosts. Pee Wee and the story of Flich and why he is so bitter to the students and some of the staff.

Favorite Movie?

I really like both Prisoner of Azkaban and most recently Half-Blood Prince, I think both of these films have such dark tones to them but the happier times really shine too. However, I will agree Dumbledore’s death wasn’t the greatest thing about HBP but still, I think it has a lot of comical moments to it and I think that’s saying something.

Least Favorite Movie?

I’ve always been divided between Globet Of Fire and Deathly Hallows Part 1. GOF because of the introduction to the Death Eaters and their masks, and of course Cedric’s death doesn’t help either. As far as DHP1 goes, I think it’s fairly boring, because all they’re doing in searching for the horcuxes and the only good things about is that Ginny and Harry kiss and get caught by George, and Dobby saves Harry Potter but unfortunately dies at the end.

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Favorite Quote?

I loved the first book/movie, so there are a lot of lines that I like to quote out loud whenever I watch it, like this one.

Now if you two don’t mind, I’m going to bed before either one of you gets us killed or worse, expelled.

Sadly, I didn’t understand the reason why Hermoine said it in that way until much later and realized that if they got killed there, they’d haunt the halls like The Grey Lady or Sir Nicholas. And when I say “much later” I mean like several months ago! Yeah, I’m a little slow sometimes!

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Favorite Weasley?

That’s actually really difficult, but I really love Molly Weasley. She just took in Harry like one of her own, Heromine too, but I mean she didn’t know he was thee Harry Potter when they first met at the train station. She was amazing to him after being around his crappy Aunt Petunia for years!

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Favorite Female Character?

I am in love with Luna, from the moment we meet her in Order Of The Phoenix, you get a different person then the other female characters. She’s not out to impress anybody, she accepts herself and her quirkiness–but she doesn’t see herself in that way, she’s “just as sane” as everybody else.

Favorite Villain?

This is another difficult question to answer. I think it would have to be Umbridge and Lucius Malfoy. I literally have a difficult time watching OOTP because of her snotty personality. And Lucius, for obvious reasons!

Favorite Male Character?

Sorry, but why doesn’t anybody say Hagrid? I absolutely loved him to pieces, but I was a little troubled during the DHP2 when he just shows up bonded by Voldemort’s camp, like when the hell did that happen? Because if he got captured while at Bill and Fluer’s wedding, then why wasn’t Molly, Ginny, etc snatched as well?

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Favorite Professor?

I know everybody will say either Snape or McGonagall, but I loved Remus Lupin very much. It was nice to see a teacher that 1.) wasn’t full of themselves and 2.) seemed to really care about Harry and wanted to help him in any way they could. I’m not saying Snape or McGonagall weren’t like this, but Lupin was like Harry’s third guardian apart from both The Weasley’s and Sirius Black.

Would You Rather

Would you rather wash Snape’s hair or spend a day listening to Lockhart rant about himself?

I think I could get through Lockhart talking about himself, because I feel like you would have to drug Snape (I’m such a muggle!) to be able to do anything to him.

Would you rather duel an elated Bellatrix or an angry Molly?

I would 100% duel an elated Bellatrix. I am not messing with an angry Molly!

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How would you travel to Hogwarts, ride on the Hogwarts Express or drive the flying car?

My brother-in-law said he’d want to do both, but honestly I think experiencing the Hogwarts Express would be awesome! Especially getting to see the trolly of goodies. I want a chocolate frog and a package of Bertie Botts Every Flavored Beans!

Would you rather kiss Voldemort or give Umbridge a bubble bath?

I think if Voldemort ever got kissed early on in his life, I don’t think he wouldn’t had been so evil.

Would you rather ride a Hippogriff or be dragged by Fawkes?

I think I would be dragged by Fawkes because I always feel like I could end up like Draco and get myself kicked or beaked by this thing!

Book To Movie Adaption

Is there a character which you felt differently about in the movies versus the books?

I think after discovering the reason why Flich is the way he is, makes me look at him differently.

Is there a movie you preferred instead of the book? 

So far no, but I think I like the COS (book) compared to the movie, because there’s obviously more information about certain characters, but the whole scene of Tom Riddle and Basilisk was less frightening for me because back in the day I would literally try to avoid that movie at any cost and now I’m like that with DHP1.

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Richard Harris or Michael Gambon as Dumbledore?

I think if Richard Harris wasn’t so old, he would have been allowed to do more of his own stunts, I think we would love him a little bit more. I also wish they would have cast Michael Gambon in the beginning because he was obviously a better choice.

Your top thing (person or event) which wasn’t included in the movie that annoyed you the most?

I think we need to talk about what happens to Norbert the Dragon during the first movie. The whole scheme to get him out of there to Ron’s brother Charlie is very informative in the book, but it’s not quite explained in the movie. All you know is that within 20 minutes after Norbert hatches, he is taken away by the Ministry.

I wish the scenes where Harry arrives at The Barrows during COS was longer, although it’s only like two pages long in the book, I’d still like to know more of the magic the Weasley’s are exposed to, because the reader is as impressed as Harry when he first goes into the house!

If you could remake any of the Potter movies, which would it be?

I couldn’t, but what’s sad is that one day, somebody is going to attempt it and it’ll be a 50/50 deal whether or not it’ll be as good as the originals. Hopefully by then, our technology will be able to produce something new to the magic that is described in the story and will be able to really surprise the older and newer generations to the series.

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Which house was your first gut feeling you’d be a part of?

I don’t know, I feel like I’d belong in every house but my gut is putting me into Ravenclaw, mostly for the fact that I’m very patience and have a lot of wit. I actually put a poll on my personal Facebook and everybody said Ravenclaw too.

Which house were you actually sorted into?

I remember doing a quiz a few years ago, and I think I was put into Gryffindor, but granted this wasn’t a very good quiz–it literally only had five questions!

Which class would be your favorite?

Honestly I think it would Defensive Against The Dark Arts or Divination. I already have physic tendencies but DATDA would be really cool to learn more about in a sense, but of course only if Professor Lupin was teaching it.

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Which spell do you think would be most useful to learn?

Alohomora and Lumos. I’m only saying these two alone because I literally can’t open doors on my own with or without my wheelchair and I don’t have a light by my bed. I literally use my flashlight to see anything in the dark! So I think both of these would be sort of handy for me.

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Which character do you think at Hogwarts you’d instantly become best friends with?

Weirdly enough probably Seamus, mostly because I was around guys like him when I was school anyways! I also have a thing for explosives too!

Miscellaneous

If you could own one of the three Hallows, which would it be?

Cloak of Invisibility. If it worked so well to the youngest brother why would I want to chose any other item?  I’m also not looking for power or resurrecting anybody back from the dead, they’d probably be miserable!

Favorite Marauder?

I’d say Sirius Black.

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If you could bring one character back to life, which would it be?

Ahh, again I think it would Sirius Black. He was such a good character and once Harry found out that he had nothing to do with his parent’s death, made everything seem easier for him, that he didn’t have to stand up to Voldemort by himself. He had Sirius and Dumbledore by his side, but after Sirius was killed, it was so sad because there was a lot of things that could’ve happen to Harry in a happier way while being around Sirius was alive.

Hallows or Horcruxes?

Hallows. Hands down!

Bonus

What would your Patronus be?

I actually had to look up the real definition of a Patronus, in case I got it wrong the first time, but I think mine would be a Hawk. They symbolize something special for me and they make me happy, so that would be mine. However, since the definition doesn’t exactly say that it should be an animal per se, so I’d also say maybe a tree. They also make me very happy and are strong and can be born again after some time.

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If you were on the Quidditch team which position would you play?

Now, after going after what Mad-Eye’s broomstick looks like in the films, I always hoped that there would be a cool broom for people with disabilities. To me, I’d be a keeper. I mean, even without flying on a broomstick I already have a track record of being quick anyways, so I think I would be perfect for this role!

Were you happy with the ending?

Since I have yet to finish the last book, I don’t know if I should really answer this question, because I don’t really know what happens to Harry, Heromine, and Ron after the death of Voldemort. I’ve only known what the ending of DHP2 shared with us, so I’m kind of hoping there’s more information in the book itself.

How much does Harry Potter mean to you?

I remember reading the first book in my English class in eighth grade and it was my first ever fantasy book, and what was funny about it was that earlier in the year I went to my friend’s house for a birthday party and they all wanted to watch it that night but I was too afraid to watch it with them that I actually fell asleep before it started. Here when we read it in class, I knew all of the information and then our teacher made us watch it and compare things in both of them, which was the worst thing she could have done because this was reason why I’m having trouble reading POA!

Now as I get older, I want to rediscover it as reader but I also really enjoy watching the films too. Whenever I’m down or in a weird mood, I can just lay out on my bed and watch two and a half movies in an afternoon.

So what do you think? Could you complete this ultimate tag like me? If you do, I’d like to see your answers!

snowflake