Book Review: “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” by J.K. Rowling

Hello!

Well, this one took me forever to get through–mainly because for a while I was just casually reading this because of its sheer size! I seriously did not think I would be able to finish it this year, but I’m here now and we have much to discuss!

WARNING: If you have not read the books yet and want to sometime in the future, there are spoilers mentioned below so I figured I’d give you a heads up beforehand!


6

Harry Potter is midway through his training as a wizard and his coming of age.

Harry wants to get away from the pernicious Dursleys and go to the International Quidditch Cup with Hermione, Ron, and the Weasleys. He wants to dream about Cho Chang, his crush (and maybe do more than dream). He wants to find out about the mysterious event that’s supposed to take place at Hogwarts this year, an event involving two other rival schools of magic, and a competition that hasn’t happened for hundreds of years. He wants to be a normal, fourteen-year-old wizard. But unfortunately for Harry Potter, he’s not normal – even by wizarding standards.

And in his case, different can be deadly.

taken from Goodreads.

After reading the previous books, I knew going into this that I would be introduced to other things that were clearly missing from the film, but I still haven’t been able to wrap my head around everything! Honestly, there was one thing that annoyed me and it was like it just dragged on with certain sections. Other than that, I didn’t have much to complain about and considering it is 734 pages long, I feel like it was a success!

I always adore when Harry and Hermione go to The Burrow at the end of the summer holidays to spend time with Ron’s family. They may not have much, but you can always feel the love in that house, and with this book we get to meet Bill and Charlie! So, it was incredibly crowded and I can imagine Mrs. Weasley’s mind going to explode with all of those people under one “small” roof–especially with the crazy antics of Fred and George! I think James and Lily Potter would be pleased with how much love that Molly and Arthur care for their son and obvious well-being! I do have to mention that seeing Mrs. Weasley and Bill before the third task was so sweet! I totally cried during this scene because for one, you’re not expecting it to happen and if Harry ever thought he didn’t have supporters outside of Hogwarts in the games, he definitely knew at that moment.

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

Another element that isn’t mentioned in the films very much is we get to know more about house elves. What are house elves you ask? Well, they are these strange looking characters that work for the elite families in the Wizardry world. In the second book, “The Chamber of Secrets” we meet Dobby, who has the awful job for caring for the Malfoys. Dobby explained to Harry that elves are not allowed to leave unless they are given a piece of clothing, if their master gives them clothes, they are freed. Well, Harry freed Dobby by masking one of his socks as being from Mr. Malfoy. We get to see Dobby again in this book, and we get to know who exactly creates the daily feasts in the Great Hall. Unfortunately, we get to meet a very caring but heartbroken elf named Winky once we head into the Quidditch World Cup, which by the way, I FINALLY get to know who wins that damn game! I’ve hold it off knowing the truth in case I ever decided to read the series and it was awesome!

Now I will say, I wasn’t a blabbering mess after Cedric’s death like I thought I would; the only thing I could understand it was because I knew it happens and yes, as heartbreaking it is for everyone in the book and the Potter fans, I cried more when Mrs. Weasley surprises Harry than anything else. I do know, there would have been no way in hell I’d be able to replay everything in my mind minutes after witnessing Lord Voldemort coming back and everything that is mentioned in that chapter to retell it all to Dumbledore and Sirius. I mean, that is a lot for a person but given Harry is what? Thirteen in this book? Nobody needs to see that but unfortunately it happens and we have to heal and move on. The only thing that got me through this book was a little voice telling me, “we get to meet Luna Lovegood in the next one!”

I am very proud of myself for being able to finish reading this book. So far, this one is the one trying to come out of its spine! There is a good chunk that is now loose but it tucked back together with its dust jacket in the bookshelf. The next seems to be in better shape but we’ll see towards the middle on how much my cousin loved it! I’m not mad at him on the condition, these are first edition hardbacks, so I’m not terribly upset about their rips and tears, as they remind me that somebody before me definitely enjoyed them multiple times and I am perfectly fine with it!

Have you read Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling yet? If you have, what were your favorite parts of the story? For those who watched the film before reading the series, how did you handle the death of Cedric Diggory?

November Playlist

Hello!

I bet you didn’t expect me to be back so soon.

Today is the last day of November, for anyone participating in both NaNoWriMo and Nonfiction November, you should be proud of what you were able to accomplish in the last 30 days! I didn’t join NaNo this year because I’m not in that headspace to write anything for that long, and I doubt I have made any changes in reading the two books I got for this month. It happens… and I’m okay with it!

We are itching closer to Christmas and finally, to the new year: 2021. It seems so crazy how fast this year has went, despite the COVID mess that has taken over 2020! I bring this up because I have always felt November is a weird time for music. We are obsessed with Halloween-y songs and then we are quick to switch to Christmas carols at midnight.

I have to say, I have been doing very well at ignoring the festive commercials on TV and online, and I will be very happy when I can finally watch Christmas movies without being judged by my parents! I have a total of eight films in our DVR at the moment, so I can get my fill and enjoy everything that comes with this time of the year! As far as music goes though, I allow myself to listen to my favorite Christmas songs early, mainly because they tend to remind me of my papaw and so, it is just better for me to cave in now instead of feeling bad about it later.

This year, I am working on my “Ultimate Christmas” playlist on Spotify and will hopefully be speaking about it soon. I will hold off on that for a week or two, until I feel it is ready.

For my November playlist though, I have collected a lot of music that is selected in my “Discover Weekly” every Monday. I am always excited to see what type of music will be unleashed from the moment I hit play, and sometimes they create their own aesthetic but sometimes they reflect whatever genre I’ve focused on that past week and it is always a fun surprise at the start of another week.

Here are my Top 25 for the month!

Talk To Me by Apocalyptica featuring Lzzy Hale
Gravity by Sara Bareilles
Share That Love by Lukas Graham featuring G-Eazy
My Spring Your Fall by Falconsheild
Scars To Your Beautiful by Oceans featuring Anna Murphy
Goddess by Xana
Royals by Lorde
Remember by Leah

You’re Not From Here by Lara Fabian
Eugene by Arlo Parks
Cielo a un Diablo by Maluma
Teeth by Dirty D’Shire
Drew Barrymore by
Bryce Vine
Que Color by Major Lazer featuring J Balvin & El Alfa
Ordinary Day by The Animal In Me
The Purge by Within Temptation
Dream On Me (Stripped) by Ella Henderson

Peer Pressure by James Bay
Lullabies by Yuna
Grip by Seeb
If I Could Turn Back Time by Cher
Betty by Chase Holfelder
Numb by Carlie Hanson
Cold by Crossfade

What I truly love about this list, is its diversity! You have hard rock, pop, and reggaetón like it is supposed to fit together. I continue to surprise myself on the amount of music I am willing to listen to everyday. The sad part about it is, there’s sadly not a lot of people like me, who are brave enough to be interested in shuffling their music out in the open and enjoy sharing in hopes we create even more fans for these artists and bands, new and old, and honestly the longer I go about this, I tend to enjoy it even more and I think that’s why I still want to do these playlists too.

Before I go, I wanted to let you know that I was able to post a new album review this month. Well, technically, it was an update to an older post I did in 2018, and I was recently told by the artist, that she really loved it, so that makes me really happy! Anyways, here it is, in case you haven’t seen it yet. Oh, and speaking of links, here is the Spotify playlist for November too! 🙂

SIGN from Above by RAIGN

What were you listening to this month? Name one track that you think I should check out below!

snowflake

Photo Diary | Cats & Leaves

Hello!

If you are from the States, I hope you were able to enjoy Thanksgiving yesterday! I know a lot of people were debating whether or not to travel to be with their families for the holidays, so whatever you came to conclusion I still want to wish you a great time anyways!

For this post, I am discussing pretty much everything that happened this fall, including everyone’s favorite: our cats!

The year was somewhat weird, as the transition from summer to fall, was actually smooth compared to the previous years. Here in the Midwest, we tend to go through seasons very quickly! For us, the switch to autumn was fairly nice. I was able to go outside on our deck a lot in August through October, but once the cold finally arrived, it came like a roaring train and I wasn’t prepared for the aches and pain in my body.

While I was in high school, I would go to football games covered with two layers of pants and socks, plus a blanket tucked around the seat of my wheelchair to keep me warm but also lessen the chilling temperature going into my joints and making me feel horrible for the rest of the night. As of gotten older, the pain has been getting worse of course, but at least I’m not sitting outside for two-three hours at a time in the freezing cold and depending on my muscle relaxers earlier than we usually take them.

This fall has been an interesting one, the temperature would go back and forth between in the low 50 degrees to 65-70 degrees in a matter of days! Everytime we would think I would have to stop going out, it would change and the cats and I would enjoy the love and apparently, my comfortable bench to take a little nap on.

I was able to finish five books in the last two months, and in the beginning, the cats didn’t really mess with me or books, but towards the middle of November, they became a little bold and Bear-Bear would just plop down on the pages I was reading, and recently he did it again but this time of just wanting to find a place to sleep, he let me pet him on his side, and considering all of his fur, he is really soft! He and Oscar are the softest cats in our pride – I call them this, because they’re not really “domestic” instead they are more wild as they still eat, birds, mice, frogs, and the occasional bug too.

I love it when the trees change into various colors, but the one person who absolutely hates this season is my dad, he does not care for the leaves in his yard and my mom would reflect this whenever she would sweep away the leaves that would land on our deck. A couple of weeks ago, we had a big collection of leaves in the right corner of the porch and we were just going to leave them there for Nolan, but as we found out this autumn, was our cats loved sleeping on top of them! We have caught Stormy in the leaves the most, but on a day I was out reading and taking photos of everybody for this post, Tavis, who is quickly becoming my sister and brother-in-law’s cat, decided to clean himself and take a little snooze on the pile and well, I just couldn’t help myself…

I’m not really sure what Nolan thinks about the trees shedding their leaves, but I know he is having the same joint problems as his papaw and Aunt Meg though. In the beginning of the new season, he would come over bearing the newly acorns that have dropped from the tree by their house. We have a mug full of like seven acorns and I doubt we’ll ever get rid of them because it was such a sweet thing he did one evening and continued for like two weeks until he started bringing toys over instead.

Since with the COVID-19 mess, he didn’t dress up and go trick-or-treating for Halloween this year. Honestly, he’s still too young to have a lot of candy, especially with his gag reflex still causing him issues here and there. He has been getting better about it though, but we are still very cautious with him on candy in general. Here’s a fun fact for you, he actually doesn’t like chocolate! I think the main reason why he enjoys M&M’s is because they have a color coat around them and he can’t figure it out. Trust me, the day he refused chocolate swirled ice cream freaked me out! My sister was obsessed with anything milk chocolate when we were growing up but her son isn’t a fan out of it! It’s so crazy!

Okay, I think it’s time for the rest of the pictures. Hope you enjoyed our pretty babies!

Okay, we are finally at the end of this post. Unfortunately, it will also be the last until spring comes back around in mid-April. I will try to persuade my mom into bringing one cat into the house while dad is in his mancave this winter, but I might just pay attention to the cat(s) and be less concerned about taking their picture for my blog. I hope to continue these types of posts in the new year!

What did you do this fall? How do you deal with various aches and pains in your body with the changing of the seasons? If you are a cat owner, do your cat(s) respect your space? What is the one thing that they hate the most if you’re not paying enough attention to them?

snowflake

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

Writing Prompt | Taking The Leap

Hello!

Okay, I am doing something a little different today, but I’m pretty sure that everyone will like some part of it.

Back in late August, I went through the free Kindle books for story and general writing prompts. There was one book that I thought would help me generate a whole slew of ideas for the holidays. It is called Four Seasons Of Creative Writing by Bryan Cohen. I had plans to use one of the prompts about summer in September but I didn’t have enough time to get anything down so once I found this one I immediately got everything planned out in my head from the moment I read it and now that I’ve literally caught myself watching the leaves fall down our trees in our backyard, the more I have wanted to write about this prompt.

I based this story on Bill and Will from the film Happy Feet 2 and if you haven’t seen this one before, Bill and Will are krill living in the same area as Mumble and the rest of the colony of penguins. They go on an adventure to find themselves, out of their meaningless life as food for the whales, seals, etc in the ocean.


Create a conversation between two leaves that are about to fall from a tree. One is scared and the other is excited about the long trip to the ground. What do they talk about and why?


Ohhhh… I can’t do it. There’s just no way I can get through it. I’ll die, I just know it. Why doesn’t Leaf or the rest of the family understand my genuine fears of breaking ground? That’s it! I’m not going! I’m putting my wings down on this one.

Leaf can hear his brother Vere mutter to himself again. This has become a reoccurring issue the longer we stay up here among the tallest tree in the neighborhood. I’m pretty sure he’s the one who chased away all of the pretty girls who blossomed earlier this season. They couldn’t handle him having a panic attack at all hours about making the journey downward before the snow makes its first landfall.

Funny enough, he didn’t use to be this way. When we were first budding, he looked down at the ground below us and expressed his thoughts of what goes on down there. According to our grandfather Oak, it is essential for all of us to make it down at the end of autumn, but he forgot to mention that we need to be careful on which day we decide to let loose, because there are dangers when you finally make it down, and you are reminded by it almost every other day, thanks to the loud noise that radiates across the block.

“VERE! You’re waking up the rest of the crew! Shut up and let us sleep!” Aubrey yelled across the other side of the tree. Despite the rest of her family caving and disembark on their way a little earlier than planned because Vere had become even more annoying to any one who could hear him.

“You know Auburn, why don’t you go ahead and go down there, maybe you’ll find pieces of your family after the ugly statue ran over them a few weeks ago!” Vere snapped, knowing what he had hit a nerve on his childhood friend, but still went on his ranting anyway.

*groans*

“Nice going you jerk!” someone shouted opposite of them. “What is wrong with him Leaf? You know how sensitive Auburn is about what happened to her family!” Another person said and to make matters worse, twisted around enough to face Leaf and became unattached to his post at the same time. At least there wasn’t any wind around, so at least the landing will smooth for them.

“Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know!” Leaf shouted at his neighbors and friends. “Aubs, you know what he’s saying shouldn’t believed with a grain of seedling.” as Leaf said in his sweetest voice before turning back to his brother with the prospect of just pushing his brother overboard so everyone could go in peace, but he knew he couldn’t do it. As much as he hated apologizing over and over because of his brother’s mouth, he also was a little afraid to make the jump too, he just wasn’t willing to let it show to anyone, including Verdant.

Unfortunately, I had a whole month to come up with this story but never quite made it through this scene in my head, so this is all of it. So, I’m really sorry this is so short, but I like it as a cliffhanger.

If you were a leaf on top of the tallest tree in your park, would you be frightened like Vere or be super annoyed like Leaf and Aubrey? I’d like to see your answers below!

snowflake