The Strange Case of the Rejected Lady & the Half-Blood Myth – #IMWAYR

itsmondaywhatareyoureading

It’s Monday, What are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by The Book Date.  It’s a great way to catch up on all the literary ins-and-outs of the previous week, and see what everyone is up to.  Check out this week’s linkup!


It’s been a little while since I’ve done one of these!  My entry “Confessions” pretty much sums up my absence this time…. I do apologize, for anyone reading, mais voila!  Here I am again!

thenightcircusaudiobookI’ve actually had a very productive week as I’ve delved back into my audiobooks and finished an ARC I won back in January (*guilt*).  The highlight of my week was definitely finishing up The Night Circus.  I just felt like it was this beautiful, magical book  I posted a review of that one Friday afternoon, you can check it out here.  If I start talking about it again I’m going to get all gushy and attached!  My husband is listening to the audiobook now; I’m so excited to chat about it with him.

The other finished book, aforementioned ARC, is Pistols and Petticoats by Erika Janik.  I actually have a lot of scattered thoughts on this one, but I’ve got to write a review of it later this afternoon, so we’ll discuss it in greater depth then.  In short, I’d say it was really interesting, but I found it hard to follow.  But more to come!

So replacing those two books as my go-to physical book & audiobook are The Lady of the Rivers by Phillipa Gregory and The Strange Case of Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson.  Jeckyll & Hyde is a short listen – only about 3 hours, so that’ll be finished most likely tomorrow.  While I haven’t cracked open The Lady of the Rivers yet, Jeckyll & Hyde I’ve listened mostly through.  I do like classics, but this one is not going on my list of Classics to Read Before You Die.

My husband and I are now co-listening to Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling.  We’re getting close to finishing out the series, now – I’m going to have to find something new!  I really want to get him to listen through Stephen King’s Dark Tower series, so maybe that one!  Goodness know I could listen to it over and over….

Rejected Princesses: Tales of History's Boldest Heroines, Hellions, and Heretics by Jason Porath

Finally I have my “forever” books – the ones it seems like I will never finish!  Rejected Princesses by Jason Porath – a series of short illustrated essays about the strong women in history who often get overlooked – has been relocated to the bookshelf, so really it’s on a bit of hiatus for now.  I can not emphasize enough that this is nothing to do with the book!  It’s awesome, I just have trouble getting through short stories so I pick them off a bit at a time.  Right now, I’m more focused on writing than reading, so this one has fallen to the way-side.  My “forever” audiobook is, of course, The Great Courses series of lectures of Myth in Human History, taught by Grant L. Voth.  This one, I’m actually getting close to finishing!  I only have about six lectures left.  Right now, we’re working through the trickster gods (think Loki).  Like Rejected Princesses, I actually find this series incredibly interesting, but due to its formatting, I just can’t swallow a lot of it at a time, and sometimes I am not in the mood at all, so it has taken a while.  I think I should have this one finished before October.

I’ve been writing through Camp NaNoWriMo this July as well… nothing fancy and nothing new.  I’ve acutally been using it to try and muddle through revisions on a story I wrote for NaNoWriMo in 2012, so I’m doing a chapter a day and will continue to do so past July – it just seemed a good time to start and get in on the fun!  I will probably do a writing update later this week.

That’s all I’ve got for this week – keep your eyes peeled for the Pistols & Petticoats review!

Cheers!

Audiobook Review: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Audiobook)Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

by J.K. Rowling

Narrated by Jim Dale

❤︎ ❤︎ ❤︎ ❤︎

Series: Harry Potter (5)
Genres: FantasyChildren’sFiction
Published By: Scholastic in 2003 (First Hardcover Release)
Format: Digital Audiobook (27 hours, 2 minutes)

Goodreads / LibraryThing

Harry Potter is due to start his fifth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. His best friends Ron and Hermione have been very secretive all summer and he is desperate to get back to school and find out what has been going on. However, what Harry discovers is far more devastating than he could ever have expected…

Review

Confession:  I like some Harry Potter books better than others.  I have read Prisoner of Azkaban a couple dozen times.  … I have read Order of the Phoenix three times.  First, when it came out.  Second, right before the movie came out.  Third, this time.  This time was by far the best, and for one glaring reason:  CAPSLOCK!Harry is a lot more tolerable when you can’t see all the angry capital letters.  There are aspects of OotP that are so cool, and the cast of characters is great, but this is still my least favorite in the series.  That said?  Still four hearts.

Characters

Considering the fact that OotP introduces Luna Lovegood, who is one of my favorite characters in the series, you’d think that this would get a heart.  Considering how perfectly unlikable Umbridge is, and how well-written she is, you’d think this would get a heart.  Fact of the matter is, most of the characters in this book are really good… but Harry.  Harry Potter is the most frustrating, angry, selfish kid.  I get that he’s gone through a lot, and I have to give so many props to Ron and Hermione for putting up with him.  I dislike Harry so much in this book that it took it down a heart for me.

 World

❤︎

The world of Harry Potter continues to enchant.  In as far as setting goes, OotP is one of my favorites, because we get to explore a new corner of the world in the Ministry of Magic.  I love the Department of Mysteries and I feel like there are so many possibilities and stories within the objects the friends come across.  You also really get the feeling that they’ve only begun to brush the surface.  If there was a series that followed a Department of Mysteries employee, I would absolutely read it.

A bit of a mini-rant here – most of the Department of Mysteries was cut from the film version of this book and while I generally like the movie quite a lot, I think the loss of that magic does the story a disservice.

Story

❤︎

The breakdown of the wizarding government and Hogwarts staff is essential to transition the wizarding world into this new, darker shade.  For what it is, it’s done very well, developing characters and showing the true colors of people.  Rowling has a theme to her plots where the ultimate endgame in all of them is “stop Voldemort” (excepting Prisoner of Azkaban) and even though it’s been used, we look forward to it.  Of particular interest this time is that Harry doesn’t go in alone and play the hero.  SPOILERS!  I really, really love that Neville is the last man standing with Harry in the showdown in the Department of Mysteries.  Despite all odds, we finally get to see what this character is made of, and we see a sampling of what ultimately becomes book seven.

 Writing / Narration

❤︎

As much as CAPSLOCK!Harry bothers me, he actually makes perfect sense and the stylistic choices in this book were good ones to suit the characters.  As a narrator, Jim Dale also continues to do an excellent job.  I have a bit of a pet peeve with his female voices (I mentioned this in the SS/PS review with Hermione), and I’m not crazy about Luna’s and Bellatrix’s, but I have a suspicion that I will get used to them.  I sympathize – there’s only so many female voices a male reader can do, and I can always tell who is talking… he doesn’t use them twice.

Actually, I’m going to give extra props to Jim Dale on his reading, because I am simultaneously listening to The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, which he also narrates.  Between the two different books the voices still all feel different.  He masterfully uses tone and accent to differentiate between people.  Ten points to Gryffindor!

Personal Thoughts

❤︎

This books is a series of extremes for me.  I really don’t like Harry.  I really love Fred and George.  I really find it frustrating that Harry forgot about that incredibly useful mirror the entire story that could have fixed everything but he doesn’t even realize that.  I love that Umbridge is a pink-cardigan, kitty cat plate villain everyone loves to hate.  The two merge together to make a pretty good book, but it comes up short compared to the rest of the series.

Fred and George’s war against Umbridge is one of my favorite parts of the entire series, so it gets props for that as well.

TL;DR

Nothing my favorite of the series, but there are some really great moments.  It is a turning point for the series.


Source

I get all of my digital audiobooks from Audible… including this one!  However, if you purchase this from Pottermore, I think that a portion of the profits go to the Lumos charity? I may be wrong.


First Sentence

“The hottest day of the summer so far was drawing to a close and a drowsy silence lay over the large, square houses of Privet Drive.”


Some of My Favorite Quotes

“Is it true that you shouted at Professor Umbridge?”

“Yes.”

“You called her a liar?”

“Yes.”

“You told her He Who Must Not Be Named is back?”

“Yes.”

“Have a biscuit, Potter.”

“Give her hell from us, Peeves.”

“But Dumbledore says he doesn’t care what they do as long as they don’t take him off the Chocolate Frog cards.”

“Mistletoe,” said Luna dreamily, pointing at a large clump of white berries placed almost over Harry’s head. He jumped out from under it.

“Good thinking,” said Luna seriously. “It’s often infested with nargles.”


Available At

Amazon / Barnes & Noble / IndieBound / Audible