The Broke and The Bookish‘s topic for this week is out Top Ten Best Sequels Ever. There were a few easy choices for me this week but not nearly enough for 10 as I often find the sequels aren’t quite as good but I have managed to pick out 9 (some from the same series) that I thought were particularly good.
Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver Delirium Trilogy
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins The Hunger Games Trilogy
Passion by Lauren Kate Fallen Series
The Lion , The Witch and The Wardrobe by CS Lewis The Chronicles of Narnia
Brother to the Death by Darren Shan The Larten Crepsley Saga
Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince by JK Rowling Harry Potter
Tunnels of Blood by Darren Shan The Darren Shan Saga
Trials of Death by Darren Shan The Darren Shan Saga
Our topic this week from The Broke and The Bookish is our Top Ten Books I’ve Read So Far in 2013. I almost did this topic earlier in the year as a freebie but I say it was coming up so my list was all ready to go.
An Abundance of Katherine’s by John Green
Will Grayson Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan
The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz
Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire
Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
Alice In Zombieland by Gena Showalter
Fever by Dee Shulman
Heist Society by Ally Carter
Fractured by Teri Terry
Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling
What Have Been Your Favourite Books So Far In 2013?
This week I have chosen to do my Top Ten Freebie from The Broke and The Bookish‘s Top Ten Tuesay on Top Ten Bookish Animal Pet Names. I have restricted myself to just the names of animals in books just to make it a bit more interesting (plus gives me another topic for another freebie week). This is one of my rare lists that I am putting in order so here are my favourite animal pet names.
Wilbur – this is the name of both the cat from Winnie the Witch and the pig in Charlotte’s Web
Reepcheep – I may like this as much as I do mainly because of the film but it’s still a great name
Templeton – in Charlotte’s web the rat is called Templeton and he’s just an amusing character with a worthy name
Padfoot – this may be a little controversial when it comes to my restrictions but…
Faulks – although we can’t ever get a pheonix this is still a really cool name
Aslan – I think I could only call a cat Aslan and he would have to be ginger and fluffy just like the lion in Narnia
Sebastian – This is the name of the cat from Teri Terry’s Slated
Toto – from the Wizard of Oz of course
Mrs Norris – Might have trouble taking this one seriously but she had such a good relationship with Filtch
Hedwig – who wouldn’t want their own beautiful owl like Harry had, or at least a pet just like her
What Animals From Books Would You Name Your Pets After?
This is such a sad book. Right for the very beginning everything is turned upside down and we have to deal with loss. It is the emotion of this story however that makes it so successful. By book 7 we have watched all the characters grow and discovered each of their personalities and stories. As a result we are totally connected to the book and feel every emotion as it happens. There are parts of the story I get a little tired at and when Ron runs away it’s so easy to get annoyed at him but I think these things have to happen to bring the whole series to a conclusion. I liked the way that we still have things to discover in this book. It is the final battle to stop Voldemort but even he doesn’t understand how he is going to be undone and of course we are finally let in on Snapes secret. We lose some really great character’s of course however that is always going to be true of war and it needed to happen to make the story relatable, plus it is part of what drives Harry and it gives us something more to full our passion for the end of Voldemort’s reign. I agree like many people that the 19 year later bit is a bit cheesy but after living through the whole series it really is needed to give us a bit of closure and we all wanted to know what would happen when they grew up.
For the past 3 books now I have had this over riding thought about JK Rowling and these books and I just can’t understand how she, or any writer, could every put these characters to rest now they have come alive in so many pages. The series has been so carefully woven together and each character has so much in their lives outside of what we get to see and I find it impossible to imagine how she will ever be able to let them go. My only suggestion is that you would have to grieve for them and the story just like a real person and even they never really leave you.
For some reason I have always particularly enjoyed the 6th book. I think it might be because it was the first I got always through. I feel like this book is almost the half way point for the story. Harry has enough knowledge and skill to succeed in the wizarding world now if needed to but we finally learn about Voldemorts past and Harry fits in to that and how it can help him shape the future. Part of what makes it feels like the half way point I think is that we are only just finding out about the horcruxes and it still feels like a long way to go till he will be able to truly defeat the Dark Lord. However I really enjoy this book because I think it builds in lots of important stories. Ron and Hermione’s feelings for one another begin to show in this book as well and Harry’s and Ginny’s and Lupin and Tonk’s. Luna and Neville get to continue playing important roles showing how strong their character’s really are. Draco finally starts to mature and is able to stand up to Harry alone although of course we learn that he is still weak in the end and our already fragile trust in Snape is shattered. These are all important of course because Harry is about to come of age and finally stop people standing in front of him as his is ready to fight for himself.
I think we really begin to see Harry’s will power and determination build in this book. He is beginning to feel emotional about everything he has had to go through and there are points were he is, understandably, a typical angry teenager. We also start to see a more accademic side of him too though and his passion for Defence against the Dark Arts is obvious through his teaching it. However I like that we begin to question what kind of influence his past has had on him, there is a bit about him now that is quite unstable and I feel there are point in it were you could question if it isn’t possible he could grow up to become dark. Hermione also lets her hair down a little bit more in this one and we get to see her determination for making a difference to everyone through her acceptance of a bit of rule breaking. As always of course what I liked is that there was still those elements of normalcy throughout it with Harry’s relationship with Cho and dealing with the complicated work of friendship. I think it’s the balance of this and with the seriousness of the dark magic that makes the books so good.
Things really start to get serious in book 4. Harry has to deal with knowing Trelawney prediction as well as the fact that someone is now trying to cause him harm. Harry really progresses as a wizard in this book as well. He has to master more complicated spells than most people his age to face the tasks of the Triwizard tournament as well as learning more about the wizarding world and how it is run. This book is of course a very key part of Harry’s story because it is when Voldemort returns but it also continues introduces the readers to important information about the magical world. It was pointed out to me that this is done quite cleverly through the position of the Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher curse as it allows us to meet new characters every year. I also like that like the last book they still have to deal with real life problems, Who to support at a World Cup?, asking girls out and falling out over jealousy. The thing I most took from reading this book though was the chapter on the unforgivable curses. I have only read this book once before and I didn’t pay much attention to the fact that Harry would suffer just as much at seeing them as Neville. This for some reason really jumped out at me this time.
Can’t believe I’m over half way through my re-read. Can’t wait to get started on book 5.
Things really start to get dark in the this book. Harry yet again has to face the fact that his life could be in danger and he as always he isn’t about to sit back and let it happen. What I find interesting about reading this book was that although they are dealing with dark magic they still act like 13 year olds. Particularly when they stop talking to Hermione and Harry starts noticing girls, or one in particular at least. In a weird way I also find this book full of hope. Harry develops as a wizard, learning how to produce a patronus and saving Buckbeak but he also as a person. He is able to step back and not let his dad’s friends become killers and he finds out that he isn’t alone any more. There is a grown up in his life that wants to care for him and he can talk to about his problems in the magic world. Maybe I am just soppy about the happy end of this book but it’s still a great one.
Although good I don’t think the second book in the Harry Potter series has as big an impact on me than some of the others. On saying that I do think it is in this book that we begin to see Harry’s personality develop and how he can’t ignore his curiosity. In the first book there is a little bit of me that thinks Harry is just a bit nosey, there is no reason he needs to know anything about the philosopher’s stone. However in this one his curiosity is justified as it is him hearing voices in the wall and continually being in the wrong place and the wrong time when people are petrified. We also begin to get more involved in the darker side of the story in this book. The voices in the walls and the idea of an unknown monster are far scarier than the thought of Snape getting eternal life. It also introduces the connection’s Potter and Voldemort have and there were a few things I picked up on that I realise now come back into the story a few books down the line. Of course as always the book was good and another quick and easy read.
I have finally started re-reading the Harry Potter series after talking about it for months. I’m currently on book three but I have been trying to figure out how was best to review the books on my blog. I don’t want to do it like an average review because everyone knows what the story if about and so I have decided I’ll just write mini-reviews I’m naming Re-Read Reviews.
I think the first book in the series may be my favourite. I love how we get to follow Harry as he discovers the magical world for the first time. JK introduce’s all the character’s well and I especially love that Neville is important to the story almost from the beginning. I also think it’s important that we get to feel Harry’s worries about not just the magical world but about a new school. It re-enforces that he is just like most other people out there braving high school for the first time and all he wants is to feel normal and fit in. The books are very easy to read and I love that I can just pick this one up and read it in a day feeling totally satisfied with the story and, if I’m honest, proud of myself for reading so quickly. For me the Harry Potter books will always be enjoyable and I will re-read them again many times I’m sure.