Harry Potter And The Cursed Child Play

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Hiya guys! So, if you haven’t guessed by now I am a bit of a Harry Potter fan 🙂

Last week (after years of hoping and waiting for it to come down to Australia) I finally got to see The Cursed Child here in Melbourne!

I know this isn’t exactly a book review but I figured it’s Harry Potter, and I still wanted to share my thoughts and experiences of the day.

The entire Cursed Child team are very adamant about not sharing any spoilers aka #keepthesecrets of the magic that is the production, so you can all relax.. this is a SPOILER FREE review!

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So. Let’s begin.

Ok. As some of you may know. When buying tickets to The Cursed Child, you have the option to watch both parts one and two on the same dat, OR you can watch each part on separate days. I went with family (we’re all big HP fans), and we got tickets to see both parts in the one day.

Now. Based on my experience, there’s pros and cons to seeing the entire thing in one day.

PROS: Well, you get to see the entire thing in ONE day! Hehe. You don’t want to wait to see the conclusion to The Cursed Child because it won’t have the same feel. It’s like watching the first half of a movie one night and seeing the other half the following.  

CONS: It’s tiring! The first part started in the afternoon, went on for a couple hours then we had the break. We had three hours to kill (which we took advantage of by having an early dinner) before we had to head back to the theatre for the second part (by then it was nightfall), another couple of hours past then it was officially done. Add in the travel time to and from (if you’re like me coming into the city from an hour away)… and there you have it: TIRING!  

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Now. On the day we went, we were lucky (I guess?) enough to get the entire official Australian cast (so no alternates). Here they are below:

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I wasn’t a complete fan of the screenplay when I read it. I gave it 3 stars (read my review here: Harry Potter and The Cursed Child by JK Rowling) but what I do remember loving from that story was Scorpius. So, I was excited to see how he would be in this play.

First impressions?

Uggggh. I was so disappointed. He was portrayed nothing like how I thought he was from the book. Scorpius in the play was jumpy, frazzled and a little off-putting. I think I actually hated him for the entire first part. 

Buuuuuut wait! He did eventually grow on me by the second half. He had a few out of nowhere hilarious moments I couldn’t help but laugh at and by the end Scorpius was like his book counterpart – the saving grace of the entire story!

This is going to sound completely snooty but I don’t care, I can’t help it. It was my thoughts the entire time.. I hated.. the actors/ actresses who played Scorpius’, Ginny (ugh especially Ginny), and Hermione’s voices. Picture high-pitched screeching through a microphone.

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I’m actually curious to see the UK cast and how each actor/ actress portrayed their character. And if the Australian cast was similar or completely different from the other Cursed Child productions around the world. 

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How about the production itself?

PROS: The sets, the lighting, the props and the “magic” were amazing!

CONS: Lots of unnecessary bits included that dragged the story, and I felt were big time wasters. It had me questioning why they kept doing it. 

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But whatevs. I’m sure it was to serve a purpose to the cast and crew and the transitions from scene to scene. I just wasn’t liking it.. *shrugs*

Oh. But don’t think I didn’t entirely enjoy any of it. I did have fave parts. I swear! 😉

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Check out this photo and more from:  Official Visit Melbourne

The second part was most definitely the saving grace! After almost dozing off for most of the first half, it was the action-packed, faster paced second half that had me sitting up and soaking in all that dark goodness! The scene pictured above was probably my fave part! It was enthralling, captivating and had me “oohing” and “aahing” from start to finish. They executed that scene perfectly and gave me serious Durmstrang entrance (from Goblet of Fire movie) vibes! The scene alone made the entire day and expensive ass tickets worth it!

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I think my biggest annoyance was the seating itself. It’s great that Melbourne won out the bidding to have The Cursed Child playing there but (IMHO) the theatre was all wrong. Although the theatre was recently renovated, the ceilings are low and having sat in the seating, I (and I’m sure a lot of those around me) did not have a very good view of the stage or the cast. And we certainly did not have a view of the back of the stage.

Before you say anything – yes, there were things occuring at the back of the stage in some scenes that would’ve been nice to see. Add the fact that I had a couple of giant heads sitting right in front of me blocking 80% of what little view of the stage I had. I came away from that $400 out of pocket to see said “giant heads”, hear the live orchestra and see half of the cast.

There was only one thing I could think of that made sitting in the upper seats fine. But I can’t share it with you guys. Sorry, but #keepthesecrets and all that. Just know, it was pretty cool to see! All I’ll say is it’s another “ooh” and “aah” moment 😛

So if you’re planning to see it in Melbourne, try and grab seats on the lower level. None of the seats in the theatre are elevated so you might as well try and grab seats on the same level as the stage.

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In conclusion. Do I think spending about AU$200 for each part worth it? Nope. If I could, I would’ve skipped the first half and just watched the second (especially since I’d already read the book). But that’s just my opinion based from my experience.

I have no doubt people enjoyed the entire thing (hey, the play wouldn’t have gotten raved reviews it wasn’t enjoyable, right?)

And the crowd I was with, I was surprised that the majority had not read the book because when the “plot twist” had finally arrived, the amount of gasps I had me chuckling in reaction. LOL.

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Let’s move on and talk about The Cursed Child merch!

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Were they expensive? Hell yes. But it is a once in a lifetime experience and with the expensive tickets I doubt you’ll go back and see it again, so you might as well buy a momento or two.

Whenever I go watch a play, musical or concert, I always try and get the program book. Which I did here. It was AU$25 and that’s to be expected.

They were also selling house merch – like beanies, scarves, mugs, pens, totes, badges, hoodies and shirts.

But if I were you, I would buy the official Cursed Child merch that has the logo on it. You can grab HP house merch just about anywhere these days but it’s rare to see any The Cursed Child merch. I hear you can order the merch online, so there’s that at least (but remember shipping costs included). Remember, these are pretty pricey merchandize.

RATING: ♥♥♥/5

Overall. The same as the book. Meh, okay. It wasn’t the best play I’d seen, and certainly not the best acting.. but it’s friggin’ Harry Potter! I wouldn’t have missed it for the world!

 

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Illustrated Edition

OCTOBER 3, 2017 — The Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Illustrated Edition was officially released!! Wooooooo!! 😀 😀

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↑↑ Do you guys see this?! How friggin’ unbelievably stunning is this cover?! ♥ My all time fave book from the series! #themarauders #siriusblack

JOURNEY TO GETTING A COPY

I literally scrambled around my local shopping centre (or “mall” for you guys in the US) going from bookshop to bookshop trying to grab a copy during release day.

I’m usually the type who pre-orders months in advance, but I found that with the first two HP illustrated editions I had pre-ordered came almost 2 weeks later (due to overseas shipping) and to be honest they weren’t cheap. I may be a massive HP fan but with what seems like dozens of new HP-related books being released every other month I want books at the lowest possible price! (I’m a girl on a budget..but yet, I need them all! Haha!)

It doesn’t help that I live in Australia where hardcover editions are scarce, and when they ARE available they cost as much as they weigh! *le sigh*

Oops I’m getting sidetracked here, but anyways long story short — after an hour and having gone to 3 bookshops with no luck (like c’mon! How can they not stock the book?! It’s Harry Potter! Ugh!), the fourth and final bookshop was my last hope… I think you guys can pretty much guess how it turned out for me. Lol 😉

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Okay! Here’s my mini book review ↓ It’s more on the overall look and illustrations by Jim Kay. I’m sure many of you know the story by now. If not, then what are you waiting for? Read it!!

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↓ MY REVIEW ↓

First off — The cover is phenomenal. I’m loving all the purple.. and it stands out from the first two illustrated books that have “day” covers, whilst this one is clearly set at night.

The illustrations for the Marauders Map, Lupin as a werewolf and the Greenhouse are just some of my faves, but no joke every page is pure magic! The detail and the vibrant colours — Jim Kay is an illustrating genius! If you guys already have a copy, did you gasp at the illustration of Sirius Black, like I did?? At first glance I thought why is the Grudge here?! Bahaha! But after soaking it in, and realising it was him..I thought “Omigosh! Jim really made him look like a scary-as-hell-crim!” – It looks sickkkk! *thumbs up!*

These editions are perfect for HP fans who are also collectors and a nice version for young readers to delve into. It brings a whole new experience to Harry Potter 🙂

I’m also thankful to JK and to Bloomsbury for the planned yearly releases of each one. It gives me something to look forward to and keeps the wizarding world abuzz!

RATING: ♥♥♥♥♥/5

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No real rating needed. It’s Harry Potter! It’s amazing! Everyone needs these illustrated editions in their lives! 😀


Question(s): What do you want to see on the cover of the Goblet of Fire illustrated edition, and what colour do you want the book to be?

 

Wildfire by C.L. Aire

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— BLURB —

In the void between the worlds something is shifting. The balance between the Elements is slipping and the darkness is growing.

A girls nightmare speaks of things yet to come, a battle against beings filled with shadows. A young man watches death approach, cold as the blade it rides. A rose blooms in the pale moonlight, a gentle breeze stirs in the stillness and yellow eyes watch over the city.
And destiny has linked them all…
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The earth will dress in blood and pain
And seas will scream beneath the rain
The tortured air will twist and turn
And in the fire, darkness burns

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— MY REVIEW —

⚠ WARNING WARNING WARNING ⚠

Read at own risk!

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I think it’s obvious from my previous book reviews that 99% of the books I read are from the Fantasy fiction genre. So when Claire asked if I would be interested in reading her book, I didn’t hesitate in saying yes!

I will be honest in saying when I checked the synopsis of her book on Goodreads, I found it to be a little vague. I knew the protagonist was a young female who sees visions in her dreams of what will happen in the future, and one in particular of Immortals is what sets this story. But other than that I didn’t know what to expect.

So it was all the more curious in reading this book.

I’ll admit it was a slow start for me. It took a little while to get into the story but once Cassie, Kieran and Gemma reached Harbour town I was right there with them.

I’m a big fan of fantasy books where the characters journey to other lands, so I was naturally hooked on the whole “travelling” aspect of Cassie’s story. I would have loved if a map was included in this book just because the places Cassie and her friends travel to seem so different from one another it would have been nice to see a physical image of the different towns they encounter and how much they would have travelled from Ar-ken.

Quick Update: The author has recently shared news that a world map of Tarraneia has been created. No word yet if it will be included in future copies of Wildfire but in the meantime please check it out on her Instagram here: Map of Tarraneia

Getting back to my review. I’m going to be a bit nitpicky and let you guys know my pros and cons of the characters and certain parts of the book:

wildfireCassie is the main protagonist in this story and it was her dreams that led her and her friends to travel on this journey but I felt the first quarter of the book the lead was Gemma. I almost felt like this was Gemma’s story and her journey to stop the Immortals. I was very fascinated with her and her family’s culture/ lifestyle. They understood the world differently it almost seemed like there was something there that could be key in helping stop the destruction. I wouldn’t have minded if Gemma was the main protagonist just because I felt there was so much more to her, her brother and the mystery behind the Weeran people that I would have wanted to read more about.

Gemma might be my favourite from the three friends. She knows who she is and what she’s capable of. In my opinion the wisest of the friends.

Kieran on the other hand is the skeptic from the three. He doesn’t have dreams like Cassie and he’s not like Gemma who’s in touch with the lands so I felt like he was the most normal? and relatable character just because he was your everyday type of person.

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I can’t say I like Cassie all that much for most of the book. She doesn’t seem to be good friend and her decision-making sucks! I think a lot of things that happened throughout their journey could have been avoided if she was more willing to speak up with her friends.I was frustrated with her a lot of the time and couldn’t help but roll my eyes. All I can say is she’s damn lucky there’s so many people willing to help her. 😛

Cassie in my opinion is the one who’s the most unsure of herself and what she could be capable of. Which is not a bad thing. The way things were developing in the book and especially how things ended, Cassie’s character development is sure to grow and I for one can’t wait to see her at her full potential.

When it comes to the storyline. I wished I could have seen a deeper connection between Cassie, Kieran and Gemma. They’re suppose to be the closest of friends but it didn’t come across that way. I saw a deeper friendship between Cassie, Anna and Jhi to be honest. I almost didn’t believe that they grew up together. But maybe all in due time we’ll see their closeness..?

I also thought certain scenes seem to end abruptly where I think it could’ve been delved into in more detail. I felt like I couldn’t even grasp what had happened and the next thing you know something new has transpired. The transition from one scene to the next could have been smoother.

Ok. Let’s get onto my favourite parts of the book. 😄

The part where they meet Ardian. He was the first character I instantly liked. I don’t know what it is about sweet-pie men captaining a ship *cough cough* (Hook from Once Upon A Time or Carswell Thorne from The Lunar Chronicles) but they always get me. 😉 His budding romance with Gemma was adorable but short-lived. I wanted more!! I really wished it lasted a little longer. It also had me thinking is this all we’ll see of Ardian? I’m hoping not.

Cassie falling in the hands of Jhi and Anna was a breath of fresh air. I love Anna and Jhi! They added an oomph to the storyline and introducing the “Mouse Hole” and “The Rat” gave the storyline another level of excitement for me. The side story of Anna and Jhi’s relationship was a treat to read. I’m a sucker for a bit (or a lot) of romance in my fantasy books so this definitely curbed my craving.

But besides romance, I love a good book that can totally take me by surprise and does Wildfire do that?

Yes. Yes it did.

I did not see it coming what happened with two certain characters in the end (*hint hint* Kieran and Jhi). The ending leaves us just when the real story begins so I’m really curious to know what will happen next, especially with Jhi. Who knew he would have some sort of power in him? I was shocked when he got stabbed in the neck I really thought he was another beloved character I was disappointed to see go. (But seriously! That neck stab was the last thing I was picturing would happen to him!)

Keiran coming back from the dead was another thing I didn’t see coming. But thinking about it now I probably should have, considering Cassie is a bit stubborn and of course she wasn’t going to lose another friend.

All in all I really liked the story. It was an easy read with short chapters (which is always a plus in my books). There’s so much potential in it to becoming an unbelievable fantasy fiction series. It has magic, it has action, friendship and a touch of romance mixed in. Everything I think makes for an awesome YA fantasy fiction book! I can’t wait for the next installment.

RATING: ♥♥♥½

Thank you to C.L. Aire for the opportunity to read an advanced copy!


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Happy reading and catch you in my next one! Xo

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Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

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— BLURB —

Welcome to the world of the Grisha.

Kaz Brekker and his crew of deadly outcasts have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives.

Double-crossed and badly weakened, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties.

A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets – a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world.

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— MY REVIEW —

I loved Six of Crows so the minute I finished it I went straight into Crooked Kingdom (which I highly recommend you do so you don’t torture yourself with a cliffhanger).

After Kaz and the crew survived the job at the Ice Court I was relieved! Everyone was alive and together and I was just one happy chappy.. but to find out the job was a scam?!?Ohh I knew Kaz would destroy Van Eck and anyone who was working with and I knew whatever his plan was it was going to be epic!

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And I was right! Just like Six of Crows, Crooked Kingdom did not disappointed in the twists and turns and the unexpected.

If I thought I was on the edge of my seat reading Six of Crows, let’s just say I wasn’t even sitting down anymore for Crooked Kingdom. I was in panic-mode, anxious with sweaty palms reading this book. I was preparing myself for the worst. You guys know what. Death of a beloved character! Yup. It could happen at anytime and it certainly did here. I’m sad to say that I knew they wouldn’t all make it out alive but for one of them to die so suddenly by someone who wasn’t even one of the original bad guys in the book!?

⚠ WARNING WARNING WARNING ⚠

SPOILER ALERT!

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I cried. No wait. I bawled my eyes out when Matthias was shot and he struggles himself back to Nina just so he could see her one last time! Like what?!?!? Why !?!?! 😭😭😭

Why would Leigh Bardugo kill off a character in the way? Why would she kill her readers along with him!? My heart sank. For Mathias and especially for Nina. I felt like I was there with her. Crying and begging for Mathias to stay alive.

What made me cry even more was when she accidently brought him back with her power except it wasn’t really him anymore it was more like his body being commanded by her. It was just one HUGE sad part of the book! 💔

Sure, it was almost the end but still..

And speaking of the end of the book. It’s been 4 days since I finished it and I’m still reeling from the lack of ending. In my opinion anyways. I felt it was unfinished. So many things lingered and left open.

  1. Kaz and Inej were together – but not really. It wasn’t the result I was hoping for. It almost felt like the beginning of something between them rather than the big “fireworks” kiss that we’ve all been waiting for that should have after having gone through all of the things they went through. I don’t know. I just wished for more.
  2. Nina’s exit out of the storyline felt cut off. Yeah her plans were to go back to Fjerda to bury Matias and try and help as much Fjerdan soldiers as she could but I figured at the very end we would at least hear from her. See if she made it. Something? Anything? But there wasn’t, so I felt like if Leigh wanted to she could keep going and write another book in the fabulous story. (Here’s to wishing again!)
  3. Jesper: promising his father he would return to the farm once Wylan was settled back at his old home. But then they seem to be together too so how would that work? Was he just planning on visiting his dad or actually moving back? Because the way he said it to his dad it could be interpreted differently by each reader.
  4. Another thing with Kaz and Inej. Kaz has plans to rule Ketterdam, starting with The Barrel. Inej has big plans to command her own ship and crew and free slaves but yet she asked Kaz to help her. Once again, how will that work? Will he stay at Ketterdam whilst she sails around and they’ll just write to each other? And then there’s the question of her parents. Kaz (that sweety!) had gotten Nikolai (that’s right, he made an appearance!) to help find her parents. Will Inej go back with them first?
  5. The book ends with Pekka Rollins as the final chapter and point of view. This was the guy that Kaz wanted to destroy. I suppose when you look at it from a different perspective Kaz did finally destroy his life but the things he did to Kaz – that made him the way he is now you would think he would just kill Pekka in the end but he didn’t. It just makes you think, you know? Could Pekka return? Eventually?

There’s just so many unanswered questions and things left open. I want to know! It felt like an open ending which is worse than a cliffhanger because at least with cliffhangers there’s another book to read. Crooked Kingdom, as far as I know is IT! The book that was suppose to wrap the story up but I have more questions now than when the story initially began. Frustrating stuff right here! Haha. Or maybe I’m just overthinking everything. But these are questions that popped into my head the second I read the last page!

I love the bits of romance here and there whether between Nina and Mathias, Jesper and Wylan and yes of course between Kaz and Inej. I took whatever I could from those two but I was hungry for more. Lol!

There was the perfect amount of emotional heartfelt scenes, flashbacks and action that I was always hooked.

RATING: ♥♥♥♥½

This was such an easy read. Beautifully written story that draws you in instantly from start to finish. I’m still surprised how much I ended up loving these books considering The Grisha Trilogy was just average for me. If you haven’t fallen in love with each of the characters yet during Six of Crows then you would definitely be changing your mind after reading more about them in this one.

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I wish I could give this one full rating like Six of Crows then it would really be a fist-pumping series. But all the questions rattling around in my head really took points of my rating. But I still think this is an unbelievable book. The entire duology has become one of my all time faves now. It’s caused me to have book hangover (not as massive as Maas’ books) but nevertheless I’m having withdrawals.

No Mourners. No Funerals.


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Happy reading, guys! Catch you in my next one! Xo

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Six Of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

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— BLURB —

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone. . . .

A convict with a thirst for revenge

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager

A runaway with a privileged past

A spy known as the Wraith

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes

Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.

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— MY REVIEW —

If you read my review on The Grisha Trilogy, you would know that I did not love at as much as the majority of readers did. But my friends insisted I read the trilogy first before I read Six of Crows to get a feel for the world and apparently some characters from those books were making cameos in this one so that’s what I did.

I’ll tell you now though. I don’t think it’s necessary for you to read the trilogy first before Six of Crows because it doesn’t affect the storyline or characters in any way. But in saying that, I started reading Six of Crows with a familiarity to the world already and how tough it is so..it’s up to you whether or not you want to start with The Grisha Trilogy first 🙂

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WARNING WARNING WARNING

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Now, onto my review.

This is probably the only place I can let out my opinions and rants in full so if you read ahead, be prepared for spoilers. Giving you a heads up now!

What can I say about Six of Crows? Well.. It was unbelievably phenomenal! There’s only a handful of books/ book series I can say are my total favourites and Six of Crows has been added to that list.

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I knew everyone who ha read it raved on about it but I didn’t want that affecting me because before I read The Grisha Trilogy, everyone was telling me it was that good and that I was going to love it as well…and well I didn’t. So I went into Six of Crows with no expectations except that it was in the same fictional world and that the characters would be similar in a way?

But I have to say it completely blew the trilogy out of the water for me. The characters in Six of Crows were a bunch of misfits that just meshed well together. They are an ultimate crew. The differences in each character, their personalities and the way they interact with one another is what sold this book for me.

The book is written in a point of view format. So each chapter is a character from their point of view. At first I thought it might be a little difficult to follow as there are six main characters here and all with a story to tell but it was very well written. It was easy to follow and it just flowed. I couldn’t read it fast enough and I couldn’t put it down.

You get to know each character, their past and how they came to be where they are now. I fell in love with all the characters. They’re the characters that have gone through the worst of the worst and are trying to get out it.

You have Kaz Brekker. The leader of this crew. The guy who has a plan within plan within a plan and so forth. He is the most complicated guy from them all (and quite possibly from any fictional character I’ve encountered). He’s the most intriguing. He doesn’t open up and when he does it almost seems like it was by accident. That alone kept me turning pages. He’s unemotional, very calculating and gives off that vibe of “this is all business” but the deeper you read the more you realise everything is not what it seems with the guy and you get hooked. I don’t know anyone who’s read this book and did not come away from it not falling in love with him. I know I did!! (Inej is one lucky chick!)

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There’s Inej (Aka Spider. Aka The Wraith). Quite possibly my favourite from them all if I had to choose 😉 She, I can’t help feel for the most. I know they’ve all gone through hell but if I went through what Inej had I would have been dead long ago. She has a strength in her that I gravitated towards from the get go. The thing she has going with Kaz doesn’t hurt the book either. Lol. I only wished there was more of it! Leigh Bardugo really knows how to torture her readers with little crumbs of romance. Haha.. oh sigh.

Then there’s Nina. Who I would say is the closest connection you would have to The Grisha Trilogy because she is a Grisha (or was training to become one) who is just trying to get back to her life but can’t until the mess she got herself into gets fixed. I love Nina. She’s spunky, funny, kicks ass, loves food. She’s very relatable. She’s so sassy. I loved reading her point of view. I love her backstory and the reason as to why she’s with Kaz and the crew.

Mathias. Oh man this guy. This guy is pure soldier. Until you get to read more of him. He may just be the tough yet sweet guy you’d be looking for in this book. The struggle he goes through with what’s right and wrong puts you on edge. I found myself literally talking to “him” whilst I was reading it. I was like “dude, c’mon!” Do you guys argue with fictional characters too? 😜

Jesper is the Sharpshooter and a hoot! He cracks me up with his flirty ways and untimely jokes and comments. I’m giggling just thinking about him now. He’s definitely the comedic relief in certain parts of the story where things are getting a little heated or problematic. He’s just a one of those guys who could cheer you up and he does. His friendship with Inej throughout this book had me smiling,his brotherly-like relationship with Kaz had my heart and his budding relationship with Wylan was one I did not see coming until later but I’m rooting for them!

Wylan is the kid in the group. Well they’re all pretty young in age but I see him as the baby of the group. Just because he seems like the naive, innocent, lost one from the crew. You almost think he’s a bit useless at the beginning (especially since he doesn’t know how to fight) but doesn’t mean he is. He is a Brainiac. I would keep an eye on him. He may just be the slyest of them all. 😉

I was surprised to read that the characters were only 16-18 years old which isn’t young (considering it’s a YA book) but when you read it you would never have guessed. I pictured them more to be in their early 20’s at the most but it doesn’t affect the experience one bit once you get your head around it.

The storyline is clever. So many twists and turns. I felt like I couldn’t pinpoint where the story was heading at all. Nothing was predictable. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time.

RATING: ♥♥♥♥♥/5

I wish it was longer than a Duology. This is a YA Fantasy fiction reader’s dream book!! I HIGHLY RECOMMEND SIX OF CROWS!! I will shove people into bookstores, get them to buy it online, whatever! This is a must read! Full rating and more from me!!

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Happy reading, guys! Catch you in my next one! Xo

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Harry Potter and The Cursed Child by JK Rowling

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— MY LIL SYNOPSIS —

Eighth book in the Harry Potter series. The Cursed Child takes place 19 years later and it revolves around Harry and Ginny’s second son Albus.

This story was originally created as a play so the book is written out as a SCRIPT!

It follows Albus’ years in Hogwarts starting from his very first year and how he handles life having Harry as his father and knowing what he had gone through most of his life. You get to find out what has become of Harry, Ron and Hermione – their families, jobs and how they’ve been coping since Voldemort was defeated. Whilst Albus deals with being a “Potter” and all that comes with the name, Harry struggles with moving on from his past. Both the past and present collide and they must face their problems head on and learn the painful truth that sometimes darkness comes from unexpected places.

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— MY REVIEW —

I decided to divide this review into sections based on the storyline, characters and my overall thoughts of the book.

Storyline:

To be honest, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the storyline. It felt like one issue that grew larger and larger. It was a snowball effect that really could’ve been sorted out a lot earlier. I felt there was no real depth to the story and that I was just reading more about the characters themselves but it wouldn’t be much of a story without a storyline so I felt it was just created so we could get to know more about the characters (old and new) – if that makes sense?booksofthemuggleborn_thecursedchild2

I just think the story could’ve been different or written with a little more depth. It was skimmed through and rushed. The whole time I was reading it, it was just one problem after another and then there were arguments in between. The story didn’t reveal itself until the last few pages along with how they dealt with it. It ended abruptly and it didn’t feel completely resolved either. I felt the story left me hanging and wondering what would happen next, but the problem is JK has announced that this is the final book in the Harry Potter world. So if that really is the case then this book has brought up more questions than conclusions. The Deathly Hallows had more of an ending to me than this book. If anything, The Cursed Child brought back old wounds for no good reason, just for the sake of having another Harry Potter book. There’s some flaws and it definitely doesn’t compare to the previous stories but the positive aspect I took from this book are the characters. They are what makes this book worthy of being the “eighth” one.

Characters:

I will start off with my favourite – Scorpius. But anyone who’s read this will surely agree with me that he made this book! I’ve always been a Draco fan and I’m a proud Slytherin so the second I saw Scorpius’ name on the page I knew I would love him just as much! And I wasn’t wrong! When I saw that Scorpius had a role to play in this story I was ecstatic. He is the side of Slytherin I had always knew existed. Someone caring, sweet and smart to boot. Just a pity he became friends with Albus (lol).

Albus is Harry and Ginny’s second son and my gosh he reminded me so much of Harry during his school years. I guess the apple doesn’t fall from the tree. He was irritating. I found him SERIOUSLY irritating! It’s actually one of Harry’s traits I disliked when reading the original series and finding that Albus was exactly the same in this book not only brought back memories but it was also another reason why I didn’t give this one full ratings. When the protagonist is irritating to the point where you prefer secondary characters, it’s never a good sign. You have to read on hoping they would eventually change but by then you already have character preferences.

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I did however like the blooming friendship of Scorpius and Albus with Albus’ cousin Rose (Ron and Hermione’s daughter). They are a reflection of the Golden Trio. Not the same but similar feels 🙂 *Scorpius’ little crush on Rose was adorable too and a nice light-hearted touch to the story*

Seeing old friends such as Harry, Ginny, Ron, Hermione and Draco were highlights for me. I loved reading about what’s become of them. Their relationships, where they all ended up, work…etc. If you’ve read the Deathly Hallows you’ll know that JK wrote a little “after” story where you see them at the train station waving their children off for the Hogwarts Express bound for Hogwarts. The Cursed Child starts off from this point so you get an idea of who ended up with who and a glimpse of their families. In this book, you get to really see how times have changed. I don’t know if it’s because they are now full grown adults or if it’s the different writing style, but I felt some of the original characters did not have the same feel.

For instance, I felt Ron was dumbed-down excessively. He was almost the comedic effect in the book but yet I didn’t necessarily feel it was needed. He seemed lost or confused about situations and was always the last to know things. It’s disappointing because I never thought Ron was the “dumb” one from the group but you wouldn’t have guessed that in this book.

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Harry’s annoying behaviour only expanded for me. In Deathly Hallows, he specifically tells Albus not to worry so much if he was to be sorted into Slytherin. Having being named after Snape one of the bravest and smartest Slytherins out there, it wouldn’t matter to him if Albus was sorted into that house… well apparently that’s a lie! Harry clearly wasn’t happy with Albus being sorted into Slytherin in The Cursed Child and he clearly wasn’t happy knowing Albus had befriended Draco’s son Scorpius either. This book really challenges Harry’s parenting skills. Some have said that he’s a terrible father but after enduring for so many years what Harry had to deal with, you can’t blame him for being cautious or even overly protective of his children, and when you have a child like Albus where his at that rebellious stage you’re bound to butt heads. If he really was a terrible father, you would see all his children acting out. You know what I mean? I say give the guy a break.

I love that a little light has shone onto Draco. He was another character people depicted as a villainous coward but when you read the parts where Draco talks about his family and how he’s turned his life around, I think you really get to see the Draco he’s always been but was unable to show because of his parents and their connection with the death eaters and Voldemort.

Seeing familiar names such as McGonagall, Dumbledore, Snape and Neville Longbottom really hit home for me. Seeing these characters again made this whole book for me. It brought so many feels and nostalgia. They may only have been little glimpses of them but it was enough and I found myself smiling all throughout 😀

Overall Feels:

I was hooked right from the first page. I know there’s mixed opinions going around at the moment and I can see where people are coming from with their concerns but I went into reading this with an open mind.CheesySmile

It’s not solely JK Rowling’s writing so I knew it wouldn’t have the same feel as the first 7 HP books but it was still a great read. Having it as a script format is different but not hard to follow. It’s literally a conversation in text format. If anything I’m grateful JK released this because not everyone can go to London and see the actual play (but I’m still hoping they take it to more countries – with Australia being one of them hehe). I’m sure everyone had been dying to know what happened to Harry, Ron, Hermione after The Deathly Hallows ended. I know I was! Well this is the answer. It may not be what everyone expected but there it is and it’s always nice to revisit the Wizarding World.

RATING: ♥♥♥.5/5

I still highly recommend this for Harry Potter fans. It may not live up to the rest of the series for some fans but what fan wouldn’t still want a copy The Cursed Child for their collection? It may not be reread as much as the first 7 books but it’s still worth a read, even if it’s to see old friends 🙂


Question: If you’ve read this – did it live up to your expectation? 


A Court Of Mist And Fury by Sarah J. Maas

First book done and dusted for the month. The best book to kick off May! 😊

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— BLURB —

Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas’s masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.

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—MY REVIEW —

Brace yourself… this is going to be long, fangirling/ ranting gibberish review. I apologize now! 😜

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Fuuuuuuuuuck! THE. BEST. BOOK. EVER! This is my most favourite book read so far of 2016!!! I could not get enough of it. I just could not put it down! I was hooked from page one and now I’m obsessed! (‘obsession’ is not even a strong enough word to describe the feels!!)

Eeeeeeeeeeeep!!! I can’t stop smiling! 😁😁

A definite must read!! I originally got a hardcover edition of this book but I just ordered a paperback version earlier today so I can take that one with me whenever I’m out and add post-its to that one to remind me of all my fave quotes, lines and parts of the book 🙂

This is one of my favourite fantasy fiction series. Sarah J Maas is a beautiful literary genius! Thank you Sarah for this wonderful world you have created!

I can’t get enough of Rhys! The quote “I have non-fictional feelings for very fictional characters” was clearly created for characters like Rhys because it definitely implies for me!

I knew I chose right with Rhys when I first read ACOTAR. I knew there was something about him that Tamlin didn’t have..and I was soooooo right! My gosh! #TeamRhysand now and forever!

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This was such an easy book to read. So much detail that you will never be bored of reading it. I only wish it was longer (hehe coz clearly 624 pages ain’t enough) 😛

Now that I’ve finished reading it, I’m in a major ACOMAF hangover! I can’t even think of reading anything else new anytime soon because it’ll probably pale in comparison! If anyone has a cure for this type of hangover, please let me know! Or else I might just keep rereading and rereading all my favourite parts from the book!

If you love reading YA fantasy fiction and love the Throne of Glass series, I guarantee you’ll love this series too!

⚠ WARNING WARNING WARNING ⚠

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Before I get into the nitty-gritty review — I should say that although this book is under the YA fantasy fiction “umbrella”, I have to say that this book is definitely targeted more towards the older “YA” readers. It’s very detailed. It’s definitely not PG rated (if you catch my drift). 

Okay. Now that I’ve said that little disclaimer. I’m going to start off with the good things about this book! 🙂

This book is so detailed! and I mean SO. MUCH. DETAIL! Trust me, with some of the things described in this book, you will not be able to avoid picturing it in your head. 😉😉

It’s an easy pace with short chapters (which I prefer). I find if the chapters are longer than 10 pages, there’s a higher chance I’ll get disinterested in finishing it.

The storyline is action-packed. There’s so much going on, that there is no way you’ll get bored or find the story dragging. It’s got action, romance, humor, suspense, drama… what more can you ask for?

If you’ve read ACOTAR and rooted for Rhys, then yeah… I would say you would definitely, absolutely LOVE ACOMAF! 💙

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Rhys is such a honey-bunny! He is the most perfect being ever! The stuff he says and does for Feyre just melts my heart. Not to mention he’s got that bad boy exterior with a sweet, loving interior that all us fangirls love to read about. 😜 And did I mention he’s such a smartass? Yep, a funny one to boot! I say, if he has a great personality, smexy (aka smart and sexy) and can make you laugh, then he’s a winner, folks! 😉

Who wouldn’t love Rhys? Like c’mon! When I got to the part where he explains everything to Feyre, I stopped breathing! I was speechless. It all clicked in. Everything made sense! (Sarah J. Maas is a genius with her writing abilities).

The humorous sexual banter going on throughout the book between Feyre and Rhysand lifts the mood of an otherwise dramatic storyline. Chaos and possible war brewing between courts and lands are happening but yet you get moments of them flirting and thinking about each other and sharing things that they would never with anyone else. It’s the personal, private moments they have that made me fall in love with this book. The quick glances of concern, smirks and lines they say to each other (that have deeper meanings) give me the feels! Like I said earlier… there’s so much detail in this book that a scene can instantly form in your head with each word you read.

I have a couple minor negatives though (I’m talking teeny tiny):

  • The story ended! (lol) no seriously, it ended with such a good cliffhanger that I desperately need the next book now!
  • I did find a few things in the storyline predictable but I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s things that would ruin the experience of reading it because I still loved it!
  • I was a little meh… undecided? on the ending. Some parts I saw coming but some completely surprised me and I honestly don’t know if I like where it’s heading. I’m seriously concerned that the next book may destroy me. I sense a whole lot of crying will go on.
  • I was so disappointed with both Tamlin and Lucien in this book (Lucien especially, because I loved him in ACOTAR). My opinion of Lucien changed after reading this one. To think I originally said that Lucien would be someone I would’ve been great friends with…well not anymore! All I can say is Lucien better get his act together in the next book!

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Tamlin. Tamlin. Tamlin. Tsk tsk tsk. I’m not even surprised. I saw it coming from the beginning that he was just wrong. WRONG. WRONG. WRONG! Remember, if it’s too good to be true, it usually is! 😞

Oh I almost forgot. I LOVE Rhys’ inner circle. Mor, Cassian, Azriel and Amren are just the best bunch of people. I love their group dynamic and their relationship with one another. One of my fave parts is definitely the dinner scene where they all share their stories with Feyre. They’re not just friends, they’re family and it really shows in this book how close they all are with each other and how far they’ll go to keep each other safe!

#TeamRhysand #TeamNightCourt All. The. Way!! 🙌🙌

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RATING: ♥♥♥♥♥/5

I really, really recommend this book (this entire series, really) to everyone! It’s my favourite book read so far of 2016 and my most favourite series since Harry Potter! Yeah, that’s right! I put it out there… this is my one of my top most favourite book series ever!! I’m urging anyone who hasn’t picked this one up to do so! You won’t be disappointed! 😊

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Happy reading, guys! Wishing you all well. Catch you in my next one! Xo

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The Tales Of Beedle The Bard by J.K. Rowling

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— MY LIL SYNOPSIS —

These are wizarding world’s own version of fairy tales and folklore all in the one book. Some of which have been mentioned by Ron Weasley in the HP books. Each tale has additional notes added by Professor Dumbledore himself to help “muggles” understand some parts of the tale that only witches and wizards would know about.

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— MY REVIEW —

This review will be short and sweet.

This may be a little surprising (I know it was to me) but I haven’t read this book until now. Considering I think of myself as Harry Potter fan (I mean hello? My blog name alone!) I had never read it even though I had the book sitting on my shelf for ages…

But this is a great little book to have for any Harry Potter fan. If you’re a fan of reading any type of fairytale, folklore, myth, legend, whatever.. then will like reading the wizarding world’s version of them. I like how each story is short so it doesn’t drag on and get boring. I love the notes Professor Dumbledore provides for each one afterwards – it gives you a bit of an insight into his thoughts. Some were a little funny 😛

JK Rowling is a genius for writing Harry Potter and just plain brilliant for also making short stories in relation to it like Harry’s textbooks (Quidditch through the Ages/ Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) and now this. Like I said earlier.. it’s a great little addition to any HP collection.

RATING: ♥♥♥.5/5

I’m glad I at least read it once. I probably won’t read it again (at least any time soon anyways). To be honest I had always just loved it displayed on my shelf next to the rest of my HP books 😀

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If you guys are interested in adding this to your book collection, I’ve added a link below to where you can buy it (with free shipping).

→ Book Depository (please note this is an affiliate link)

Throne Of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

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— BLURB —

After 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.

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— MY REVIEW —

Omigosh! I can’t believe it took me this long to finally get hold of this book and read it. I’ll admit it now after reading the first 7 chapters I became sceptical about whether I was going to end up liking this one..but boy oh boy did I ever!!? As much as I love books that hook you in from the get go, I love books that surprisingly reel you in inch by inch just as much. And for me this was that type of book.

I did find the first few chapters a little bit boring (just a bit..don’t stress!) probably because I was still a bit lost at who she was and what the big deal was with her. I kept reading and didn’t really get into it until I reached the part where Celaena got to Rifthold to start training and to get the show on the road of her being the King’s “Assassin” and all. From then on, I pretty much couldn’t put the book down (I actually think I read it pretty fast for a slowpoke).

[Let’s jump to the boys for second here] You have Dorian, the Crown Prince of Adarlan who sought after Celaena to be his Champion. And then you have Chaol, the Captain of the Guard. Grew up together as kids, trained together and are friends.

Then Celaena Sardothien comes into the picture, an Assassin but yet..still a GIRL… See where I’m going with this?? 😄 Hehehe. Ahh… can’t wait to see if there are any developments in the following books.

I also like that fact the Dorian is typically a ladies man and Chaol is so serious and the complete opposite but yet they’re both intrigued by Celaena.

I love the little banters and smartass remarks that Celaena and the boys throw at each other, especially when it comes to Celaena and Chaol. It’s like watching a hilarious tennis match, you wanna see who gets the last shot it. Oh man, it gives me the giggles when I think about it now. LOL!

Still smiling. 😁

I love Celaena as a character. Although she’s still young, she’s already been through so much pain and loss which made her tough and gutsy and determined but yet at the same time she’s a typical person who still misses her family, her home and who just wants a nice life for herself. It’s hard to imagine when reading moments where she thinks about what she misses or what she hopes for in the future that she is an Assassin. And a damn good one! After reading this book, she immediately went to my list of “Kickass Heroines” – along with Katniss from Hunger Games, Clary from The Mortal Instruments, Éowyn from The Lord of the Rings to Snow White from the Once Upon A Time tv show.

This is my first Sarah J. Maas book and I am so glad I loved it. I love how it’s written, I love the detailed descriptions of the places, the people, the weather and even the smells. It’s like you’re in that world too. This book also had a beautiful map included. I love books with maps. It’s nice to see the different lands, how far they are from each other and so forth..so double points for that. 😊

I think I read this book at the right time, a lot people had already read through the series, loved it, had nothing but good things to say about it and I haven’t read a new series in a while that really grabbed me. I know this was only Book 1 of the series and I hate cliffhangers so I cannot wait to read onto Book 2.

I supercalifragilisticexpialidocious-ly recommend this book!!!! Loved it. Loved it. Loved it! I don’t know who else is out there who hasn’t jumped onto the ToG series bandwagon but my advice is to jump. Jump in now! 😋

RATING: ♥♥♥♥½

Oh and the only reason I’m not giving this a full rating of 5/5 is because of how I feel about the first few chapters but that’s a silly reason really. It’s just my stupid mind not sinking into the story fast enough. My heart gives it a 5 but my mind won’t (sorry).


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Catch you in my next one! Happy reading, guys! Xo

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John Winchester’s Journal by Alex Irvine

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— BLURB —

Sam and Dean Winchester know all the secrets their father recorded in his journal. Now you can, too.

On November 2, 1983, Sam and Dean Winchester lost their mother to a demonic supernatural force. In the wake of the tragedy, their father, John, set out to learn everything he could about the paranormal evil that lives in the dark corners and on the back roads of America . . . and how to kill it. In his personal journal, he not only compiled folklore, legend, and superstition about all manner of otherworldly enemies but he also recorded his experiences—hunting the creature that killed his wife even as he raised his two sons.

Part prequel, part resource guide, John Winchester’s Journal finally gives fans the ultimate companion book for Supernatural. It’s all here: the exorcism Sam and Dean used in “Phantom Traveler,” John’s notes on everything from shape-shifters to Samuel Colt, Dean’s first hunt, Sam’s peewee soccer team . . . and John’s single-minded pursuit of a growing and deadly evil.

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— MY REVIEW —

This is sort of my part two of reviews for the Supernatural books.

After reading Bobby Singer’s Guide To Hunting, my Supernatural fandom-ness has continued onto John Winchester’s Journal. Both these books had a story going on throughout the book to give you a reason as to why the characters ‘wrote’ these journals in the first place but I found John Winchester’s journal to be a truer form of a journal than Bobby’s. So keep that in mind when reading my review. 😊

I loved the idea of John Winchester’s journal that Sam and Dean used to help with their demon hunting in Season 1 of the show being turned into a proper book for fans to have as well. And I must say it’s definitely how I pictured it to be… at first.

The book is dated as a journal would be – with short logs of what John Winchester has encountered for that day. The journal starts in the year 1983. The year his wife gets murdered by a demon and his demon hunting days begin and it goes on for years and ends in 2005 (the present year at the time). I love the little short logs about his days with Sam and Dean because you get to see how they grow up through John’s eyes.

[Little Tidbit]: If you’ve watched the first season of the show, you’ll know that Sam and Dean were looking for their dad who disappeared during a hunt and all they have to help them track down his whereabouts is this journal he left behind. Throughout the season they talk about how John was never around when they were growing up because he was always hunting and prioritized the demon that killed their mother over spending time with them (Sam specially thought this way).

But reading this book, John mentions his sons a lot. He mentions how Dean is growing up and training to be a hunter just like him and him having the huge responsibility of watching out for his little brother because John is hardly around. He mentions how Sam is smart but a little too quiet and him just wanting a normal life. The way he mentions it throughout the book and how he worries, you can tell there’s regret in what he’s put them through over the years and wishing things were different. But mostly he writes how much his family means to him and how proud he is of them. Which really surprised me because before I read this, I only based my opinion on John from Sam and Dean’s feelings towards him on the show. It’s nice to read from John’s point of view, because in the show he hardly revealed his feelings to them face to face. That’s what I would say is my favourite thing about this book.

I only wished there was more logs about his family than the demon-y stuff he put in his journal. There’s A LOT of research he’s added  from books he’s read about on demons and angels and their history and myths and theories and folklore (some in other languages like in Latin). There’s just A LOTTTT! Half the time I felt like I was reading a textbook for school. Lol.

But I can’t really say I didn’t see it coming. The journal is based (as I mentioned earlier) on John Winchester’s experience in demon hunting. And considering this journal starts from the beginning when he was still inexperienced, it makes sense that he would copy text from books he’s researched to help him remember if he happens to come across anything supernatural.

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I think first time reading it through, you’ll find his research interesting. But if I was to read it again, I’d probably only read certain parts, bits I found interesting and bits that I may want to look over whenever I’m watching a particular episode of the show.

Remember my little disclaimer at the beginning? How I said this was a truer form of a journal. Well..it is. So if you’re not into that, I’d stick with reading Bobby’s one instead – it has more of story going on and has a little bit of “Bobby” humor in it. 😉

If you’re a Supernatural fan, you probably will still get this book to add to your collection. I will happily admit the cover  and illustrations are pretty nice to look at and it’s a nice companion book for the show. 😜

RATING: ♥♥♥½

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Have you read my review for Bobby’s Singer’s journal?

📒 Bobby Singer’s Guide To Hunting by David Reed


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Thanks for stopping by. Catch you in my next one! Xo

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