Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

Over the past few years, J.K. Rowling has made statements that are TERF, or against the trans community (especially towards male-to-female). These statements are completely against the thoughts and ideas of the creator of this blog. I have been and always will be an ally for any member of the LGBTQIA+ community. You exist, and you are valid. If you are struggling and need to talk to a counselor, there are many resources available at thetrevorproject.org.

Reminder: This review is of a series and not an individual book. While I will write a synopsis for each book, I will do my best to not give away blatant spoilers. With that being said, the end of one book more or less is the start of another, so information from the end of the previous book may play a role in the plot of the next book, thus I have to give away the spoiler. Read the synopsis at your own discretion.

The book is originally called Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. When it came over to America, the title was changed. Since I am American, I will be using the Americanized version in my review.

When the Potters were attacked, only baby Harry Potter survived. Albus Dumbledore decided that the best place to put baby Harry is with his Aunt Petunia Dursley and her husband and son, a family of non-magical “muggles”. In the lead up to Harry’s 11th birthday, letters begin to arrive from a mysterious sender, and ignoring them only seems to increase the amount sent. Finally, on his 11th birthday, Harry gets a surprise visit from Hagrid, a half-giant who informs Harry that he’s a wizard and invited to attend Hogwarts, a school for witches and wizards.

After obtaining all of the materials and books he needs for his first year, Harry gets on the Hogwarts Express. He meets Ron Weasley, a fellow first year. They quickly become friends and once they are both sorted into Gryffindor, their friendship is cemented. They meet a fellow Gryffindor first year named Hermione, whom they joke about because she is incredibly smart and overly attentive in class. When Ron says something mean and Hermione overhears, she runs to a girl’s bathroom, one that just happens to be attacked by a troll. After Harry and Ron save her, the three become a unit.

When they are out of bed after hours, they accidentally run into a restricted part of the castle. There they find a 3 headed dog that is guarding a trapdoor. When talking to Hagrid about it, the name Nicholas Flamel comes up. During the winter holidays, Harry and Ron stay at Hogwarts. As a present, Harry gets an invisibility cloak. Planning on using it to investigate the Restricted Section of the Library for the name Nicholas Flamel, Harry finds the Mirror of Erised, a mirror that shows you what you really want.

When they figure out who Nicholas Flamel is after a Chocolate Frog, they learn that the thing being guarded is the Sorcerer’s Stone. They also learn that two of their professors, Professor Snape and Professor Quirrell, have been arguing with each other in relation to the stone. When things begin to get dicey, Harry feels like he has to obtain the stone in order to prevent the stone from getting in the wrong hands.

We spend a lot of this book learning about what is going on within the wizarding world, so it has quite a bit of background. It is the shortest of all the books, so there are a lot of times where it feels like not much happened, especially compared to the later books. I think that it is a great first book and stand-alone, but it seems lackluster once you read the rest of the series. I think I would give it a 4 out of 5 stars.

Compared to the Movie

The movie is relatively accurate when compared to the book. Once of the biggest changes is how the kids find the room with the trapdoor. In the book, Harry and Malfoy were supposed to duel, but the staircase changes in the movie and that’s how they find it. Also, in the book, the kids give Norbert to Bill, but in the movie, it is glossed over. All-in-all, the movie did a very good job of sticking to the book. The acting was a little stiff, but the special effects in the movie were honestly not that bad.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

Over the past few years, J.K. Rowling has made statements that are TERF, or against the trans community (especially towards male-to-female). These statements are completely against the thoughts and ideas of the creator of this blog. I have been and always will be an ally for any member of the LGBTQIA+ community. You exist, and you are valid. If you are struggling and need to talk to a counselor, there are many resources available at thetrevorproject.org.

How I Read It: Audiobook/Print

Dates Read: 12/10/21-12/24/21

How I Found It: Childhood/ Pop Culture

Reminder: This review is of a series and not an individual book. While I will write a synopsis for each book, I will do my best to not give away blatant spoilers. With that being said, the end of one book more or less is the start of another, so information from the end of the previous book may play a role in the plot of the next book, thus I have to give away the spoiler. Read the synopsis at your own discretion.

Why hello everyone! To give you guys some context on my relationship with these books, I’m going to start by saying that I was about 1.5 years old when the first book was published. I was 11.5 years old when the final book was published. Actually, I remember going to a release party for Deathly Hallows in my hometown bookstore where I had butterbeer for the first time and within minutes of getting in the car, my friend read the epilogue of the book and spoiled the ending of the book for us. When I was 13, my dad told me that I could not read adult books if I couldn’t read these books. So as a dutiful daughter, I got to the 7th book and gave up almost 200 pages from the end. I have seen all of the movies multiple times (in large part because apparently they are Christmas movies now) and have even seen the Fantastic Beasts movies when they come out in theaters. But the fact that I never finished reading the 7th book has always been a weight on my shoulders, and something that I wanted to remedy. Almost 2 years ago, having started a blog where I give my opinions on books, I planned to read the books. And with all best laid intentions, I picked up the first book and brought it downstairs and never cracked it open.

The next question I am sure that you are wondering is why now? Well, we have officially reached 20 years since the first movie came out, and in order to honor that, the Harry Potter actors have come together for a reunion to talk about their time in the universe. And as I was trying to figure out what my next book was going to be, there was a huge draw to the series for me. After about 2 weeks, I have officially completed something I have wanted to do for a very long time, read the series that was supposed to be a gateway into adult fiction.

Firstly, it is hard to find fault in a series that has played such a big part in popular culture. With that being said, one of the most disappointing parts of this series is the lack of representation. Not only is there is no explicit LGBTQIA+ characters, but there is little representation of non-white characters, as well as terrible treatment of characters who are overweight.

Secondly, if you are someone who has only seen the movies, you are missing a very large part of the series. The most common thing across the board that is missing from the movies is the ghosts. They are introduced, but are not used, especially as we get later into the movies. Peeves, who isn’t introduced in the movies, plays a part in all of the books even into the 7th book.

And thirdly, the first 3 books are an easily digestible, but the fourth book is when the amount of pages almost doubles. It is actually kinda hysterical when you look at the size of the first 3 compared to the sizes of the last 4. If you have a hard time staying engrossed in longer books, the end of the series is a huge deterrent.

As a series, I would rate the overall series as a 4.75 out of 5 stars. There is definitely some part of that score that is purely due to my childhood memories, but I also think that this is a very well written series overall.

If you would like to see my individual posts on the books and other random Harry Potter topics, check out the links below!

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren

How I Read It: Print

Dates Read: 12/23/20

How I Found It: Once Upon a Book Club/ Book of the Month

The 3×5 print from the Christmas 2020 box

Hello friends and happy holidays! Before I go into this book, I want to stress that I know nothing about this book. I am going into this book with you guys as well, so let’s jump in and I will see you all at the first present!

Page 144

“Mom pulls her hair back into a bun, slips on her Mrs. Claus apron, and takes the wooden spoon from my hand, wordlessly telling me that she’ll take it from here.”

In a Holidaze, page 144

In a cabin in Utah, Mae struggles to understand how she ended up making out with her family friend, Theo, especially when she has a huge crush on his brother, Andrew. When she learns that this may be her last trip to the Utah cabin, Mae finds herself wishing for the opportunity to be happy. Suddenly, a car crash derails her, and she wakes up on the flight leading to the exact same trip she just finished. With a bit of a Groundhog Day feeling (says from someone who has never seen Groundhog Day), Mae continues to relive her trip until she reaches happiness.

As for the apron, it is a little on the cheaper side, but I have someone who absolutely loves aprons, so I will be sure to get this one to her the second that the pandemic lets up!

Page 164

“‘Dude.’ He points upward. ‘You two are under the mistletoe.'”

In a Holidaze, page 164

Okay, I am not a mistletoe person, at all. I personally think this is a really dumb tradition. But I do appreciate that this is plastic so that it can be used over and over for Christmases to come!

Page 281

“In my sketch, the figure is easily in his eighties, but clearly Andrew…. We’re sitting on the porch swing of the cabin, side by side, fingers interlaced….”

In a Holidaze, page 281

I was terrified that this was going to be a close up on people. If you know anything about me, then you know that receiving portraits of people that I don’t know is the same as inviting a ghost into my house. So I am incredibly happy that this picture is 1) not creepy and 2) not the main gift that they are trying to give us. Also, I love this frame! I can’t wait to put pictures of my nephew in this!

Page 285

“I lift my foot, pick the item off the bottom, and study the silver object.”

In a Holidaze, page 285

Fun fact about Papa Slick: he is obsessed with this type of Hershey’s Kisses. When we enter December, almost every year, he will buy 3 packs of the Candy Cane kisses, and would take handfuls of these up to his office. Truly, I grew up on these, so I am so incredibly excited by this gift.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

Once Upon a Book Club 2020 Advent Calendar Day 12

The Promise by Hazel Prior

I was not expecting Magnus to be illiterate. And while I don’t actually think that this is how to become literate, this is still an incredibly cute story.

This is a terrible picture, but this is an Alice in Wonderland blanket. So in their first advent calendar, I got a blanket with the same script pattern that is in so many of their gifts and packaging. That blanket is still one of my favorite blankets, and I use it to this day. Comparatively, this blanket is a lot thinner, and slightly less quality. And while I don’t want to seem ungrateful, I want you guys to know what I am thinking as I am opening the presents.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

Owlcrate 2021 Advent Calendar Day 12

I will say that this is a really disappointing end to the advent calendar for me. It seems like it is just a regular tea strainer that they put a design on, which is beautiful, but lackluster to me.

In terms of the advent calendar, I think there were some great gifts, but overall it was disappointing. For the price, it was worth it, but does not hold up to other higher end advent calendars. I will not be investing in this in the future, but I think it was worth the experience to see what other options are available.

Once Upon a Book Club 2020 Advent Calendar Day 11

The Right Path by Krista Holly

Out of all of the stories, I think this is one of the top ones that I didn’t get into. I think that if this story was expanded or shrunk, it probably would have been better, but because of the size of the story, it didn’t flow very well in my opinion.

...sitting in our camping chairs and taking in each other like we're just now seeing all the connections, he reaches into his pocket, pulls out a small box and opens it.

I’ll be honest, the ring is already on my finger as I am writing this review. I absolutely love it. As for the stool thingy, I probably will never use it. It is annoying to try and put away, and it is incredibly small, but I am saying all of this as someone who never camps.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

Owlcrate 2021 Advent Calendar Day 11

Woof! This one has a very strong maple smell! If you have been a fan for a while, you probably know that I am a candle junkie, so I am very excited for this one! Keep in mind that this is probably about 6 hours of burn time, but it seems very potent. I have yet to burn it, but keep in mind that burning it diffuses the smell, which means it might lose a lot of that punch during burning.

Once Upon a Book Club 2020 Advent Calendar Day 10

Long Overdue by Wendy Waltrip

I cannot explain to you how much I love this concept. Heads up for anyone who is trying to date me (though I feel like I am going to already regret putting this energy out in the world), send me cute notes like this. I think everyone wants to feel noticed, and that includes me!

*Copied from Amazon*

How long does it take to travel twenty light years to Earth?

How long does it take to fall in love?

To the universe, eight days is a mere blip, but to Matty Jones, it may be just enough time to change his life.

On the hot summer day Matty’s dad leaves for good, a strange girl suddenly appears in the empty field next to the Jones farm—the very field in rural Pennsylvania where a spaceship supposedly landed fifty years ago. She is uniquely beautiful, sweet, and smart, and she tells Matty she’s waiting for her spaceship to pick her up and return her to her home planet. Of course she is.

Matty has heard a million impossible UFO stories for each of his seventeen years: the conspiracy theories, the wild rumors, the crazy belief in life beyond the stars. When he was a kid, he and his dad searched the skies and studied the constellations. But all of that is behind him. Dad’s gone—but now there’s Priya. She must be crazy…right?

As Matty unravels the mystery of the girl in the field, he realizes there is far more to her than he first imagined. And if he can learn to believe in what he can’t see: the universe, aliens…love…then maybe the impossible is possible, after all.

I’ll be completely honest, out of the books from this calendar, this is the least likely one I would pick up to read. I absolutely love the cover art, and I feel like I probably would have selected this book by the cover, but the synopsis is not drawing me in this time around (which is totally okay. Not all books were made for me).

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

Once Upon a Book Club 2020 Advent Calendar Day 9

Memories at Maple Grove Inn by Kristine Eckart

This feels like the start of a really cool novel! I always find moments where unexplainable phenomena occur incredibly romantic, even if in this case it isn’t a relationship romance.

A patch of white with script handwriting caught her eye. Thinking she may be discovering an old letter or something, she reached in. She pulled out a steering wheel cover, decorated all over with the same script she had initially spotted.

Wow, who would have thought that a car was in that little box. Just kidding, but honestly, how cool is this? This one completely threw me for a loop, but it is already on my steering wheel and I am ready to vroom vroom.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!