Let’s Talk… Spells and Death

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.

When we first see spells after death, we are introduced to Sirius’ family. His mother, and I believe other ancestors as well, used a permanent binding spell that attaches a picture frame to a wall so that you can never remove it. Maybe this spell is different considering there is a “permanent” aspect, but shouldn’t the spell have not been binding following her death?

One of the reasons I ask is because at the end of the Half-Blood Prince, Harry knows that Dumbledore is dead by the fact that the spell he was under breaks. So is it just because it was a temporary spell or is it because it is against a living human? Does that mean any Imperius or Confund curses would break upon the spellcaster’s death? These are late night thoughts with Elizabeth, I hope you enjoyed.

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!

Let’s Talk… Lost in Memories

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.

Why hello, and welcome back to Harry Potter week! In the Goblet of Fire, we are introduced to the Pensieve, a basin where you can re-enter memories, both your own or someone else’s. By going into someone’s memories, you have access to information that you may have never obtained. While it is cool, I have questions (what else is new?).

Question #1: Can you get stuck in someone’s memories? Since you get sucked into the memory when you look in, can an enemy trap you in there? And more importantly, can you tell that someone is in a memory if you didn’t go in there with them? When Dumbledore caught him, Harry was supposed to be in the office and when he wasn’t, I assume that Dumbledore saw that the door for the Pensieve was open. The more interesting instance was when Snape caught him. Snape gets called away leaving Harry in the office while there was a memory still in the Pensieve. Harry gets intrigued and looks in, which is where Snape finds him. Did Snape look in because he had an inkling that something was amiss, or was there an obvious mark that there was someone in the memory?

Question #2: If you can store memories, can you also store fantasies? Can you store dreams? And if so, can you replicate them over and over and over again? Can you create a business of creating moments, moments that exist in your mind, and then sell them to the general public? And if you can do that, can you turn that into a wizarding version of movies? Or even short-form entertainment like Tik Tok or YouTube?

Question #3: Do you keep the memory if you bottle it? If a memory is created, wouldn’t it make sense that it can only be destroyed? But let’s say you can keep the memory, is there a cap on how many times you can bottle the memory before it starts to fall apart?

Anyway, welcome to my brain, hope you enjoyed!

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!

Let’s Talk… The Harry Potter Illustrated Versions

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.

Starting in 2015, the Harry Potter books were converted into illustrated versions. At the point of this post, the first 4 books have been made into illustrated versions, and the 5th book has been slated for a 2022 release. These versions are unabridged, and are not illustrated on every page, but there are some full page illustrations as well.

I personally did not find the books too hard to read from, although they are a little cumbersome to carry around. They are a little uncomfortable to hold, mainly because they are rather large. Every page is glossy and each book has a ribbon bookmark. For anyone who reads with a book light, it is a little difficult to be able to see the entire page, especially when you get to the middle of the book without having to move it. Each page is written into two columns, with a page break for each new chapter.

Personally, I think that the illustrations are kinda creepy at times. For example, Dobby in the illustrated version looks a lot grimier and wrinkled, while the movie version makes him look more palatable. All-in-all, it is a really cool collector’s item for someone who enjoys the series, but I think that it will become a popular way of reading the series as we head into a graphic novel-heavy society.

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!

Let’s Talk… The postal system in the Harry Potter Universe

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.

I wrote the original post for this over a year ago. I will be honest, I didn’t know I had this many opinions about it, although I have more now a year later. So sit back and relax, this one gets weird.

Okay, I get it, this is probably a weird title for a post. However, I spent an entire night thinking about how dumb the postal service in HP is, so now I share those thoughts with you.

Okay, so the post service is dependent on owls, right? So in order to send out anything, you have to own an owl. Which maybe that’s not a big deal and maybe they aren’t that expensive, but now you are separating muggles from wizards. No wonder everyone in the Wizarding World looks down on muggles, they have no way to communicate with them. It almost is classist the way that the postal service works. And then do you have to have a mailbox because I’m assuming you still have to pay taxes? And while we are on it, how can they afford land? If everything they own is in galleons, do you have to go to Gringotts to exchange the currency? I feel like we just accepted magic, but at a certain point, magic has to be hidden from muggles, so they have to act normal, meaning they have to pay their bills, go to the DMV (imagine Snape waiting for his number to be called to get his license picture taken), and get sent junk mail. So.. what’s the deal with that man?

Okay, but you have to imagine that you need to train owls and get them to return to you. And we are supposed to believe that owls won’t get lost, just naturally have the mechanisms to deliver mail, even with magic, that is hard to believe. I grew up around dogs, and I still can’t convince my dog to go outside by herself, and ya’ll think that owls can be trained to deliver mail like this? Now, I recognize that there was a time when we used carrier pigeons to carry notes and stuff, but that required a lot of training. Even the USPS driver that brings me my mail every day had to go through training. So the question is, did Hedwig get training? And I don’t remember that being something discussed in the books (which probably for good reason, but let me have my rant in peace).

But even then, how do you send out a group invite? How do you get an owl to send letters to a bunch of different people? Do you have to have a bunch of owls, or can one owl send multiple letters? And how many owls are people expected to own? Is it a way to show how wealthy you are by the number of owls you own? It just seems crazy to me that we totally just ignored all of these questions because we were concerned with Harry’s safety. I HAVE QUESTIONS!

(The rest of these thoughts are ones I had while reading the series)

As cool as owls are, and c’mon, they’re pretty cool, why owls? We as pop culture associate bats with witches and Halloween, so why are we using owls and not bats? Does it have something to do with the fact that bats are technically blind? Why is there no mention of bats in the books? Wouldn’t they have made a really cool pet for the witches and wizards? They have to be better than a toad. IDK man, I don’t think we are talking enough about how bats got the worst end of the stick in the series.

But even with owls, can we talk about how messed up it is that owls deliver mail to the Great Hall? Here’s what I do know about birds, they poop. And they don’t aim, they just go. So are they pooping on the tables? And if so, isn’t that dangerous for the students? You know who won’t poop on your food? A postman. Maybe being a wizard isn’t all it is cracked up to be.

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!

Is the relationship between Bella and Edward abusive?

If you are in a relationship and someone is trying to convince you that they will kill themselves if you weren’t with them, that is emotional abuse. If you are in a relationship with someone and you have to check with them whether or not you can hang out with someone else, that is emotional abuse. If you are in a relationship with someone and they follow you when you go out with friends or come into your room at night and watch you sleep, that is stalking. These are all signs of an abusive relationship. And these are all things that Edward did to Bella.

Let’s talk about how Meyer tried to justify this, shall we? Bella is supposed to be Edward’s “personal brand of heroin”. She is compared to being a drug because he can’t seem to shake his dependence on her, but she causes him to experience indescribable thirst. Meyer’s justification for Edward’s abusive nature is to say, “well Bella started it”. Let me be clear to the people who are in these situations, you are not the reason that your abuser abuses you. This is a problem with him, not her.

But let’s also flip this post on its head. Bella is an abuser too. She participated in extreme sports and put herself in dangerous situations so that she could hear Edward’s voice after he left her. She created ultimatums so that Edward would do something that he has clearly not supported. And she used her friends and their families to get her way.

(Side note: I’m not going to be talking about the grooming stuff in this post. I have another post where I went into more details about my thoughts on that there, but this post is for essentially everything else).

There are so many examples of abuse throughout these books, so I want to be very clear. THESE ARE NOT HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS. Please, do not treat any of the relationships as something to look up to. Also for the record, here are other instances of emotional abuse throughout the books that I particularly took note of:

  • Bella used the words that Renee said when she left Charlie so that she could go to Phoenix in Twilight
  • Jacob telling Charlie that he is a werewolf in order for Renesmee to stay in his life in Breaking Dawn
  • Jacob makes Bella say that she wants him to kiss her in order for him to still be her friend after her engagement in Eclipse
  • Bella using Rosalie to be able to force Edward to let her keep the baby (and Edward pushing for an abortion)

If you or someone you know is being sexually exploited or assaulted, call 800.656.HOPE to contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline. Or you can text 741741 to get in contact with a crisis counselor.

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 Premise of New Moon is Dumb

Okay, so this is the biggest thing that grinds my gears. Now, when I was researching this topic, the only major publication that I saw that mentioned this was Seventeen. But let me tell you, I got opinions, so buckle up folks, it’s about to get real.

Like, this whole thing was months after Edward and Bella started dating. And also like a year after she moved to Forks. So you’re going to tell me that homeboy could handle months of periods but one tiny paper cut and he loses his mind? No, no, not today. And even then, he was surrounded by other students, which means he handled years of periods, years of scrapes, and years of paper cuts.

And also, as I have reread the books, HOMEBOY HANDLED BELLA IN A PUDDLE OF HER OWN BLOOD. Like really, are you kidding me? Yes, he was attacking another vampire at the time, but he sat in a car with her as she was covered in blood and didn’t do anything. Read that again, he was in A FREAKING CAR with her covered in blood and he DID NOTHING! And suddenly a paper cut and she loses his mind? Dumb. Pure dumb.

I have nothing else to say. It’s dumb.

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!

Is Twilight an example of grooming?

This has been one of the bigger issues I have had with the series as a whole. For people confused about what grooming is, let me explain. Grooming in this case means that someone who is over the age of consent (usually much older, though it could be as young as 18 depending on the situation) takes time to prepare someone under the age of consent for a sexual relationship. Giving gifts, spending extra time and attention, or using manipulation and threats in order to eventually have a sexual relationship are all examples of grooming.

There is a thought piece by Dr. Leslie Kay Jones (https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/twilight-vampire-diaries-are-actually-about-very-old-men-grooming-ncna1206376) that was posted on NBC that is extremely interesting about this topic in relation to vampire fiction specifically that I hope you will read, but I will share my thoughts on the whole is this grooming thing now:

At 12 years old, I didn’t know what grooming meant. I don’t think it was at the top of anyone’s mind back before the Me-Too movement. Now that we are in a situation where we as a general public have a better understanding of what right and wrong look like, I can’t get over this situation. As an adult, I can never encourage a child to think that this type of relationship is okay.

At the start of their relationship in the books, Edward has been in his body for over 100 years (there is an argument of “alive”, at least from his point of view, so I will be avoiding that word), while Bella has only been in her body for 17 years. The concept of the book is that Edward, whose body was frozen in time at the age of 17 years old, develops a relationship with 17 year old Bella, and from that relationship, they marry and eventually have a child.

Now, we let’s have the conversation of “is this still grooming if he appeared to be 17?” Yes. It was very clear from the beginning of the novel that he has maintained the mentality of his years on the Earth. He has learned, retained his knowledge, and experienced plenty of years, many more than Bella ever had the chance to yet. With all of that being said, he also constantly pushed for her to be older before they took things to the next step (changing her and sex).

And listen, there are always going to be people who are going to say that a relationship with someone older could also be considered grooming because he had the body of a 17 year old. I’m just saying, maybe the whole “turning vampires into sexual objects” thing for young adults isn’t the best idea.

But in case all of that is not creepy enough for you all, let’s talk about Jacob and Renesmee. Now, I already know that Meyer explained it and that it isn’t a sexual thing, but like, I’ll say it, imprinting is 100% a sexual thing. Maybe not right away, because she is a BABY, but at some point, she is going to reach adulthood, and guess what Jacob is planning on doing one day. I’ll say the statement that is controversial, yet brave, imprinting is an excuse for grooming.  To anyone who is considering reading the Twilight series, and especially anyone who is reading this who is considering letting the younger generation read this series, please teach them that lesson. These men (who are in their late teens. I believe Jacob was 17 when he imprinted on Renesmee who was born less than 30 minutes prior. I believe Quil was 16/17 when he imprinted on a 2-year-old) have given gifts, spent extra time and attention, and have used the excuses of “it’s a wolf thing” and “it’s not like that” to manipulate the adults involved and justify their relationship. Sound familiar?

I am not an expert, I’m just a concerned reader. And I don’t know everything about grooming, but there are certain things about these books that I just can’t get past. If you want to see other people’s opinions about this topic, you can check out these links as well (please note: there are a lot of links I did not add. There is a lot of information on this topic, so please do your own research if you want to know more):

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/psychologist-the-movies/201111/relationship-violence-in-twilight

https://www.buzzfeed.com/kellymartinez/its-time-to-admit-how-ridiculous-that-jacob-and-renesmee

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1132861-pedophilia-in-the-twilight-saga

If you or someone you know is being sexually exploited or assaulted, call 800.656.HOPE to contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline. Or you can text 741741 to get in contact with a crisis counselor.

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!

Let’s Talk… How do the Hunger Games movies stack up to the books?

In March of 2012, Lionsgate released the movie The Hunger Games to movie theaters across the globe, thereby blowing up the already popular fandom. Quickly, people who never read the books (I had just read the books since my friends were excited for the movies) were getting into the conversation. Over the next 3 years, 3 more movies were released to the world, bringing the trilogy into a 4 movie extravaganza. Also, not sure if ya’ll know this or not, but they are turning the prequel The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes into a movie as announced by the Hollywood Reporter.

I am always skeptical of movies adapted from books. A lot of the time, those movies just can’t really compare, so I always feel like I need to talk about the movies as separate entities. While I will always recommend you read the books before you see the movie, I also understand that there are a lot of people who don’t like to read (which like, thanks for stopping by if that’s you). So with that being said, and because I truly am an entertainment garbage heap, I am here to give you a review on both!

So I’m going to talk about the first two movies, and then I will be discussing the second two. I group them this way, because the first two follow the books almost to a t. There were many times while I was reading where I could perfectly see the movie in my head. There were very few things that were changed or added (thank you for not making us sit through hours of Cato being tortured), and they really were good adaptations.

And then we get to the last two movies. Firstly, I don’t think we really needed the last book to be two movies. And if you are looking at “was the large majority of the book represented in the movies?” the answer is yes. The problem is the amount of filler. While I understand that they wanted to show the unrest in the districts, at a certain point they just put stuff in to make the book into two movies (and I mean, Harry Potter did it, so we had to do it, right?). And unlike the first two, I couldn’t really picture scenes from the movies as I was reading.

I’m always going to have a special place in my heart. While I was really struggling with anxiety issues, I would put these movies on to help me go to sleep (which now that I’m thinking about it, is something I really should talk to a therapist about), so I could probably quote most of the movies. With that being said, read the books. Thanks for coming to my TEDtalk.

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!

Let’s Talk… Team Peeta or Team Gale?

Heads up: this post includes spoilers. If you still haven’t read the series or watched the movies, I truly encourage you to read/watch before reading this post.

Here’s the thing about being old, I remember this question as a huge topic of conversation when I was in high school. But now that I have a blog where I can actually talk about this question without having a bunch of teenage girls telling me I’m wrong (at least for now), I am finally going to say my thoughts on this important fandom decision.

I have always said that I am Team Peeta, which I think at the ripe old age of 16 was a good place to align yourself. But I’m almost 25, and it is time that I reeducated myself and made a more informed decision. So having just reread the books, here are my new thoughts on the matter:

So let’s start in the first book. Initially, I am Team Gale. Gale is her hunting partner, he agrees to take care of her family, and throughout most of the first book, Gale is the first person Katniss is thinking of. Obviously, compared to the relationship with Peeta which is more or less fake, it is easy to jump on the Gale bandwagon. And before people come at me, every single second that Katniss was having her romantic moments with Peeta while in the cave, she continued to think “what would I need to do in order for Haymitch to send us stuff?” and that’s why she did it. That’s why she told the story of the goat, that’s why she kissed him, and that’s why we have two victors in the 74th annual Hunger Games.

When it comes to the second book, that’s when we start thinking that maybe there is a choice to be made. While we spend a lot of time thinking about Gale before the games, but there is a huge drop-off once we are in the Game with Peeta. The first moment when we all kinda think “okay, maybe this thing going on between Katniss and Peeta is real” is when Peeta hits the force field and Katniss loses her mind as Finnick saves his life. And while should more or less be up in the air, at this point, I am exclusively on Team Peeta.

The third book cements those feelings for me. With Peeta stuck in the Capital, it is no wonder that Katniss can’t get him out of her mind. But even in District 13 with Gale, she doesn’t really cling to him as much as we would expect. In fact, I think she had more romance with Finnick than she did with Gale. But once Peeta is back, the immediate reaction to seeing him is tampered by his torture from the Capital. But even when Katniss is saying that she is not interested, that she hates him, whatever, she still thinks about him all the time. By the time we reach the end of the book, Katniss is forced to make her decision. Even if Gale wasn’t the brainchild that killed Prim, I still think that Katniss would have chosen Peeta. Every second that she kept him alive, even after he tried to kill her, even after he begged for death, I am sure that she was always going to choose him.

I think if you based it off the movies, you could be Team Gale because A) Liam Hemsworth aka Thor, God of Thunder,’s brother and B) the movies don’t give you as much access into Katniss’s thoughts. But, based solely on the books, I think the ultimate winner is Peeta. I said it, I meant it.

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!

Let’s Talk… Horror

So I’ll be honest, horror is not my genre. I very rarely pick up books that are considered horror mainly because I have many triggers that are tropes for horror. For that reason, this post will probably seem a little disjointed and a lot more educational than personal.

Horror is designed by fear. This fear could be of the supernatural, this fear could be Jason in the woods killing teenagers at a camp, and/or this fear could even be being stuck in a monotonous loop that you can’t get out of. Clearly, based on my lack of experience in the genre, I’m not a huge fan of fear. However, there are a lot of people who enjoy being afraid, which all power to ya. There are books that you can find “scary” that are not horror books, just as there are books that are universally accepted as “horror” that you may think is not scary. Horror is probably one of the hardest genre (imo) to classify because everyone has different triggers and different levels of response.

In a Google search of popular writers within the genre, H.P. Lovecraft, Mary Shelley, and Stephen King are among the most common names I have seen. Surprisingly (or maybe not so), there are few authors in the YA genre that are also in this list. From personal experience, Laurie Faria Stolarz is a really good YA horror writer (and I personally think her stuff is scarier that Stephen King’s *shots fired*).

So, here are my tips for you guys:

  1. Know what triggers you. While it feels weird telling you my kryptonite, but I am triggered by paranormal, especially demonic, activity. I have noticed in my time as an avid reader, I can handle a lot more while I am reading, but I can’t handle watching. So if there is a movie for the books I am reading in the horror genre, I probably won’t watch it. Know your limits and be willing to give yourself the chance to walk away when needed.
  2. Figure out what gives you the biggest rush. The entire purpose for the genre is to have you experience fear, so figure out what will cause that. But be willing to try out things that are outside of that. There is a scene in Divergent where Tris finds out that she is afraid of something after experiencing someone else’s fear dream. Sometimes you won’t know unless you are willing to try.
  3. Which leads to the final tip: try. As amazing as popular horror writers are, there are many less popularized authors that are killing it in the genre. Try new books, new authors, and new ideas; you never know what you will discover.

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!