Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 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.

As Harry approaches his 17th birthday, the protection the Dursleys provided is reaching its end. The Dursleys are forced to move away to protect themselves, and Harry is moved by the Order to the Burrow until he loses “the Trace”: how the Ministry can track underage witches and wizards. Once there, Harry learns that both Ron and Hermione have every intention of helping Harry find and destroy the horcruxes. While celebrating his 17th birthday, meaning that he is now of-age, Minister Scrimgeour shows up to dispense with Dumbledore’s will. Hermione received a copy of The Tales of Beedle Bard, Ron received the Deluminator, and Harry received the snitch he caught in his first quidditch match. Harry was also supposed to receive the Sword of Gryffindor, but the Minister said it was not Dumbledore’s to give.

While attending Bill and Fleur’s wedding, the Ministry fell. Harry, Ron, and Hermione (for sake of typing, I am going to be referring to them as HRH) fled to London to try and escape the Death Eaters. They end up meeting a pair, which they were able to attack and obliviate. When those Death Eaters returned to Voldemort without Potter, they were tortured. HRH go and stay in Grimmauld Place with the hope that they are safe since they are secret keepers. There, they discover the identity of RAB, Sirius’ brother. Hoping that the real horcrux would be in the house, they ask Kreacher if he has seen it. Kreacher tells them that Mundungus Fletcher had been through the house and taken things to sell. Fletcher tells them that the necklace horcrux was taken by Dolores Umbridge, giving them a plan for their next steps.

HRH use polyjuice potion to change their appearance to Ministry workers. As they go to the Ministry with the intention of finding Dolores. They find her in the court chambers where she is interrogating Mudbloods, believing that anyone muggle-born is incapable of being a witch or wizard. They recognize that the necklace she is wearing is the horcrux they are looking for, so they attack her. Once they gain control of the necklace, they make a run for it, but a Ministry official was able to grab on. The official apparated with them to Grimmauld Place, so HRH had to give it up as a safehouse. They then choose to trek in the wilderness in order to stay hidden from Voldemort.

As they try to destroy the horcrux, they learn that the horcruxes cannot be destroyed using regular magic. They realize that was why Dumbledore wanted HRH to have the sword. Until they can figure out where the sword is, they trade-off wearing the necklace so it never gets misplaced, but wearing it means that they tend to be angry than usual. Eventually the stagnation and horcrux becomes too much and he leaves Harry and Hermione.

Harry and Hermione decide that they need to go to Godric’s Hollow, thinking that Dumbledore may have hidden the sword in Gryffindor’s birthplace. There they meet Bathilda Bagshot, who is Nagini in disguise. Once she gets Harry alone, she calls for Voldemort, but Harry and Hermione are able to escape seconds before he could arrive. They go back into hiding. While they were in Godric’s Hollow, Hermione was able to pick up an exposé of Dumbledore, where she finds the same weird design in a letter he sent to Grindelwald.

While on watch, Harry spots a doe patronus. When he followed it, he finds the sword of Gryffindor at the bottom of a lake. While trying to get it, the necklace horcrux tries to drown him instead of letting him get the sword. Thankfully, Ron returns in the nick of time and is able to save Harry. Harry lets Ron destroy the horcrux, but sees that Ron’s biggest fear is that Harry and Hermione are together. Harry reassures Ron that he loves Hermione as a sister and that she was very upset when Ron left. When Ron returns to camp to let Hermione know that he is back, she begrudgingly accepts back in their group.

Believing that it is not a coincidence that the weird design has showed up in multiple places, HRH head to Xeno Lovegood to learn about the mark. This mark is the sign of the Deathly Hallows, based on a story from Tales of Beedle Bard. In this story, there is an elder wand, a resurrection stone, and an invisibility cloak that together can make you invincible to death. Believing that he has the invisibility cloak, Harry is sure that he will need the other two hallows for his fight with Dumbledore. As they discuss this, Xeno Lovegood calls for the Death Eaters to come, hoping that he could exchange Harry for his daughter, Luna.

While they are running away, Harry accidentally says Voldemort’s name which is being tracked by the Ministry. This calls the Snatchers to HRH believing that only members of the Order would be willing to say Voldemort’s name. Hermione disfigures Harry’s face so they cannot tell it is him, but the Snatchers still believe that it is him. They take HRH (and Dean Thomas who was previously captured by the Snatchers) to Malfoy Manor, but as they are about to call the Dark Lord, Bellatrix catches her eye on the sword of Gryffindor. Since it is supposed to be in her vault at Gringotts, she decides to torture Hermione to see if she took anything else. Harry and Ron are taken into the cellar where they find Mr. Ollivander, Luna, and Griphook, a Gringotts goblin. Realizing that they are going to need help getting out of there, Harry uses the mirror Sirius gave him to ask for help. In return, the person behind the mirror gave them Dobby. Dobby is able to help them escape, but he ends up dying from Bellatrix’s knife. They go to Bill and Fleur’s cottage and bury Dobby there.

Since Bellatrix responded so badly to her vault being broken into, Harry is sure that there is a horcrux inside. With that gut feeling, HRH make a deal with Griphook that if he can get them into the vault, they will give him the sword. They go in using polyjuice potion, but do not plan for the waterfall that exposes any magical enchantments. Once they get to the vault, Harry recognizes Hufflepuff’s Cup, believing it is a horcrux. As they enter the vault, they learn that there is an enchantment that causes anything you touch to multiply as a form of anti-theft. They are able to get the cup, but just, losing the sword to Griphook in the process. He leaves them to figure out how to get out of the bank by themselves, so they take the dragon that is guarding the lower vaults and fly him out of the bank. They land in a lake as the dragon takes a drink.

When Voldemort finds out that the cup was stolen, Harry was able to access his mind and learn where the other horcruxes are. He learned that the final two horcruxes are Ravenclaw’s diadem, which is at Hogwarts, and the snake, Nagini. Knowing they would not be able to apparate into Hogwarts, they apparate into the neighboring village of Hogsmeade. There they meet Dumbledore’s brother who is willing to help them into the castle. Once in the castle, Harry goes off to find the diadem while Ron and Hermione go to the Chamber of Secrets to obtain a basilisk fang. Once the two horcruxes are destroyed, Harry heads to the Shrieking Shack where he believes Voldemort is. There they see Snape killed by Nagini. When Harry goes too him, Snape cries memories for Harry to use in the Pensieve. After using the Pensieve, Harry learns what he must do next in order to end this once and for all.

Oof… I think I essentially wrote another novel. I tried to read this before, probably around 2009, but I gave up around the Gringotts scene. It always felt like so much happened while at the same time nothing. Unfortunately, now that I have read it, I gave up right when the action was starting to happen. For a very long time in the novel, it felt a lot like “I have no idea what I am doing but you have to just stick around”, which makes the book more believable, but less entertaining. I think the reason why I was so willing to keep reading this time is 1) for the blog, but 2) because I had seen the movies. I had an idea of what was going to happen which drove me forward. It should not be like that, but that is where we are.

I think part of the reason it is hard to read is because we have read A LOT of pages to get to this point. Even to get to Gringotts, you have to read over 500 pages in this book alone. Though there is only 200 pages left after that, it is hard to keep pushing to finish. For that reason, I think I am going to give this book a 2.75 out of 5 stars.

Compared to the Movie

This book is the only one to receive 2 movies. The first movie tracks until Dobby’s death, while the second movie really focuses on the Battle at Hogwarts. There is little that is not included in the movies, although some things are changed or moved around. Actually, I think the first movie especially has add-ins to try and emphasize the emotions when they were hidden in the woods. I personally like the adaptations, although there were clearly moments that were added for comedic or dramatic effect. More or less, they are pretty spot on.

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!

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince 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.

Now that the Ministry is aware that Voldemort has returned, Minister Fudge is removed and Minister Scrimgeour is his replacement. His first task is to deal with the headlines that begin to reach muggle ears, including deaths and a bridge collapse.

Harry receives a note from Dumbledore stating that he will collect him from the Dursleys. They head to a village where Harry convinces Professor Slughorn to join Hogwarts. Pleased with Harry, Dumbledore takes Harry to the Burrow (the Weasley house) to stay for the rest of the summer. Before he lets him go, however, Dumbledore explains that he wants to have private lessons with Harry this year. In the Burrow, Harry learns that Bill, Ron’s older brother, is engaged to former Beauxbaton champion, Fleur Delacour, much to the chagrin of the other Weasleys. The family heads to Diagon Alley to get everything they need for the upcoming year, but Harry, Ron, and Hermione catch Malfoy heading to Borgin and Burkes in neighboring Knockturn Alley.

As they head to Hogwarts, Harry and Neville are invited to attend a lunch in Slughorn’s train car. These meals become known as the Slug Club, a collection of students that Slughorn sees as potentially beneficial for him to know. On the way back, Harry uses his invisibility cloak to sneak into Draco’s car to see if he gives any information about what he was doing in Borgin and Burkes. Malfoy catches him and attacks Harry, intending for Harry to never make it to the castle. When he finally does thanks to discovery from an Order member, Harry and his fellow students learn that Professor Slughorn will be taking over Potions, while Snape will become the new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor.

Since Professor Slughorn’s standards for his N.E.W.T. classes is less than Snape’s, Harry is able to take Potions. Since he didn’t think he would be able to take the class, he did not have a textbook yet, so he borrowed an old copy from the school. The book was originally owned by the “Half-Blood Prince”, though there is no information as to who that witch or wizard could be. Using the book, Harry has instructions that improve the potion making process, causing him to quickly excel in the class. Much to Hermione’s frustration, Harry was able to win a bottle of Felix Felicis, also known as liquid luck.

When Harry attends his first lesson with Dumbledore, he learns that they are going to be going back through memories to get a better understanding of Tom Riddle and how he eventually became Lord Voldemort. Through these memories, Dumbledore gives Harry an idea of the air of pain and anguish that Voldemort experienced as a child and eventual adult. It also gave them an idea of what Voldemort found important. However, they were missing one huge memory, a memory that Harry would have to recover himself from Professor Slughorn.

As the Quidditch captain, Harry had to choose who would be on the team this year. Both Ginny and Ron made the team, which caused a lot of people to believe that Harry was only giving the team spots to his friends. With that pressure, Ron started to lose faith that he could be good enough for the team and his performance began to slip. Harry, trying to think how he could help his friend, pretended to slip Felix Felicis into Ron’s drink, letting him think that he would be able to make lucky saves. Following the match, Ron was kissed by Lavender Brown in front of the entire common room. Hermione was hurt that Ron would kiss someone blatantly in front of her, and they stopped talking to each other after that.

Returning from a Hogsmeade trip, fellow Gryffindor Katie Bell is cursed by a necklace. Believing that Malfoy was behind it, Harry tried to explain to McGonagall, but she believed Harry just held a grudge against him. When Draco crashes Slughorn’s Christmas party, Harry overhears Snape say that he took an Unbreakable Vow with Draco’s mother to help him this year. This information just cements in Harry’s mind that Draco is up to something very bad.

When Ron accidentally eats love-potioned chocolates that were for Harry, Harry takes him to Professor Slughorn. After receiving an antidote, Slughorn offers Ron and Harry a drink of mead. However, the mead was poisoned, causing Harry to save Ron’s life. They learn that the mead was supposed to be a gift for Professor Dumbledore, leading Harry to believe that Malfoy was behind the attack once again.

As he tries to figure out how he could get the memory from Slughorn, he realizes that he needs some luck. He takes the liquid luck and is able to finally get the final piece of the puzzle: Voldemort created 7 horcruxes in order to prevent him from dying. In order to kill Voldemort, he would have to eliminate all of the horcruxes first. He also learns that he destroyed one in his second year: the diary from the Chamber of Secrets. He also learns that Dumbledore had destroyed another one: the ring from Slytherin. He also learns that the other Horcruxes are more than likely a locket that Voldemort’s mother used to own, a cup from Hufflepuff, an item from Ravenclaw, and Voldemort’s snake, Nagini. When Dumbledore believes he knows how to get another horcrux, he takes Harry. There they try to decipher the tricks and spells placed by Voldemort in the hopes of destroying yet another horcrux.

I think that this book was probably the coolest in the sense that we finally started to understand who Voldemort was and why he became the Dark Lord. Since this is the last time Harry will be able to get help from Dumbledore, it provides this big crescendo of now that we know what brought us here, let’s start the war. It is very well written, although there were a few times where you wanted to just scream at the book to give us all the information instead of making us work for it. It does drag sometimes since Dumbledore continues to only give us information in short spurts. Overall, I would give this one a 3.75 out of 5 stars.

Compared to the Movie

Once again, the movie got the broad strokes, but it missed a lot of really cool things. For example, the movie only showed the memory of Tom in the orphanage, but missed all of the memories of his mother before his birth. I think that out of all the longer books, this movie was probably the best. It covered what it needed to cover, but we can’t forget that the book obviously filled in holes that the movie just didn’t have time to cover.

One of the weird things they changed was the Christmas at the Burrow. In the book, Harry is visited by Scrimgeour and Percy as they try to convince him to be the face of the ministry. However, in the movie, the Burrow is visited by a bunch of Death Eaters that end up blowing the Burrow apart. The Burrow is still standing in the 7th book. This scene is a very weird addition to the series.

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!

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix 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.

While with the Dursleys, Harry and Dudley are attacked by 2 dementors. The Ministry accused Harry of using magic inappropriately, which caused him to be expelled. However, Dumbledore was able to convince the Ministry that they should schedule a hearing rather than expel him outright. Trying to increase his protection, Harry is moved to Sirius’ house, home of the Order of the Phoenix, the anti-Voldemort movement. The Order takes Harry to his hearing where he is acquitted of the charges.

As they head back to school, the students learn that the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher is Dolores Umbridge, a Ministry official. She believes that the best way to teach the students defense is by giving them a theoretical education rather than one based on practice. When Harry defends his position that Voldemort has returned, Umbridge punishes him by making him write lines stating that “I must tell lies” using his own blood.

As the students become frustrated with the Defense Against the Dark Arts class, Hermione asks Harry if he would be willing to teach a group of students the defensive magic he has learned over the past years. This group of students becomes known as Dumbledore’s Army, a play on the Ministry’s biggest fear.

Throughout the year, Harry has dreams about a room in the Ministry called the Department of Mysteries. He believes that these dreams are connected to Voldemort, but does not want to ask Dumbledore for help since he has barely seen him. However, when Mr. Weasley is attacked right before Christmas, he immediately seeks help from the Order to get him to safety. Having confirmed that he has a direct connection to Voldemort, Dumbledore sends Harry to Professor Snape for Occlumency lessons in the hope of protecting Harry’s mind. Harry found the process difficult and rarely practiced, leaving his mind vulnerable.

Since Umbridge has shut down Harry every time he speaks about Voldemort and the papers refused to discuss his return, Hermione gets Harry to do an interview with Rita Skeeter for The Quibbler, a anti-Voldemort paper. Umbridge continued to place more and more restrictions on the students in the hopes of maintaining order, but faced backlash everytime. Two of the biggest rule breakers were the Weasley twins, who had created a line of joke products called Weasley Wheezes. These products would become a huge problem to Umbridge, one that would cause her great stress.

Having spent the summer trying to create a pact with the giants to fight against Voldemort, Hagrid returns to Hogwarts. However, he did not return alone; he also brought home his half-brother Grawp. Fearing that Umbridge was going to have him fired, Hagrid asks Harry, Hermione, and Ron to look after him.

When a member of Dumbledore’s Army rats on the group to Umbridge, Dumbledore is forced to explain a group he had no part of. He covers for the students, causing him to be removed as Headmaster. He avoids request, but is forced to be on the run.

In his final Occlumency lesson, Snape is asked to leave the room, but accidentally leaves a memory he avoided Harry seeing in the Pensieve. Harry, intrigued, looked in and saw that his father was a bully towards Snape, concerning him. He contacts Sirius to ask about it, with the Weasley twins creating a large distraction resulting in them leaving the school for good.

Harry sees a vision of Sirius being tortured in the Department of Mysteries. Concerned, he tries to contact him but is unable to. He is caught in the process by Umbridge who believes that he was trying to get orders from Dumbledore. With help from some members of Dumbledore’s Army, he escapes Umbridge’s grasp and begins the journey to save the only family he knows.

I think this book is when we really start to see Harry as resentful. So many of the adults in the Order want to protect him because they see him as too young to handle everything, but he feels like he has fought Voldemort multiple times already, so why shouldn’t he know what he is up against. Also, once he learns about the prophecy that began everything, he feels some resentment that Voldemort chose him and not the other potential victim, and I think that feeling also carries over. All-in-all, this is a very angry book, but I think this is the first book where we really feel the build-up towards the war. I think that this book is beautifully written, although it does take a toll. For anyone who finds the emotions in this book to be too much, it only gets worse in the next book, so pick up Half-Blood Prince at your own discretion. That being said, I think that this book would be a 3.75 out of 5 from me.

Compared to the Movie

There are so many things that the movie did right and did wrong. Probably one of the most heart wrenching moments that they changed for the movie was Sirius’ last words. In the book, he taunts his future killer (spoiler), but in the movie, he says “nice one, James” to Harry. While it was always implied in the book that Sirius would sometimes confuse Harry with his father, the pain of referring to him as James is ROUGH. The movie also completely ignored the prefects and the frustration from Harry for not becoming one. Also, can we talk about how the movie should 100% have had Umbridge’s hand come out of the fire when she tried to catch Sirius? That would have been sick!

The movie did also try and make humor about things like the Room of Requirement and Umbridge’s decrees, but by doing so, created a different atmosphere relating to the anger and frustration and fear that the students were feeling. I think a large part of that is the book is so heavy that they wanted to bring some light to the movie. Which, I get, but it feels a lot different in the book. They also really emphasized the anger that Harry was feeling was due to his connection to Voldemort. I think that is partly true, but I think it does minimize the anger that Harry was feeling from his own emotions. I think that the movie did a pretty good job of the general plot, although I feel like they could have made Umbridge so much worse.

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!

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire 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.

We open on a scene in the Riddle House (for those of you that might have forgotten, Lord Voldemort’s (aka the bad guy) family name is Riddle), where we find a conversation between Lord Voldemort and his follower, Wormtail. As the conversation continues, the former gardener comes to investigate the light. That investigation ends in his death. In another part of the country, Harry Potter awakes with pain in his scar. Believing that the murder he just witnessed was a dream, he chooses to ignore the incident.

Harry’s best friend’s, Ron’s, father was able to secure tickets to the Quidditch World Cup final for the children in the family. They head to see the Bulgaria vs. Ireland match where they sit in the top box, aka the Ministry box. There they see a house elf that is sitting by itself and seems uncomfortable. Following the match (where Ireland won), the camps begin to celebrate the win. However, things start to take a turn at night when the Dark Mark appears.

After that delightful experience, the students return to Hogwarts. They learn that Hogwarts is going to be the host for the Triwizard Tournament, where a champion from each of the schools (Hogwarts, Durmstrang, and Beauxbatons) will compete for a cash prize and glory. The students also learn that the new Defense Against the Dark Arts is famous auror, “Mad-Eye” Moody. Even though the rules claim that the champion has to be a student from the school and 17, somehow Harry’s name gets entered into the Goblet of Fire. Viktor Krum becomes the Durmstrang champion, Fleur Delacour from Beauxbatons, and Cedric Diggory becomes the Hogwarts champion. When Harry becomes an unexpected 4th champion, he is forced to compete.

In the first task, the champions had to collect an egg from a nesting dragon mother. Once they are able to collect the egg, they can use the egg to prepare for the next task. Following the task, the students are invited to attend the Yule Ball, a dance intended to include all students from all the schools to increase intercommunication. The Ball is the first time we see Hermione with Viktor Krum.

Since Harry warned him of the first task, Cedric gives Harry a hint that helps him prepare for the second task in the lake. Following the task, Harry and Cedric are even in the scores. As they prepare for the final task, the champions face the greatest threat of all, they just don’t know it yet.

Can I just say, my synopsis is so glossed over. There is so much more to the book that I am skipping over because I don’t want to be here forever, but man, is it good. This book is when the novels in the series begin to become slightly ridiculous in size. In fact, this book is almost double each of the 3 books before it. While so fun, it does get tedious at times. There were a lot of times where I would play the scenes as I remembered it from the movie in my head, and that was how I was able to get through the scene. While the details and the extra scenes that never made the movie cut are great, it doesn’t change the fact that this is a hefty book. I think overall I would give this book a 4 out of 5 stars.

Compared to the Movie

Let’s be real, the movie adaption sucked. Well, not the movie, I think that the movie for what it is worth is entertaining, but as an adaption, it sucked. Firstly, they for some reason decided that the Beauxbaton Academy is all-girls, which is not the case in the book. One of the reasons that people are upset by this change is that Fleur Delacour was chosen as the victor above even the male students, but by making the academy all-female, they make it that she was just the best of the female students. While that isn’t a huge distinction, it does change the way that we look at Fleur as a character.

One of the other changes is that the house elves are completely taken out of the story. While ghosts are removed from the movies, anything involving Hermione’s work for the house elves. Admittedly, both things were probably removed because they provided little to no addition to the relative plot. As a movie director (as I have zero qualifications, I am 100% going to be talking out of my butt on this one), you have to make decisions on what can go into the movie and what you can throw away in order to make the general time crunch of 2-3 hours. Beyond that time, the general audience will probably lose interest, so you adapt. You pick what you need in order to tell the generalized story.

As a reader, I get it, but also… that sucks. As I think about it, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire are drastically different in page length. In fact, Goblet of Fire is two times as long as Sorcerer’s Stone, but the movies are the same length time-wise. Clearly things had to be shifted, tossed, or combined in order to get the screen time. But this is why kids we say read the book, because if you don’t, you are missing out on quite an adventure.
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!

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban 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.

When Harry loses control, he ends up blowing his aunt up like a balloon. Not wanting to deal with the repercussions, Harry leaves the house and takes the Knight Bus to the Leaky Cauldron, the entrance to Diagon Alley. There, Harry learns that a prisoner escaped Azkaban, the wizard prison. The prisoner is Sirius Black, the man who shared the location of the Potters to Voldemort, thus resulting in their death.

As Harry, Ron, and Hermione make their way back to Hogwarts, the train is stopped by Dementors, the guards of Azkaban. Luckily, they were in a train car with the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, Professor Lupin. He then returns to Hogwarts to start his year, where one of he begins his least favorite class, Divination taught by Professor Trelawney. Trelawny has a habit of predicting that Harry will confront the “grim”, the omen of death. Harry also began Care of Magical Creatures Class with Hagrid. During the first class, Malfoy provokes the hippogriff, Buckbeak, causing him to be injured.

Since the Dursleys would not give him permission to join the rest of the students into the neighboring village of Hogsmeade, causing him to earn the Marauder’s Map from the Weasley twins, a map that shows him where people are within the castle grounds. Using the map, Harry learns that the reason Sirius ended up in Azkaban was because he killed his friend, Peter Pettigrew.

When dementors attack Harry during a quidditch match, Professor Lupin begins to teach him how to protect himself using a Patronus charm. While Harry gets better, it never becomes a full Patronus. Months later, Buckbeak is sentenced to death. On the way back from says goodbye, Harry, Ron, and Hermione are attacked by a dog which drags Ron beneath the Whomping Willow. As Harry and Hermione race after them, they race to the truth of what happened 12 years prior.

I would say that out of all the books, this one is probably my favorite. I don’t know if it is because of the content or the character development, but this one has always been my favorite. For that reason, I am going to give it a 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Compared to the Movie

There are a lot of things the movie does right. Firstly, other than some order of things as well as the Quidditch matches, I think everything more or less is in the movie. I think out of all the movies, this one is my favorite. However, one of the things that the books take time to do that the movies do not is reenforce the fact that this is a school. We rarely see the students in class, and the times that we do are not about character development, but plot development. We learn a lot as the students grow up from their classes in un-plot moments. Movies are focused on motion not the person.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 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.

Harry spent the summer at the Dursleys’ when a house elf named Dobby appears. He warns Harry not to return to Hogwarts that year. Considering Hogwarts is the only place where he feels at home, Harry chooses not to heed his warning. In order to get his point across, Dobby uses magic in order to get Harry in trouble with both the Dursleys and the Ministry of Magic. The Dursleys put locks on his door and bars on his windows so Harry could not leave his room. However, the Ron Weasley and his twin brothers, Fred and George, showed up in the middle of the night in a flying car in order to rescue Harry and bring him to their house.

When they head into Diagon Alley to buy their school supplies, they learn that Gilderoy Lockhart will become the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. Lockhart, who definitely likes to hear himself talk, creates a crowd, leading to an awkward confrontation between the Malfoys and the Weasleys.

As they head to school, Harry and Ron end up getting stuck out of Platform 9-3/4, leaving them unable to catch the Hogwarts Express. They decided to take the flying car to school with the assumption that there was no other way. When they arrive, the car ends up landing in the Whomping Willow, a tree that clobbers anyone who comes near it. Once they are safely out of the willow’s range, the car kicks out Harry, Ron, and their luggage/pets. Once they return to the castle and get into significant trouble, they begin their year of classes. Harry, Ron, and their friend, Hermione, get invited to Nearly Headless Nick’s Deathday party, where they meet the ghosts of the castle. On their way back after the party, they come across a message claiming that the Chamber of Secrets has been opened. Beside the message is a petrified Mrs. Norris, the caretaker’s cat.

As the year continues, more and more people are coming away petrified. These victims are primarily “Mudbloods”, wizards who came from two muggle parents. In order to see if they could get information from him, Ron, Harry, and Hermione try to use Polyjuice Potion (a potion that allows the user to gain the appearance of another person) to interrogate Malfoy, which unfortunately produces no results. Harry ends up finding a diary in a bathroom that says it belong to Tom Marvolo Riddle. Realizing that he was at Hogwarts when the Chamber was opened before, Harry uses the diary to learn about what Tom saw. According to Tom, Hagrid was the original opener of the Chamber. When Hermione is attacked, Harry and Ron go to Hagrid to see what he can tell them. He leads them into the forest to talk to the original monster Hagrid got in trouble for, Aragog. There they learn that Hagrid had nothing to do with the Chamber of Secrets.

On their return, Harry and Ron begin to realize that if anyone is going to get into the Chamber, it is going to have to be them. As soon as they figure out where and how to get into the Chamber, Ginny Weasley is taken by the Chamber’s monster. Planning on taking Lockhart with them due to his extensive resume, the boys enter the Chamber of Secrets to find the secrets within.

I personally have nothing against the book, but it isn’t one of my favorites. I would probably give it a 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Compared to the Movie

One of the most significant scenes that was not put in the movie was the Deathday party. In fact, wee see a lot of the ghost interactions go to the wayside after the first movie. Otherwise the movie sticks pretty well to the book. One of the very slight things that I noticed at the end of the movie (spoilers ahead), Lucius Malfoy began to say the Killing Curse, but never said that in the book. Whether that was because Rowling had not created the spell yet or because the movie accentuated Lucius’ behavior, but I did find that one an interesting deferral.

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!

Cold Hearted: A Tale of the Wicked Stepmother

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.

Lady Tremaine travels to her best friend’s house to relax and unwind. She chooses to leave her two daughters behind after they had acted impishly, taking only her lady’s maid, Mrs. Bramble. While at the friend’s house, she learns that her friend has set Lady Tremaine up with Sir Richard of the Many Kingdoms. After a few conversations, Sir Richard proposes marriage and request Lady Tremaine and her daughters come at once to his chateau. While initially Lady Tremaine believed that she had found a love match and that she would get to live in the same manner as she did in England, she learns very quickly that Sir Richard has a completely idea. He only wants Lady Tremaine to be the glorified housekeeper while he spends her money he won upon their marriage. Slowly, Lady Tremaine begins to fall into a complete tailspin, which shows us that not only Cinderella was the victim in the situation.

Nanny and the Fairy Godmother receive word from Cinderella that she is concerned for her stepsisters. Looking back at the events that led to Lady Tremaine’s time in the chateau, they have to make the decision on whether they will help the two sisters or not.

I don’t think I have ever read a book where they make Cinderella out to be so mean. Listen, I get that in a lot of ways, that was caused by her father, but Cinderella was not the greatest person in the world as we were led to believe. Also, her father is a jerk. Like major jerk, trying to censor myself level jerk. I do think it is important to note, while I totally empathize with Lady Tremaine, I feel like we kinda ignore the stepsisters. I mean, they are colloquially known as the “ugly stepsisters” and that isn’t cool. It is interesting to me that we see that they had to go through all of the house cleaning and seem unempathetic to Cinderella doing ALL the work that the two of them did together. That to me says they don’t deserve the help they receive.

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!

Evil Thing: A Tale of that De Vil Woman

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.

When Cruella is growing up, she wants nothing more than to be someone her mom is proud of. However, her mom is Awful (capital A worthy). On the other hand, her father was a gem. He tried to encourage Cruella to not become like her mother and become a kind and welcoming person. When her father passed, he chose to give Cruella his entire estate rather than giving it to Cruella’s mother, with the only condition that she keep the De Vil name. Her mother tried to actively come up with ways to regain control of the money, mainly by manipulating Cruella’s emotions. During this time, Cruella found comfort in her friend, Anita, as well as her staff. When Cruella’s mother finds her a husband, Cruella can’t believe how lucky she was to find her match. But when things take a turn in her life, she begins to slowly fall apart more and more until she eventually reaches the point we see her in 101 Dalmations.

If you look at any other reviews of this book (which why would you when mine is so good?), you will probably see that this book is really a stand-alone one in the series. I’m going to go farther than that, I think that this book, while under the same initial concept as the other books, is really its own completely separate entity. There is a very vague connection to the other books, mainly through the “fairytale” of Tulip and Poppinjay, but Valentino was unable to bring Cruella into the same universe as the Odd Sisters (which can you imagine how chaotic that would be?).

In a lot of ways, this book reminds me of The Series of Unfortunate Events series. Especially the author’s note where she talks about writing the book based off of interviews and stuff. While a really cool idea, it completely changes the pattern of the series. This isn’t a bad thing, it feels very jarring after 6 books in a different template.

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 Odd Sisters: A Tale of Three Witches

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.

As Snow is reading the fairy tales book, she discovers that there are pages missing from the Odd Sisters story. She and Circe go back to Miss Tiddlebottom from the previous book to see if the pages were in Gothel’s belongings. When they learn that Gothel’s sisters, Primrose and Hazel, returned from the dead, they head back to the Dead Woods to try and help them understand what was going on. While there, they learn of the biggest secret of all, who exactly the Odd Sisters are. Meanwhile, the Fairy Council are meeting to figure out how they are going to punish the Odd Sisters for all of the damage they have caused.

In a lot of ways, this book feels like the end. However, it also feels like it ends on a cliffhanger. There is clearly more to the series, but I feel like this will be the end of the Odd Sisters playing a critical role in the villain’s backstory. What does concern me is that everything felt so wrapped up that it felt almost forced to continue the series.

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!