Harry Potter Re-Read 2017 (HP & The Prisoner of Azkaban)

I’m really behind on these but I promise that I will finish them!

For 2017, I decided I wanted to re-read the Harry Potter books since it has been a long time, and to also read HP related books. In March, I read the third book in the series, The Prisoner of Azkaban, in the paperback edition.

Since I’ve already completed my re-read of the books, I’m going to go ahead and say that this one is my third favorite of the series. It used to be my second favorite but somehow GOF beat it with this re-read.

I love the plot and new characters (Professor Lupin, Crookshanks, and Professor Trelawney). It was also interesting seeing how some of the older characters, such as the trio, continue to develop. Their development seemed a bit more apparent in this one.

Sadly I didn’t make any recipes from my Harry Potter cookbook. I haven’t made any since January. Hopefully I can resolve that next month!

The movie is probably my favorite out of all of them so far (I am way behind on my re-watches).

I loved a lot of scenes but The Knight Bus & the Boggart scenes are probably my top favorites. This movie’s climax also worked really well. I’m always sad when Harry has the chance to finally have a nice home life and has it ruthlessly taken away from him though.

I am so glad I decided to re-read this series.

 

 

May-July Book Haul

Here are my most recent additions!

I got P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han from eBay but it didn’t have a dust jacket so I ended up buying an edition that had it. Animorphs #33: The Illusion came from BookMooch.

Here’s the other copy of P.S. I Still Love You. I’ll probably trade the other one in at the used bookstore or donate it. Lux Beginnings by Jennifer L. Armentrout came from BookMooch.

 

When I heard Hulu was doing a series, I decided to get The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood from Book Depository because it was taking so long to get from the library. And even though I already own a copy, I got this edition of Oliver Twist from the library outlet. It also has golden edged pages.

 

I got all of these at my library’s outlet store.

 

 

I loved this book (Heckedy Peg) as a child so when I saw it on eBay, I couldn’t resist.

 

My last Owlcrate came with TWO books! The Sandcastle Empire by Kayla Olson & New World Rising by Jennifer Wilson. This was a great box.

 

I also tried out Nerdy Post and got some cool bookish/fandom items, including some really nice bookmarks. I’ve been using the one on the left for a couple of months now.

 

Along with the Owlcrate books in a previous picture, I also got Of Fire and Stars (originally from Owlcrate but I found it on Ebay), a Jeremy Clarkson book (library outlet), Outlander (library outlet), Anna and the French Kiss (Book Outlet), & Sweep (Book Outlet).

 

I think that’s it. Summer tends to be a big book buying time for me so I don’t feel I did as bad as last year and while I don’t regret any of my purchases, I probably won’t get to most of these this year. I did read The Handmaid’s Tale, though!

 

Still, 16 in 3 months isn’t too bad for books themselves. I’m not counting the extra Jenny Han since I’m getting rid of it.

 

What books have you bought lately?

 

Mid Year Freak Out Book Tag

So I’m a bit late on this one, but ah well. Better late than never!

The original tag was created by Chami (who’se video has apparantly been taken down).


1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2017:
Gwendy’s Button Box by Stephen King & Richard Chizmar

2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2017:
Dark Angel by V.C. Andrews (re-read)

3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to:
Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller

4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year:
There’s Someone in Your House by Stephanie Perkins

5. Biggest disappointment:
RoseBlood by A.G. Howard

6. Biggest surprise:
The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis

7. Favourite new author (Debut or new to you): 

Angie Thomas

8. Newest fictional crush:
Levi from Fangirl

9. Newest favourite character:
Alex Craft 
from The Female of the Species, though re-reading Blood Red Road made me love Saba even more.

10. Book that made you cry:
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

11. Book that made you happy:
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

12. Favourite book to film adaptation you saw this year:
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (re-watch but I haven’t seen anything new yet).

13. Favourite review you’ve written this year:
Honestly, no idea, haha.

14. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received):
Definitely The Deluxe edition of Harry Potter and the Philospher’s Stone, given to me as a gift from my husband.

15. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?:

From my 17 Books List: This is Our Story, Slice of Cherry, I’ll Give You the Sun, Rooms, The Dead House, Rage Within, Meg, & Hotel Ruby.

From Last Year: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Rebel Heart: The Dust Lands, Afterparty, Crank, & Smashed.

Series: Pretty Little Liars (Ali’s Pretty Little Lies & Vicious), Cahill Witch Chronicles (Star Cursed & Sister’s Fate), Jasper Dent (I Hunt Killers, Game, Blood of my Blood), Dust Lands (Rebel Heart, Raging Star).

Classics: The Jungle Book, Hamlet, Dracula, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, & Alice Through the Looking Glass.

So a good bit but I’m fairly sure I will get most of these read.
 I feel I’m doing a pretty good job so far.

 

If you want to do the tag, consider yourself tagged! Let me know you’ve done it so I can see how your reading goals are going!

 

 

Books in July 2017

For 2017, I have challenged myself to read 80 books. In July, I read six.

 

New Favorite: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Classic: The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien

Old Favorites (Re-Reads): Blood Red Road by Moira Young; Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling.

I enjoyed everything I read this month!

 

My new favorite read for July.

My classic read for the month.

My favorite re-read.

Even though Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows isn’t my favorite in the series, I still loved it and thought it was a great ending.

I also got this awesome Shark Movie Mania Rue Morgue magazine and even though I was a bit annoyed that I ended up with two copies, it was really cool.

So what did you read in July and what were your favorites? How many books are you tackling for 2017?

jnc

Books in June 2017

For 2017, I have challenged myself to read 80 books. In June, I read five.

 

New Favorite: Gwendy’s Button Box by Stephen King & Richard Chizmar

Classic: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Old Favorites (Re-Reads): My Sweet Audrina by V.C. Andrews

June was a slower reading month but I still enjoyed everything I read. Hoping to get a little more read next month. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince was a re-read but since it was my least favorite of the series (still gave it 4 stars), I decided it didn’t count as a favorite.

 

My new favorite read for June … and also for 2017 so far. It was hard to put down!

Also ❤

My classic read for the month. I enjoyed this one even more than Tom Sawyer.

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince is my least favorite of the series so far but I still enjoyed it.

 

And My Sweet Audrina managed to make me love it even more this time around. It’s one seriously messed up story with even more messed up characters, but I can’t help it. I love it!

So what did you read in June and what were your favorites? How many books are you tackling for 2017?

jnc

Books in May 2017

For 2017, I have challenged myself to read 80 books. In May, I read six.

 

New Favorite: The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury

Classic: Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury

Old Favorites (Re-Reads): Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling & Web of Dreams by V.C. Andrews.

I had a great reading month. I enjoyed everything I read so I decided not to pick a least liked for this month.

 

 

My new favorite read for May.

My classic read for the month.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is my favorite of the series so far. It was my favorite out of all of them years ago so I guess we’ll see if that is still true over the next few months!

Web of Dreams is definitely one of my favorite ghostwritten VCA books. I did a recap for it here.

So what did you read in May and what were your favorites? How many books are you tackling for 2017?

jnc

VCA Recaps: Web of Dreams Part 5 (Final)

Just like in my previous VCA recaps, these will be full of SPOILERS so do not continue if you do not want to be spoiled/haven’t read it. Thank you!

 

Part 1 here.

This recap will cover Chapters 18—Epilogue.

Leigh bathes, dresses, and joins everyone for dinner. She is obviously not feeling it but of course Jillian ignores her lack of enthusiasm and relishes in slamming some of the dieters she met at her “wonder spa.”

Jillian tells Leigh that she has some of the things from Switzerland in another room and that she wants her to see them. Tony pulls Leigh back for a moment. He tells her that he doesn’t harbor any resentment toward her for what she said to Jillian and how they both understand how Leigh is “literally exploding into womanhood.”

Leigh tells him that eventually her mother will believe her. Poor thing. Tony goes on about teenage girls, blah blah blah. Leigh calls him despicable and goes to see her mother’s things. Of course Jillian continues to drone on about the stupid spa. Leigh attempts to talk to her mother again but gives up when Jillian starts to complain about her “starting all that again.” Jillian is even worse than Tony.

Jillian gives Leigh a watch that Leigh couldn’t care less about. Leigh continues to attempt to talk to her mother but eventually gives up and retreats into herself. She even ignores Jennifer and Joshua’s phone calls. Leigh begins to find solitude in nature.

Jillian returns to her social life and Tony keeps his distance from Leigh. In July he goes off to Europe. When Cleave calls, Leigh basically begs him to come see her, and without Mildred. Of course Cleave can’t leave his precious Mildred. I’m pretty sure he knows the truth about Leigh’s paternity somehow. Maybe Jillian told him so Leigh would have no one.

Still, Leigh looks forward to seeing her father even with Mildred only to get stood up—there’s an emergency on one of the liners. She runs up to her room and starts feeling bad. In the morning she throws up and realizes with horror that she’s missed her period. She knows she’s pregnant.

She waits a few more days but the sickness doesn’t go away. Finally she goes to Jillian to tell her the news, sure that it will make her believe her this time! Poor Leigh. Jillian seems skeptical at first and then blames Leigh for seducing her husband.

Jillian insists that Leigh must be jealous of her and that she tried so hard to bring her up right, and that GOOD GIRLS DON’T GO ALL THE WAY! Just like Jillian didn’t, right? She’s such a hypocrite! Leigh finally calls her out on it too, revealing that she overheard Jana discussing Leigh’s real father.

Of course Jillian refuses to confess to it.

“How dare you shout at me like this! I’m your mother.”

“No, you’re not. I have no mother and I have no father. You thought you could have it all, didn’t you? Only the finest! A handsome young husband, a luxurious estate, a designer wardrobe, and a SPECIALLY SELECTED MISTRESS FOR YOUR OWN HUSBAND!”

Damn, girl. She’s not finished though.

“Tell me, Momma, when did you first get the idea? On your honeymoon? When you returned to Farthy? When did you realize that your beauty wouldn’t last forever and would start FADING! That’s right, fading! With each passing day you grow older and older, Momma. But you’ve always known that, deep in your heart of hearts. I CAN’T STAND YOU ANYMORE! You don’t care about anything but yourself and your precious face. Well let me tell you something, Jillian Tatterton, the game is OVER! You’re going to be a GRANDMOTHER and the only person you have to blame is YOURSELF!”

Ah, I think Jillian’s revulsion to the word “grandmother” back in earlier books may have something to do with Leigh finally calling her out on her shit.

These are the last words Leigh says to Jillian as she returns to her suite and starts packing. She also takes Angel with her. Leigh decides that she’ll go to her grandmother since she knows what Jillian is really like. She also takes two hundred dollars from Tony’s office. Really, it’s the least he can do.

She goes outside to find Miles polishing the car and pretends that she has an appointment and that Jillian must have forgotten to notify anyone. Before they can leave, Leigh spots Troy out with his nurse and knows she must say goodbye.

They are just on their way back from the beach and Troy is excited to show Leigh a huge conch shell he found. Leigh tells him that she has to leave and won’t be back for a while. She promises that somehow, someway, she’ll be back. While this isn’t exactly true, I suppose Heaven returning to Farthy later on sort of fulfills her promise.

Troy insists that Leigh take the shell with her. Miles drops Leigh off at the train station and she discovers the train will have to make a stop in Atlanta before it goes all the way to Texas. She takes the train right away.

The next day the train stops in Atlanta and Leigh stays at the station counting what little money she has left. Suddenly someone says that they bet they can turn one of her dollars into a five-dollar-bill. She turns and sees a young man, around seventeen or so. Luke Thomas Casteel.

Leigh is somewhat wary but lets him have one of her bills. She watches, amazed, as he turns it into a five-dollar-bill. He says he figures she needed it from the way she was counting her money. When she says she can’t take money from a stranger, he introduces himself.

The two get to talking and Leigh learns that Luke has a part-time job at the local circus. She also tells him the surface details of where she is from and where she is going. When he realizes Leigh means to stay at the station and has no where to go, he invites her to go to the circus with him.

She accepts and they have a good time. It’s almost like a first date. Luke also becomes more self conscious when Leigh questions him about drinking beer. Luke gives Leigh a quick kiss on the lips. After finishing a show, Leigh realizes that she is going to miss her train.

Luke tries his best to get her to the station on time but they still miss it. When he suggests she call her grandmother to let her know she will be late, Leigh breaks down crying and tells him the real reason she’s running away. Luke acts way more upset about it than Jillian’s pinky finger.

He rents her a motel room for the night with two beds and stays when she insists he enjoy the room as well. Luke plans to take her to the station in the morning. Leigh has a nightmare and Luke comforts her. They end up falling asleep in each other’s arms and Luke tells her that he wants to take care of her.

In the morning Luke insists that he meant what he said last night and asks her to marry him. While I do think Luke and Leigh’s relationship so far as been cute, this seems a bit drastic, even given Leigh’s situation. Still, this is the best version of Luke in all of the books.

Luke and Leigh go to the courthouse to get married with most of the circus people there as witnesses. Everyone seems happy about the marriage except for the fortune teller, who looks worried as Luke and Leigh drive away afterward.

Irony of ironies, Luke is the one to give Heaven her full name and he suggests it as he takes Leigh to the Willies. They stop for food and Leigh gets onto Luke about drinking again. She also sends her mother a postcard telling her that she has married Luke. She also says she hopes Jillian is happy (sincerely) and that Jillian will wish the same to her.

Luke explains about the rich people of Winnerow when they pass by the town. Leigh is shocked by the cabin that Luke finally arrives at and meets a younger Annie and Toby Casteel. Annie seems unsure about Leigh and her “softness.”

Everyone has a good laugh at Leigh’s reaction to an outhouse and Luke promises to build her a really nice one. He also promises that soon they will have their own home.

Leigh learns to adjust to life in the Willies and finds Annie to be very easy to talk to as she helps her around the house. Annie and Toby insist on Luke and Leigh having the bed because “all Casteels are made in beds” but Luke tells Leigh that they can wait until the baby has come. Luke really does seem to love her.

Luke’s drinking continues to be somewhat of a problem. Leigh considers getting money from her trust or reaching out to her dad for help but Luke has strong pride and insists that he will make their dreams come true without any help.

When Luke first takes Leigh to church, she sees how the townspeople treat them and pulls Luke to the front, a bold move that pleases Annie very much afterwards.

They all go to a party after and Leigh reflects on how it’s even better than her birthday party because everyone seems to be happy with one another. She notices Sarah Williams, Luke’s future wife, dancing with him and starts to get jealous. Luke insists that he only has eyes for her. We know that’s not true considering Sarah gave birth to Tom only a few months after Heaven arrived.

On Christmas Eve, Luke gives Leigh a wedding dress and veil for Angel. The weather is beginning to get colder. In February, Luke and Leigh are on one of their nightly walks when she starts to feel Heaven kick. She also feels some pain but is afraid to worry Luke.

Leigh tells him that she thinks it won’t be much longer and gets a good glimpse of the star studded night sky so she can “feel as if she’s falling asleep in Heaven” later. Foreshadowing…

That seems to be the last of Leigh’s logbook minus a letter from a private eye that Tony had hired who tells him that Leigh was found to be living in West Virginia and that she died in childbirth. He mentions that the baby, a girl, lived.

Which is a total plot hole unless Tony wanted his daughter to fall in love with his little brother? That seems too messed up even for Tony. Or did Jillian somehow get a hold of the letter and hide it from him?

Luke Casteel Jr. calls to Annie and she tells him about how she has been reading her grandmother’s journal. She imagines she is hearing Troy calling for Leigh and also the sound of Chopin as she and Luke leave Farthinggale Manor.

Overall I loved this one, though I feel like the whole discovery of the logbook makes little sense, causes plot holes, and honestly would have been better left out. You don’t have to have a journal to tell your story and I don’t believe a 12-13 year old would have left such a detailed account anyway. Still, loved it. My third favorite in the series.

I hope you have enjoyed this recap. Since the V.C. Andrews Project has already done a recap of My Sweet Audrina, I will probably skip doing that one though I may do one for the new sequel, Whitefern, which I hear is terrible. But I guess we’ll see!