Book Review: Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, Book 3) by [Rowling, J.K.]

“I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.” Seriously a quote to live by. This book is one of the more exciting of the series, at least in my opinion. It’s right at that breaking point, before Harry sort of loses his innocent boyish attitude and becomes more troubled by the mounting pressure of facing Voldemort.

As everyone already knows, I freaking love Harry Potter… This is my third time reading this particular book and I feel the exact same way as I did the first time reading it. They never seem to lose the magic.

So in this book we see Harry and his friends going into their third year at Hogwarts and face off with the infamous murderer, Sirius Black. This book raises so many question, who is Sirius Black? Why is he after Harry Potter? And how is Hermione making it to her overhauled classes?

This book is really awesome and  think it has a good message for younger kids. It teaches you to never judge a book by it’s cover, take rumors with a grain of salt, and that, above everything else it teaches people that relying on friends is a okay, especially in a time of need.

The only down fall about this book for me is the lack of Hermione, she’s busy throughout the book and she ends up fighting with the boys in the early chapters of the book. But she does have a heavy influence on the last third of the book! She is my favorite character, aside from Hagrid, I even have a replica of her time turner necklace! (Read this book to find out what that is, if you don’t already know!)

This book is amazing, I recommend it to every person, big or small. I think it serves the best purpose for children, because it’s chock full of life lessons.

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5/5 Of course, what else could I possibly put as my rating? These books are awesome and I recommend them to every person and every age group.

P.S. Don’t let the muggles get you down.

 

 

Almost Forgot To Post Today!

So I realized when I got home that I hadn’t scheduled a post for today, oops! So this is just an irregular post I’m going to do for a make up post.

So I guess I better start with why I forgot to post, I started working at the Book Bin here in Corvallis, and it has been kicking my butt. Who knew that a book store could be so much work?! Seriously, my feet hurt, I have a blister on my toe, and there is a whole lot to remember!

The register is literally the bane of my existence right now… I think I’m catching on finally but good lord it took me two days to feel relatively comfortable. It’s a good thing I work with really kind and patient people who are willing to bear with me as I learn the ropes.

Also, learning how the books are shelved and where all the sections/subsections are is horrifying. The stores not messy or unorganized or anything like that, it’s just a lot to take in. I’ve pretty much learned three whole sections, self-help, cooking, and christian fiction/non-fiction. I’ve only got like 20-30 more sections to go, heh heh…

Enough about the stresses of the job though, I do absolutely love it. I love being surrounded by books and book lovers, I love the people that come in, and I love helping people find just what they’re looking for. Not to mention I get an employee discount cha-ching… I’m probably going to spend all my checks on books, and not on bills…

So if you find yourself in Corvallis and need a new book or just want to kill some time, we have a wide selection of books and other novelty items, oh and did I mention AC to keep people out of the awful 100 degree weather we’re having?

Stop by Downtown Corvallis’s Book Bin and come see me!

Interview With Tracy M. Joyce

As you may recall I did a recent review of the book Altaica (https://writemoresleepless.wordpress.com/2016/07/27/book-review-altaica/), which I enjoyed quite a lot, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to interview the author, Tracy M. Joyce! I’m very excited to share this with you all, this is my first interview for my blog and I think it will help you guys to connect with the author and have an even deeper interest in her works!

Here is the interview:

*****

Would you mind just introducing yourself? Who you are? Where are you from?

 Firstly thanks, Savannah, for interviewing me.   I’m Tracy and I’m an Australian writer of epic fantasy.  I grew up in a small rural community known as Glenburn on, what was then, a dairy farm.  When we weren’t doing chores on the farm I had my head buried in a book.  Those books opened whole new worlds for me and it wasn’t long until I discovered that writing could do the same thing.  From about the age of twelve, I knew that I wanted to be a writer, but I was told that I needed to get a real job.  (Not bad advice, but not what you want to hear at twelve.)  After years of “real jobs” I was finally able to pursue my dream of writing and lucky enough to be published by Australian publisher, Odyssey Books.

I live with my husband and two crazy, but loveable dogs and a cat who is queen of household.

I’ve got two books out – Altaica and Asena Blessed (books 1 & 2 in The Chronicles of Altaica) and am working on book 3.

 

Is there a specific message in Altaica that you would like your readers to grasp?

I don’t know that I set out with a specific message in mind when I wrote Altaica, other than to show how good people could be capable of doing appalling things or making terrible choices, but I suppose what people can take away from it is that we all have to learn to live with the consequences of our actions and choices.  Even with the best intentions our choices can have far-reaching effects beyond what we envisioned.  If you’re lucky, these may be wonderful, however sometimes the fallout can be destructive.  Things can spiral off in directions that you never imagined.  Yet, sometimes we have to be the person who will make the hard decisions and we must have the courage to do so and live by that choice.

 

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Well, I suppose this question is a little like asking me which writer has influenced me and in light that, I would say writers such as Bernard Cornwall, Jack Whyte, Stephen Donaldson and early on, Jack Higgins.  If I had to choose one of them to be a mentor it would be Jack Whyte.

What projects are you currently working on? And what can you tell me about them?

I’m currently most of the way through a short story/prequel for book three in The Chronicles of Altaica — this story will be made available free before the end of the year and is set 15 years or so before the events of Altaica.

 

At the same time I am working on book three of The Chronicles of Altaica.  In this book I’ll take readers back to Arunabejar, the country that Isaura fled from, and the book will look at what is happening on that continent.  You’ll get to meet the bad guys, the Zaragarians, and see what they have been doing in Isaura’s homeland and to the rest of the continent.  There will be some more tidbits about Isaura’s lineage and you will meet a young heroine who is quite different from the others I have written.  This young woman is disabled and she is a lesson that heroes come in all shapes and sizes.  She has been partly inspired by my young friend Katie Attwood (https://www.facebook.com/Katie-Attwood-Para-Equestrian-652059731558421/) who is training hard with the aim of getting into the Aussie Para-Olympic equestrian team in Tokyo in 2020.

(The characters introduced in this novel will all tie in with the final book in the series which is aimed to be book five.)

What was the most difficult part about writing Altaica?

Gosh, I think the most difficult part was making the decision to effectively have the main character, Isaura, take a backseat for part of story and let the subsidiary characters carry the tale for a while.  It was risky to do this – readers are used to having the main character as an active participant all the way through the book, but I wanted to show the readers how the others would treat Isaura at her most vulnerable.

 

It also gave a chance for those other characters to come “into their own”, which I hoped would mean that readers would want spin-off stories for some of them and that has been the case.  For those of you who have not read the book, when I say “have her take a backseat”, she is still very much a part of what’s going on and everything is happening because of and around her – she is simply not able to be physically active in this section.  She is at the whims of a wild magic which threatens to consume her.  The other difficult decision was the multiple viewpoints.  Some readers love this, while other readers hate it, but I believe it can enrich a story enormously.  (By the way the character charts for the books can be printed from my website.)

 

What advice do you have for other writers?

Plan something – even if it is just knowing your beginning and ending and figuring out the rest as you go along.  You must have a goal that you’re aiming for in your story that way your writing will more likely stay on track.  Keep a notebook or a voice recorder with you at all times — write down or record all your ideas.

Programs such as Scapple, made by the people who make Scrivener, are incredibly useful to help you brainstorm, plan and plot.

Get good, objective, critical beta-readers – several of them as they are your market testing.  Persistence is key and a hide like a rhino.

Above all write and try not to let self-doubt and fear of failure hold you back.

 

For my final question, is there anything you would like to say to your readers?

Yes, I want to thank them and I want to thank all of those who have been kind enough to write reviews whether they loved it or they hated it — all reviews count.  For the ones who have loved it and who have emailed me, messaged me, written me fan mail and rushed up to me, excited at a convention, to find out where the next book is, I cannot tell you how much it means to me hear what the books meant to you and how much you love them.

If I make someone fall into the world of my books and see it unfolding before them like it was a movie, then I’ve done my job well.  All I want is to create a world that you can escape in — a world that you will love. If I do that for some of you then I’m pleased.  Thank you for your support.

*****

I highly recommend you check out the currently available books in The Chronicles of Altaica, I’m reading the second book in the series Asena Blessed and I am enjoying it a lot so far.

A huge thank you to Tracy M. Joyce for this wonderful interview!

Game of Thrones Bookish Box

Game of Thrones Bookish Box

This is what you see when you first open up your bookish box. There’s a nice little note explaining the contents of the box and an illustration by Evieseo.

After that I opened it up and receive a tumbler that says Winter is Coming by Knot Knirvana (I don’t have a separate picture of this because it’s already lost in my house somewhere) and next to it was a little bag with a stag on the outside, inside the bag is a little ring with antlers, a Baratheon ring by Appraising Pages!

Next to the bag is a Quote Bath Bomb (It’s super awesome!) Made by DaBomb Fizzers http://www.dabombfizzers.com/bathbombs/quote-bomb

The quote I got was “Valar morghulis” quite fitting for the GOT Bookish Box!

Underneath that is the T-Shirt that says ‘Readers live a thousand lives’ by Appraising Pages and a book bag that says squad goals, and has most of the main lady characters by Drop and Give Me Nerdy!

The T-shirt is super cute, has a map of Westeros in the background and is super soft!

I’d say this is well worth the money, a matter of fact I signed up for the monthly subscription! It’s about $30-$40, definitely worth it, I’d say this stuff is worth twice that!

I can’t wait to receive my next box!

P.S. Sorry for the crappy quality pics, my phone camera is acting weird…

 

 

Birthday Book Haul, and Other Amazing Things!

As you may or may not know, my birthday just passed, and I got a ton of books! A few of which I posted about the other day on 5 Books I Really Want, you can view that post here: https://writemoresleepless.wordpress.com/2016/07/29/5-books-i-really-want/

I have seen a ton of reviews on the top three books in the picture, and I have been dying to read them. I already cracked open The Merciless! I’m about 50 pages in and I like it so far! My mom gave me a gift card so that I could buy these for myself and I also used my gift card for a new messenger bag for my classes in the fall. My mom’s awesome!

The book Mink River was given to me by my totally rad step father Chad, Thanks Chad! It’s an autographed book by a local author. I’m very excited to read it.

Harry Potter And The Cursed Child was a gift from my little brother Hayden, I know my mom picked it out for him. But thanks anyways Hayden! This book is all over the place, of course, it’s Harry Potter!

A quick update on the blog itself, my dad is going to pay for me to update my blog. I can’t wait to do that and have my own domain name and stuff.

My final bit of news is on that job I applied for about a month ago at the Corvallis Book Bin, I got the job! Say hello to the newest cashier!

Hope everyone’s having a good week so far! Check back tomorrow for an un-boxing of my one time Game of Thrones Bookish Box!

Book Review: Ink and Bone – Lisa Unger

Journey of a Bookseller: Ink and Bone by Lisa Unger

Ink and Bone is a gripping paranormal thriller that captivated me from page one. Finley has newly embraced her paranormal lifestyle, she’s a trouble maker, and a beautiful medium. She’s an amazing character and I’m glad NetGalley gave me the opportunity to read this book.

Here is the NetGalley description so you can get an idea of the story:

*****

For as long as she can remember, twenty-year-old Finley Montgomery has been able to see into the future. She dreams about events before they occur and sees beyond the physical world, unconsciously using her power to make supernatural things happen.

But Finley can’t control these powers—and there’s only one person who can help. So Finley moves to The Hollows, a small town in upstate New York where her grandmother lives, a renowned seer who can finally teach Finley how to use her gift.

A gift that is proving to be both a blessing and a curse, as Finley lands in the middle of a dangerous investigation involving a young girl who has been missing for ten months and the police have all but given up hope.

With time running out there’s only so much Finley can do as The Hollows begins to reveal its true colors. As she digs deeper into the town and its endless layers, nothing is what it seems. But one thing is clear: The Hollows gets what it wants, no matter what.

*****

This book is told from a lot of different perspectives, and it is done in a way that is easily understood and maximizes the intensity of the plot. You get a lot of different perspectives, from good to bad. Some good is marred in the bad, like this quote, “Maybe that alone was the foundation of a good marriage, an endless willingness to forgive and love in spite of ourselves, an ability to ride the highs and endure the lows, the decision to always go home.” This quote is the realization of a man who has been cheating on his wife, that his wife, is above all the best thing that’s happened to him, and that he is screwing it up. This is one of many heartfelt and meaningful quotes throughout this book.

Another thing I loved about this book is the vivid and horrifying in some ways descriptions. This particularly gruesome description does a good job at illustrating my point, “She came upon he body first, nearly tripped over it. It was deflated, snow setting in the valleys of her eyes, in the folds of her clothing.” You can see and feel the scary nature of the situation, that’s something Lisa Unger has done particularly well. Here’s another quote if the first one didn’t suffice, “Finley had blood on her hands, and a long dark streak marred each leg of her jeans as if she tried to wipe it off there. Far from being warm, basking on some unnamed beach, her body felt rigid with cold, shivering from her core.”

I also like the dreamlike tone of this book, while a lot of it is raw and real and in your face, there’s also a lot of sections that feel like a dream, usually a scary dream, but a dream none the less. Finley has a lot of vivid and entrancing visions throughout the book that almost seem to hypnotize readers, this quote, “When finally she came to the narrow road that ended in a low gate, she saw the tiny bird. He was black and white, with flashes of red, fat and happily singing his pretty song. Little bird. As she watched him, the white became snow, the black faded into the darkness, and the red became the bloody handprint on the gate. His song faded into the wind.” was particularly interesting to me, and really helped me to envision what Finley was seeing, and how she was seeing it.

I don’t have a whole lot of complaints, the only thing I didn’t like at first was the cheating husband and how he viewed the world, but as the story progressed I grew to like him more. I really enjoyed this book and recommend it to anyone with an interest in paranormal/mystery, although this book isn’t for the faint of heart I think anyone who isn’t bothered by relatively mild violence would enjoy this.

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5/5 on my official rating, I 100% recommend this book! It has a lot to teach about self love and accepting the passing of others. Pick up your copy as soon as you can!