Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Seeing Harry Potter Through Adult Eyes

And by adult, I mean ~adult~ bc LOL. But no, it really has been that long since I've read the Harry Potter series. I'm so glad I decided to start the series over again in December. I really needed this timeless story to remind me again that books are not only empty words. I needed the story of sacrifice and love and friendship, of hope even in the darkest of times, of immeasurable acts of bravery, of standing up for what you believe in and fighting for what's right, fighting with all you have, fighting even when you're tired and you feel like it'll never be enough. It's inspiring. My love for this series knows no bounds, because as JK so aplty puts it, Hogwarts will always be here to welcome me home, and I am so home within the pages of this story. <3

This post is just a little thing about my thoughts on the series as a whole and what I think now versus then and what I'd ignored the first time or forgotten. :)

***SPOILERS***


I unship Ron and Hermione. Like whoops, but I’m still not a fan of them. And it’s not that I don’t like Ron, because I do think he is an inherently good person, but he could be so obtuse and jealous and selfish and rude. I do get his personality, in most ways! He was the one people forgot about in the golden trio, the one who didn’t have the fame or the brains, the one that had always felt looked over and he was certainly compensating for what he lacked (especially the footsteps he’d had to follow with his older brothers). But I’m still just meh about them. All they did was fight with each other. I just don’t think that Ron can match Hermione, that he’s her equal. His emotional immaturity probably will get better as he gets older, but he’s got a long way to go to and I don’t really see him keeping up with her throughout the years.

And I may or may not have gotten stronger feels about Harry and Hermione. Not always romantically shipping them, but I definitely felt that their relationship was so intimate and just stronger than Hermione/Ron’s and Harry/Ginny’s combined. And it doesn’t help that the movies really play into this with them. (Let’s not forget that random dance scene in Deathly Hallows Part 1). So, I kiiiiind of shipped them. I also quite liked Ginny and Harry together, so idk. I just really hated seeing Hermione with Ron.

The amount of abuse that Harry suffered is largely ignored and forgotten. I’m VERY surprised that the emotional abuse and neglect he suffered at the hands of the Dursleys was completely brushed over, as if it didn’t have lasting effects on him. And it seemed not to, but that means nothing, and I don’t quite believe he’s perfectly FINE after all that. Plus, with losing Sirius and then Dumbledore and Fred and Lupin and Tonks, I just can’t. It hurts too much. This poor boy deserved better.

Sirius Black also deserved better. I am not kidding when I say that I will NEVER get over his death. Never. It is so unbelievably unfair to both Sirius and Harry. Sirius, who spent twelve years in Azkaban for a crime he didn’t commit, who lost his best friend, and then Harry all in one, who put this kid above all else. And Harry, who finally found a home and a family with his godfather, the way that James and Lily had always wanted. These two had deserved more time together, and they had deserved better.

I feel more for James and Lily than I do even for MCs in stories. They’re dead, you know? But they feel more real and more alive than so many characters I’ve read. I’ve cried over them quite a bit during these rereads, and it just SUCKS that Harry didn’t get to grow up with them, that he only knew them through others and through other moments in the series. I wish they’d never died. I wish he’d been able to know them as Sirius and Lupin had. Also something I can’t stop thinking about: James told Lily to take Harry and run even though he had no wand and no way to defend himself. He knew he’d die, but they came first always. And then of course, Lily would not stop shielding Harry even when she knew it would cost her her life. They were two of the bravest souls. I HATE IT ALL SO MUCH.

The marauders are everything to me (excepting fucking Wormtail, of course). Dear god, these boys. I love them so, so much. Their friendship is everything, especially the one between Sirius and James. THESE TWO. They did enable each other when they were kids, like the Weasley twins, but they grew up into such fine young men who didn’t realize that they would soon be separated by death. *sobs* “I would have died before I betrayed them.” *dies* Sirius loved James SO MUCH, and all he wanted when they died was to take care of his precious godchild. But he COULDN’T. He could not fulfill the duty James had given him, and I’m sure Harry looking so much like his father just absolutely killed him at times. And then you had Lupin, who was not only accepted into the fold, but who was so loved he had friends who willingly turned into animals to keep him company and save him from himself. What kills ME is that James died thinking Lupin might be a traitor and Sirius lost them both at the same time because Lupin had believed him to have killed Pettigrew and betrayed their best friends. I HATE EVERYTHING. My one consolation is that Lupin and Sirius had each other in the end.

Snape is a goddamn bully, and Dumbledore kept too many secrets. I mean I always knew that Snape was a bully, but I feel like I got swept up in the bravery that Snape had shown once you finally understand his character, and how fabulously dressed and wise Dumbledore is. But they’re two people that really needed to learn some lessons of their own. And honestly, Snape had only one redeeming quality: his love for Lily. He never protected Harry because it was the right thing to do; he only did it because he’s Lily’s son. He never cared for the boy, not even by the end of his life. And the amount of abuse that he inflicted upon Harry is not something that should be forgiven so easily. As much as his “Always” moment gives me such feels, I really wish he’d been a better person. And with Dumbledore, UGH. This man had issues with telling people the truth, and Things happened that hadn’t needed to happen if he’d just been honest. I know that he had wanted to spare Harry more pain, that he had wanted to preserve what little childhood happiness he’d had, but he should have realized that Harry had never been an innocent boy.

Neville is the actual best. I’m so sad that Neville is basically pushed aside by everyone in the story, that he’s always laughed at and underestimated. I’m sad that none but a few ever find out that his parents are two of the bravest people ever. And Neville inherited that courage. No matter what anyone says, he belonged in Gryffindor. If his parents could have seen him at the end of the book, they would have been so, so proud of their boy. He was an unfailingly kind and sweet person and he deserved MORE from people. #nevilledefensesquad

Hermione was the real hero of the series. Sorry to Harry, but he never would have been able to do anything without Hermione’s help. He may be skilled as fuck, but she is the brightest witch of her age, and she was the thread that held everything together. Without her, he would have been lost.

I’m more Gryffindor than I think. Of course I have to think about my House here! It’s something that had always surprised me when I took quizzes, given how much I’m Ravenclaw. (Incidentally, there’s not even a huge gap between how Gryffindor I am compared with the rest. I’ve got a bit of all the Houses in me). But ultimately, I think I am a lion. I’m pretty much a Hermione Granger, in a lot of aspects. I’m going to go more in-depth with the Houses in general in another post, because clearly I spend too much time thinking about this series. Haha. I just really love belonging to Gryffindor. <3

Little things I’d forgotten or missed the first (or few) times:
  • Harry didn’t have much of a relationship with Dumbledore. I remember thinking they had because they cared for one another a lot, but in actuality, they were hardly together in the books.
  • Book Ginny is 100% better than Movie Ginny. Also she, like Neville, is pretty ignored until book six, when Harry finally starts to see her in a romantic light. But she is such a badass, and so fierce, and I wish she’d had more page/air time than she was given.
  • Fred and George were such little assholes. I love them still, obvs, but man they sucked at times.
  • McGonagall loved Harry, a lot, and she was extremely proud to have him in her House. She was always so protective of her cubs, and she put them first through everything. She’s one of my favorite fictional characters ever.
  • Draco never really redeemed himself by the end, did he? Sad.


It was SO good being back in this world. I love it so much. Are you guys a fan of Harry Potter? Which House are you in? Let's talk! :)

Monday, March 20, 2017

Bookish Bingo: Winter Edition Wrap-Up

I'm pretty late recapping this round, WHOOPS. I didn't do as well as I'd hoped, but well, given the reading funk I've had since 2017 started, I did better than I could've done. And that's what counts. :D As always, this challenge is hosted by Bekka @ Pretty Deadly Reviews. It was for the months of December through February, and the next one has just started for March through May!


*Green Cover: A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi
Loved this just as much as her debut, if not more! The banter and relationship between Gauri and Vikram was my fave part. A+

*Alternative Format: Here We Are (Feminism for the Real World) edited by Kelly Jensen
I've never read an anthology like this, with not only letters but artwork and lists and fun comic strips. It's also a must-read for ANY woman, not just feminists.
 
*Set Abroad: Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed

This is such an important book because it gives you a very real and honest look at modern arranged marriages. I didn't love it, but I definitely think more people read it. 

*Sequel: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
My FAVE of the series, hands down. All the feels with the marauders (except fucking Wormtail) and the OT3.

*Own Voices: The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore
Anna-Marie has quickly become one of my favorite authors. Though I didn't LOVE this, and definitely not nearly as much as WTMWO, I still enjoyed it. I cannot wait for her next novel (Wild Beauty out in October).
 
*Banned Book: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Is this still considered a banned book/series? I honestly don't know anymore, but I'm still counting it. I started my reread in December and ended it in February, and it was FABULOUS.
 
*2017 Debut: Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller
THIS WAS SO FUN AND BANTERIFIC. It's not like mindblowingly amazing or anything, but I freaking loved it and I can't wait for the sequel.

*Pink Cover: We Are Okay by Nina LaCour
This cover isn't totally pink, but OH WELL I STILL WANTED TO ADD THIS BOOK. Anyway, it was really good and sad and emotional and gah why do things hurt so much.
 
*Not YA: Stone Song by D.L. McDermott
I still liked it, but it was not as good as the other two books in the series. I'll definitely be reading the next, tho!
 
*White Cover: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Not even the least bit surprised this book made the NYT bestseller list. It is THAT GOOD. Plus super important! And you will just fall in love with Starr and her family and the other characters in the story.

*Dec, Jan, Feb Release: The Valiant by Lesley Livingston
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I loved the badass MC, the female friendships, the ancient Rome setting. The only thing I didn't love was the romance. Wah, wah.
 
*Survival: Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee
This was SO FREAKING GOOD. I've become such a fan of Stacey Lee's books, and I hope she never stops writing, esp historical fiction. Love how she mixes fiction with the past.

*Blue Cover: If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
I liked this one, and the romance, but I didn't love it. And I just don't have a whole lot to say about it, but YOU SHOULD ALL READ IT ANYWAY.

*LGBT: Cam Girl by Elliot Wake
I love Elliot Wake's books so much, and I'm so glad I finally read this one. It was another great story in the Black Iris setting.

*Nature on Cover: Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken
I really loved this series. There was a lot going on in this book, and it was shaky at times, but everything smoothed out by the end.

*Cover Buy: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
I FINAAAAALLLLLY read this classic children's story, and I gotta say, I enjoyed it. It makes absolutely no sense, but that's the whole point. And it was fun!


Missed Squares
 *Romance
 *GR Choice Nominee
*Science Fiction
 *Crime
*Super Hyped
 *Twitter Poll
*Unreliable Narrator
 *Urban Fantasy


 So excited for the new, fresh board! Hoping to hit all the bingos. :D Have you guys read any of these yet? If so, what did you think of them? Let's talk! 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

(71) Top Ten Books on My Spring TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's topic: Top Ten Books on My Spring TBR.

*****

From My ARC Pile

Out of all the books I picked up at ALA midwinter, these are the ones I'm *most* excited to read. Emery Lord is one of my forever fave authors, and I absolutely LOVED Code Name Verity. "Kiss me, Hardy." *sobs* Also have loved/enjoyed all of Brigid's previous novels, so I can't wait for her newest. And WDMR has been one of my most anticipated ever since I heard of it. Ditto The Traitor's Kiss

Books I *NEED* In My Hands Right Now

Gah, I wish I didn't have to wait for any of these books. I WANT THEM SO BADLY. The top three are all favorite authors of mine: Laini Taylor, Mindy McGinnis, and Renee Ahdieh. I'm so excited for their newest stories, as well as the other two because they're LGBTQIA+ and sound awesome. I really do plan on reading all of these books once they get to me, but you know, mood and life and things, so we'll see. ;)


Are any of these books on YOUR spring TBR? Which ones are you most excited about? Let's talk! :) 

Monday, March 13, 2017

From the Den: February Edition

From the Den is a feature to showcase the books that I don't post reviews for on the blog, whether I liked them or not. I read so many books that never make it onto The Fox's Hideaway, so I wanted a feature where I could still tell y'all about them. :)

*****

A Book I Read in January:
Under a Painted Sky
The reason I hadn't posted about this one (aside from in the recap of the readathon I read it for) was because I thought I would want to write a long review of it. But then I never did that, and now I'm left with not much to say about it. Which does not reflect the amazingness of the book and how much I loved it, though. It was SUCH a good read. A sad one at times too, but so good. The MC and her companion were such badasses, and when they became friends with the cowboys, I loved watching relationships develop. And it was all so banterific. This story could also easily have gotten boring but I was so hooked from the beginning, and I loved it from start to finish.
Rating: 4.5 Paw Prints! 

****also I just checked on Amazon again, and the hardcover is still only $6.99! so if you've been waiting for it to go on sale, now is your chance. :D****


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
I finished up my Harry Potter reread, and it was splendid. I had so much more appreciation for certain characters, and I caught things I'd missed the first time around. And gah, I just love these books and this world so much. <3 (I've got a post coming up with WAY more thoughts on the series as a whole, so look out for it!)
Rating: 5 Paw Prints! 


Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
I FINALLY read this children's classic, and I'm so glad I did. The story made absolutely ZERO sense, and Alice could be so frustrating, but I still highly enjoyed it. It was great to see where everything originated. 
Rating: 4 Paw Prints! 


The Series:
I'm not sure if I'm going to be writing a review on Wayfarer, so I wanted to mention these two here, at least. It took me awhile to get through the books, even with Passenger being a reread, but I still thoroughly loved them. I loved the characters and the relationships between them, especially, and the historical aspects of this was one of my favorite parts. The sequel was shaky at times and there was SO MUCH going on that it was hard to keep up, but everything smoothed out by the end.
Rating: 4 for Passenger and idk about Wayfarer, I'm still debating.


What books did you read during the month of February? Have you read any of these ones yet? If so, what did you think of them?!