Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Fawkes


I'm definitely one of those dog owners who gets excited about their pet's birthday. Especially since Fawkes is a year old this week (we don't know the exact day that he was born but Hermione Granger's birthday is just as good time to celebrate it). He's grown so much since I got him for Christmas, but he's pretty small compared to my family's other corgis. I'm also definitely the person who get's their pet cakes that say Happy Birthday (but I'm waiting until this weekend when my sister is here with Hazel to give it to him). So to celebrate my dogs birthday, I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite shots I've taken of him.


Isn't he so cute? He's not a huge fan of getting his picture taken, but I reward him greatly. - Jessica

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Books I Read In August


August was a busy reading month. I finished 12 novels, 1 graphic novel, and 2 comics. Here are the books I read and some of my thoughts and opinions on them:

Beast by Bree Spangler - This is a YA contemporary that is loosely inspired by Beauty and the Beast. I've been looking forward to picking up this book for a while, because I heard it had good trans representation. I really liked that aspect of the book, but I had a hard time getting over the main character's misogyny. Through out this whole book, I kept wishing that it was told through Jamie's, the main love interest, perspective.

Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab - This is the second and last book in Schwab's Monster's of Verity duology. I really enjoyed this installment. This book was entertaining and I left it both shocked and satisfied at how it ended.

Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith - This book follows Alice after she buys a winning lottery ticket for her best friend. I really enjoyed this book, I really liked Alice's character and how she dealt with her environment. This book definitely made me more interested in reading more books by Jennifer E. Smith.

Legend of Korra: The Turf Wars (Part 1) by Michael Dante DiMartino and Irene Koh - This is the first edition in a graphic novel series, that takes place right where the show left off. I absolutely loved this. LOK is one of my all time favorite shows and the story and characters translated so well in graphic novel form. I loved how we got to see how Korra and Asami's relationship progressed and also how their relationship is perceived in the universe.

Skin and Earth (Vol. 1-2) by Lights - This is a dystopian comic book series that directly ties into Light's new album. I have been a huge fan of Light's music since her first album. I was immediately intrigued with the concept for the album and the comic, and I think it's genius how well these two mediums interconnect. I listened to the released songs from her album on repeat while reading these two volumes, and I love how they tie into each other. I'm really interested in this story and I think that Light's has created a really cool universe.

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon - This story centers around Dimple, after her parents allow for her to go to a summer program, mainly because they have set her up with her "Ideal Indian Husband," Rishi. I loved this book, the characters were so intriguing and I loved how Dimple and Rishi interacted. If you've read this book then you would know how much I needed an iced coffee and an iced chai while reading it.

Summer Days and Summer Nights edt. by Stephanie Perkins - This is an anthology of 12 short stories, written by 12 various YA authors. I don't usually read anthologies because the stories are either hit or miss for me. There were 4 stories that I really liked, but the other's did not stand out as much to me, and overall I ended up rating this a 3/5. If you want to check out my Goodreads review, I have the individual ratings for each story.

Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen - This is the first book in a fantasy trilogy, surrounding Kelsea, as she returns to her kingdom after 18 years of hiding, and has to fix it's many problems and escape death. I thought this was a good start to the series, I did have trouble wrapping my head around the fact that there is a heavy dystopian aspect to the world. I really liked Kelsea as a main character, and I'm interested in how the magic system works.

Harry Potter Books 2-7 by J.K. Rowling - I really thought that I was a little in over my head, when I decided to reread the series and gave myself a 2 month deadline to do so. I ended up only reading a little bit of the second book in July, so I really had to make sure that I stayed on top of rereading the series, and the audiobooks helped so much. It was really cool to experience the story in a different medium. I absolutely loved rereading this series, and I'm so tempted to just start it back up again, since the Kindle in Motion edition of the first book just came out.

So those are all the books I read in August. There are a ton of new books coming out this month that I've been looking forward too, and I also want to continue on with the Queen of the Tearling. School has just started back up, but I'm hoping that I'll still have a good amount of time to read for fun and not just dense scholarly papers. - Jessica

Friday, September 1, 2017

19 Years Later

“Autumn seemed to arrive suddenly that year. 
The morning of the first September was crisp and golden as an apple.”

Today, the Potter family is getting ready to go to King's Cross station Albus' first day of school at Hogwarts. The nineteen years later. The events of the epilogue.

I purposely waited until midnight to reread the last chapter of book 7, so that I could finish the story on the exact date that it happened. I desperately wish that I was at King's Cross today, standing at Platform 9 3/4, where the story ends on the pages. - Jessica

Thursday, August 31, 2017

August Snapshots


1. August was a busy reading month for me. I had to catch up and read 6 Harry Potter books to meet my personal deadline of finishing the books before September 1st (the exact day the epilogue in HP7 takes place). I'm so close to finishing the last book and I have loved revisiting this series. I need to make sure that six years don't elapse before my next reread. /// 2. Sunset hitting my shelves. I really want to reorganize my shelves soon.


3. Quick photo opt of Fawkes. He turns a year next month, he's growing up way to fast.


4. I added the After Laughter vinyl and cassette to my collection, because this record is so good. I'm also seeing Paramore again at the end of next month and so these will be on repeat until then. /// 5. Ed Sheeran concert. It was my third time seeing Ed live and every single time I feel the urge to buy a loop pedal. - Jessica

Monday, August 21, 2017

Thoughts While Rereading Harry Potter


I've mentioned lately how I've slowly been making my way through rereading the Harry Potter series. I wanted to reread the series this summer for a number of reasons; it's the 20th anniversary of the publication of the first book, I haven't read the series in its entirety since 2011, and the events of the epilogue take place next month. Rereading the series is an absolute joy because I still love it as much as the first time, plus there are so many details that I had forgotten about the books. I'm not entirely done with rereading the series but I've had so many thoughts about the reread that I wanted to share...
  • I've been splitting my time between reading physical copies of the books and listening to the audiobooks. I'm listening to the American editions and Jim Dale does a great job, but some of his voices for the characters and pronunciations is not how I hear them in my head. 
  • There are so many elements that I wish would have been in the movies: McGonagall's sass towards Umbridge, Luna Lovegood's quidditch commentary in book 6, the Marauder's backstory...
  • I don't understand why Snape was allowed to treat his students so terribly and bully them, he's really no better than Umbridge. 
  • GOF was my favorite as a kid and it still is (but it competes with POA some of the time)
  • I never noticed how prominent the foreshadowing for horcruxes is in all of the books, I noticed it especially in GOF.
  • Just the level of details that JKR put into each book is astonishing. 
  • Even the foreshadowing for the prophesy in PS/SS that comes up again in OOTP. 
  • And the character development is amazing (Draco, Neville...).
  • McGonagall has become my favorite character of this reread. I always admired her as a character but she is a total hero. Just everything about her in OOTP is amazing. (Hermione is still my fave of all time though).
  • The Marauder's storyline is still my favorite side plot in the novels, and if JKR ever decides to write their story, I would be the happiest person alive. 
  • Harry James Potter. He's put through so much in the novels and he doesn't deserve any of them. 
  • The part in COS where Tom states how Harry and him look similar freaked me out. It's crazy how they are both so similar and so different. 
  • Dumbledore's sense of humor is his best quality, and it is severely lacking in the movies. 
  • I'm always torn about liking Dumledore's character. I think the had Harry's best intentions in mind but I don't know if he went about them the right way, especially how he treated Harry's life like it was a game. 
  • Any time Fantastic Beasts is mentioned I get really excited. I love reading about the creatures now that I've seen them on screen. 
  • I wish we could have gotten more of Harry and Sirius' interactions. Their interactions have been some of my favorite moment in the reread as they had such a close connection.
  • When I was reading the series as a kid, I never noticed how much injustice there is in the Wizarding World. Especially when it comes to creatures and half creatures. I've had this picture of the Wizarding World and Hogwarts as a utopia, but seeing it in this light has made the world feel even more real to me. 
Hopefully some of my rambling made sense. I just really love reading my favorite series and I wanted to share some of my thoughts. - Jessica