July Review

July 31, 2012

I started off the month continuing a series I had started in June. One of my favorites, Harry Potter. I picked up where I had left off with Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling. This story has so much detail and it is so much better then the movie. The story is just growing and pushes on with full steam. It's a a must to read!

I continued with Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling. This wasn't one of my favorites when I first read it, but it has grown on me. It's full of yelling and angst from Harry, but thankfully it levels out. We're also introduced to a character I think is one of the top three villains of this series. We also lose one of the first characters we have come to love. To read!

So much info is in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by J.K Rowling. We learn more about Voldemort's background, where he came from, and how he came to power. We also learn how he can be destroyed. Then, we lose another beloved character. To read!

The 7th and final book in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K Rowling. Safe to say, don't love your characters too much, you may lose them. The death toll is high. We also find out that Dumbledore isn't the man we though he was. We learn who Snape really is. So many things are revealed and it is a great ending for this spectacular series. To read!

I decided it was time for a light read, so I picked up A Kiss for Cade by Lori Copeland. It is actually the 2nd in the series, didn't know that, but it was ok. The stories have different characters, so it could work as a standalone. It was quick and light read. It was a story of forgiveness, moving on from the past and a little humor. To read.

The last book I was able to read for the month was Outlaw's Bride by Lori Copeland. This was the first book in the series. Again, this can be a good standalone book. This was another light read, with humor, a story of moving on from the past, and working on past demons. The pacing seemed just a little off to me with the flow of the story, but not enough to take away to much. To read.

For July, I was able to read 6 books, which brought my total for the year up to 30. Not to bad, however, I'm still trying to decide if I want to lower my goal down a little bit from the 75 I first decided on. I have 45 more books to read to get to that goal. I would need to read 9 books a month... I'll have my decision next month if I'm going to lower it. All and all, it hasn't been a bad month for reading.

Outlaw's Bride

July 30, 2012

Upon finishing one book by Lori Copeland, I went right on into another one, Outlaw's Bride. It's apart of the Western Sky series and the first of the series...oops! It didn't matter however. The character's in this story are different from A Kiss for Cade.

This was another good, quick, light read. It sticks to the same principles as A Kiss for Cade, some light humor, forgiveness and redemption.

Outlaw's Bride seems to jump the gun for the story. In the beginning, the two main character's do not know each other, and their relationship builds through the book. So, you know the outcome by the title of the book.

Lori Copeland, in this story has her main lead male character put into a program that is similar to today's probation system, since the judge believed that he might be telling the truth about being innocent of his conviction, even through there is no proof. Upon reading how these character's work with it, there are similarites to how the probation system started. (It's a long history actually, but I'm not wanting to talk about that now, I don't want to put y'all to sleep. Goodness knows it almost did for me when I read about it.) Anyway, aspects were taken from the history and applied it into this story, as the story grew, the probation waned a bit with the character of the male lead starting to come through.

All in all it was a good story. It seemed to move a bit fast in the pacing a little bit, but it didn't distract from the story. To read.

A Kiss for Cade

July 27, 2012

After finishing a big series, I figured it would be good to read something a little lighter. I picked out of my TBR pile A Kiss for Cade by Lori Copeland. I've always have liked Lori Copeland's books and this one is another to add to the list.

Zoe has been widowed for a year and she suddenly losses her best friend and her friends husband to a sudden illness. Zoe, takes in her friend's kids and waits to hear from her friend's brother, whom Zoe wired to return to town. She didn't want to wire him, but did anyway since it was her friend's last wish.

Cade shows up a week after his sister and brother-in-law have been buried. He learns from Zoe, that his sister placed him in charge of setting up a permanent home for the kids, much to Zoe's heartbreak. Zoe, makes it known that she would love to care for the kids and Cade can just leave town and leave her alone. Zoe can't fathom why her friend would want her brother to see over the kids since he had been away from town for 15 years.

It is a story of forgiveness, releasing past burdens and love, with a smidgen of humor. Lori Copeland has a way to let the story flow and not bash you over the head with everything from the past. Secrets are revealed and they make you finally see why the character is that way.

To read!

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

July 22, 2012

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling...the end has come at last (again).

J.K. Rowling, has proven herself to be a true author, she has no problem shattering emotions of her readers as she kills characters that we have come to love and enjoy reading about. Yes, I'm going to talk about all of them.

The death toll is high in this book.
1. Hedwig, Harry's owl, right off the bat, this poor bird is killed. Only 50 pages in!

2. Mad Eye Moody, no amount of constant vigilance could have helped him with a killing curse to his face flying on a broom.

3. Dobby! Dobby! Not the most awesome elf! Watching it in the movie was just as bad. Dobby was a free elf.

4. Wormtail...although I will say, I'm glad he is gone the sniveling coward. Poetic justice in how he went really.

5. Fred, right after he reconciled with his brother, he died with his last laugh on his face. I was with Ron on this one wanting to kill the rest of the death eaters. He was a part of of one of the best duo's out there.

6. Lavender Brown, she was annoying in the Half Blood Prince, but it was sad she had die by Greyback.

7. Tonks...really!? She just had a baby!

8. Lupin!! Come on!!! Really?! Yes, I get the symbolism that their baby lost both his parents like Harry did, but come on! All of Harry's parent's close friends are dead.

9. Collin Creevy. The kid who looked up to Harry Potter since he started at Hogwarts. He stayed behind even though too young and fought.

10. Snape. He died a way no man should have. Harry thought so even before he was able to see the mind of the man he didn't know.

11. Bellatrix, I was so glad that this sadistic women got it and I was so glad to see Mrs. Weasly do it. She went mamma bear on her.

12. Voldemort, finally! After 7 books, his faulty thinking of superiority, he dies by is own curse rebounding like it did 17 years before when trying to kill Harry as a baby.

So much is revealed in this book. Hallows, Snape's background, Dumbledore's background, and what all a friendship can put up with.

Harry, Hermione, and Ron set off like the 3 musketeers in this book. The escape a wedding invaded by Death Eaters, then escape an ambush attack in the muggle world. They infiltrate the Ministry of Magic that has been taken over by Voldemort and look for Horcruxes. Even though tension rises over a time of about a 100 pages, there is strife, but they end up stronger after everything is said and done.

Questions arise over the life of Dumbledore, and Harry questions if Dumbledore really cared for him or if he was just a pawn in a huge game Dumbledore had been playing for decades. Secrets of Dumbledore's family are revealed in a new book published after his death. His connection to a dark wizard he had battle years before are questioned. For a while, it looks like Dumbledore is the opposite of who we think he is. Thankfully we find out, that what was his weakness in his youth, he recognizes and tries to avoid as an adult, with difficulty at times. He is not the perfect person we have come to see him as. He is normal with faults life everyone.

Snape, the one who you truly want to loath, only to find out he always had loved Harry's mom since they were kids. Turned against Voldemort and worked as a spy to help the Order and to watch after Harry. He helped Dumbledore and lived with guilt over his actions that led to Lily's death. He wanted to preserve what was left of Lily (Harry) for her and didn't want anyone to know. It makes you question everything you read about him in the past. It opens your eyes to the actions he makes in the previous books and makes you go, Ahhh! That is why.

And we're fully introduced to the Hallows, even though, we've been aware of one through this whole story. Harry's invisibility cloak. Such a small thing, but important nothing less. Dumbledore's wand, the Elder Wand and the Resurrection Stone. The one who can posses all three, can be the master of death. Harry and Dumbledore both possessed all three. However, Dumbledore suffered and his old fault flared which caused him not to be able to hold them. Harry however, who was selfish, could use them all to help him in his quest.

This series just blooms before your eyes as you read. It is a story that is full of information that you need to pay attention too and many twists involved.

This is a to read! I might have to go back and re-read the ending again tonight. It feels like it ends so quickly it's hard to savor it.

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

July 18, 2012

I read through Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling pretty quickly, which is surprising since I'm dealing with double pinkeye. Reading is that important!

I'll tell you, as I keep going through this series, so much stands out now. When I first read this book. I hated Snape so much. He was as evil as Harry kept saying he was. Nothing redeemed him in this book. He dug is grave...or so I thought.

He did the unthinkable. He killed a character that I didn't think could be killed. He killed Dumbledore! He killed the Obi Wan of this series! Dumbledore, the one who seemed to know everything. The one who was guiding Harry. I knew it was going to happen years ago when I first read it, but I didn't know how. I didn't know what to expect or how it was going to happen, but I honestly didn't think Snape would do it.

However, like the rest of the books, this wasn't the end. It only plays a part that leads you to the end!

Since the first book, I have to say, that this had to be Harry's second, semi-normal year at school. He goes through his classes with out much indecent. He has friends and isn't shunned. Although, his friends start to come apart as teenage love comes between them. Ron has his first girlfriend, Hermione is angry and Harry is caught in the middle. Then Harry starts to see he has feelings for Ron's sister Ginny and he has an internal battle over fallowing his heart or alienating his best friend. Harry is also moving forward in is studies. He finds out Snape is no longer teaching potions. He and Ron are not prepared for the class and are offered old school books. Harry finds that his book belonged to The Half Blood Prince, who was a potions genius, which in turn, to Hermione's annoyance, makes Harry one too.

Through all of the personal struggles in the back ground with reports in the paper, people are missing and dying. The Death Eaters are behind it. Harry suspects Draco as a Death Eater and strange incidents start to happen at school. Two people are poisoned and cursed, but it wasn't as bad as in the past and things keep going along at school.

Then we finally learn about how Voldemort was able to come back. He has split his soul into pieces by killing people to make Horcruxes. We find Dumbledore has been leaving school in search for them and has been finding away to destroy them. one we know about, the diary from Chamber of Secrets. It was the first one found, unknowingly and destroyed. We learn that Dumbledore has found another and has destroyed it, but in the process has injured himself. Dumbledore has also decided to teach Harry, all that he has learned of Voldemort and set him on the path to find the rest of the Horcruxes.

There is a lot of things that goes on this story. To read!

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

July 12, 2012

I blew through Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling these last few days. I've really come to like this book after I read it a couple of times. The first time I read it, this book drove me nuts. So much angst in this book, plus a new character is introduced named Delores Umbridge. She is on the list of the top three villains in this whole story. She is right up there with Voldemort and Bellatrix. And we had a major character die! It was a horrible part to read.

However, after reading this a few times, I have a new perceptive on this book then when I first read it. As I said, the angst in this book is still one that grates on my nerves a bit. Harry constantly yells through out the whole book, so his dialogue is all CAPS!! Thankfully about half way through the book J.K. Rowling has him settle down a bit and we can then enjoy the wonderful antics of the Weasly twins, Fred and George. They are the funniest trouble makers to have ever been written in my opinion. And their ability to egg Peeves on was priceless. I'm still upset that the movies never had Peeves. He is hilarious.

Moving on to Umbridge, I never wanted a character in a book to die more then her. If you want to see a character who is a socialist, control freak, Umbridge is it. She did her best to try to rule the school as a dictator. She tried to punish with means that were illegal and used even more questionable means for the actual punishments. In trying to thwart her, Harry and his friends start up Dumbledore's Army and the teachers in their own way show their resistance to her tyranny.

Finally, in my opinion, the first real death of the war between good and evil happens. Sirius Black is killed by his insane cousin Bellatrix. It has to be one of the saddest deaths out of the many in this series. I will applaud J.K. Rowling though, she has no problem killing off our beloved characters if it will help the story or give it more. She also wrote Harry's reaction very believably. A boy, who lost his family as a baby, but now the closest thing to a family is murdered in front of him. He is angry, sad, hurt. He shows it, speaks it, lives it basically. Rowling writes it so well, that it did affect me.

This is a to read!

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

July 7, 2012

I just finished Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling a little bit ago.

In most cases, I like the book so much more then the movie. In this case, I love the book over the movie. There are so many little things left out of the movie that are in the book that play such a big part in the story later on.

This book gave me such a shock when I first read a few years ago. I had seen all the movies that had been out to date at the time. I thought the movies were great and a lot of fun. Picked up the books and started reading. The first two movies, fairly close to the books. Third was a little off, but it was ok. When I got to this book, the fourth one. I was mad at the movie.

There were characters cut out in the movie, ideas switched to other characters and several other things. There is a lot of mystery in Goblet of Fire. It isn't just one thing that keeps you guessing but many. It isn't solely who put Harry's name into the Goblet of Fire, even though it's left open for many possibilities. It is up in the air and leaves you guessing till the end. It is fun seeing the build up to it however on these re-reads.

By the end of Goblet of Fire, we're ready to dive in head first into the rest of this story of Harry Potter. This is a to read!

When I first read the series, I read all seven books in two weeks, because I was just desperate to reach the end of the story and find out how it ended. Now, it takes me about a week to get through Goblet of Fire, which I believe is the thickest book of the series with over 700+ pages. I always recommend a re-read to anyone on this series, there is so much information that is so easy to miss.

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