Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling

I always enjoy this whole book series but this one ends everything off quite nicely (Not including The Cursed Child).

            This book starts off at Malfoy Manor where Voldemort and the Death Eaters are gathering and planning on how to capture Harry Potter. During the process, Snape reveals the Order of the Phoenix’s plans to move him. They had captured a Hogwarts teacher (Muggle Studies) and proceed to murder her. It then ends and we are taken back to Harry’s life. He is currently arguing/saying goodbye to the Dursleys as they are shortly being taken away for their protection.

            Once this is all over, some of the Order members, including Fred, George, Ron, and Hermione greet Harry, intending to depart with him. They have a plan that may work, people take Polyjuice Potion and turn into Harry, they then take things like broomsticks to a safehouse where they then Portkey to the Burrow. This goes good and well until they are into the air where chaos breaks loose. There are Death Eaters and Voldemort himself flying around, trying to find the real Harry. There are many fights, some ear damage and general bad things. Everybody gets to the Burrow and all is well until Bill and Fleur’s wedding.

            At the wedding, they get a message saying, “The Ministry has fallen, Scrimgeour is dead, they are coming”. The protective enchantments over the house are broken and Death Eaters invade the party. Harry, Ron and Hermione manage to escape, though somehow attract Death Eaters into the Muggle World.

            The trio then starts their search for Horcruxes. They know they must find something to destroy them and they also must figure out where the other Horcruxes are. They venture to the Ministry of Magic, where they encounter many problems but manage to find the actual locket. They have no way to destroy it though they try everything. Ron was Splinched and must wear a cast while they heal, they can’t apparate, so they are stuck in a forest. Days past and they have nothing, then something horrible happens. Ron, who was angry over the lack of progression, abandons the others and leaves. Harry and Hermione then travel to Godrics Hallow, hoping to find some clues, they instead get Voldemort. After escaping him, they spend many nights alone, not talking.

            Ron then magically appears back, after saving Harry from almost drowning. Harry had been trying to get the Sword of Gryffindor, which was hidden at the bottom of a pool. They get back and Ron and Hermione fight. After a while, they are fine and go to visit Luna Lovegood’s father. It is again a disaster, they are almost caught by Death Eaters and pretty much blow up his house. They travel for a few more days (they have destroyed the locket) before Harry accidentally says the word “Voldemort” which triggers a Taboo, Snatchers find them and capture them, bringing them to Malfoy Manor. All hope seemed lost but fear not, Dobby to the rescue. The next parts are intense and include some torture. They managed to save Griphook, a goblin that used to work at Gringotts, the wizarding bank. They break into Bellatrix Lestrange’s vault, stealing the cup of Hufflepuff. They lose the sword however. After many more small adventures, they are forced to go to Hogwarts. There is a final battle, which includes finding the diadem of Ravenclaw, fighting many Death Eaters, seeing the deaths of multiple people and just general chaos.

            In the end, something happens, I won’t tell because you have to read the book yourself, but it is good.

            I honestly love this book and I really have loved the whole series from about 1st or 2nd grade. This book is the 7th book in a 7-part series (not including the Cursed Child) it ends on a good note and has much drama and many twists and turns throughout, I would definitely recommend this book.

            I would rate it a 9 and ¾ (hehe).

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief (book) by Rick Riordan

I previously wrote a blog post on the Lightning Thief movie, I still think that it is horrible. However, I am now doing the book, you can see how different it truly is from the movie.

            The book starts off with Percy Jackson, the main character, sitting on a school bus next to his best friend Grover. They are going on a field trip to a museum. After their tour they go outside for lunch. Percy somehow makes a fist of water come from the fountain grab a girl that was being mean. She claimed that he just pushed her. The other teacher, Mrs. Dodds, takes Percy inside to “talk with him”. She instead turns into a monster and tries to eat him. His disabled teacher comes in and throws him a sword. He kills the monster and then walks outside, the teacher and his friend act like nothing happened.

            He was expelled from his school and went home to his apartment that he shared with him mom and horrible step-father. His mother surprises him and takes him to their favorite place, a cabin at Montauk beach. In the middle of the night, they are disrupted by his friend Grover knocking on the door saying, “it is coming”. They run to the car and drive towards a camp that Percy’s father wanted him to go to. He finally sees that they are being chased by The Minotaur, the half-bull half-man from Greek myths. They are fighting it and his mother is taken and squeezed, she then poofs into magical powder. Percy, using his anger, breaks the Minotaur’s horn and kills it. He then faints and wakes up a few days later, being fed a magical drink by a girl. He learns that he is half-god and half-human and he is at a training camp for people like him. He is taken around this new camp, called Camp Half-Blood. He spends a few days there, getting used to the Hermes cabin, where he stays until he is claimed by his father (who is a Greek god).

            They play Capture the Flag and he is injured by and Ares girl named Clarisse. He stands in the river and is somehow better. His father, Poseidon god of the sea, claims him. For the next few days, everyone skirts around him. He isn’t technically supposed to be alive. After World War 2, Zeus, Hades, and Poseidon had made a pact to have no more children, they were too powerful. Percy is then given a quest, he must retrieve Zeus’ lightning bolt, which was stolen.

            He decides to take Grover, who he discovered is half-goat (a satyr) and Annabeth, a child of Athena, who has always wanted to go on a quest. They start traveling west. They stop and have different adventures including, meeting Medusa, meeting Echidna and falling out of the Gateway Arch and getting trapped in the Lotus Casino. They also meet Ares, who gives a backpack full of things and a quest. They are then almost killed by mechanical spiders for said quest. They go to the Underworld, with the intention of retrieving Percy’s mom. The problem is that they need a soul for a soul, someone needs to stay down, or Hades’ Helm of Darkness is returned which was also stolen. They don’t have either, so they escape back to the overworld. They find out that Ares has the helm. Percy fights him. He then finds out that the Lightning Bolt was in the backpack and Ares was acting under orders of someone. They travel to Olympus and return it. Everything is better and Percy goes to camp. He is then betrayed by Luke who he thought had been his friend, he is stung by a scorpion and must stay at camp. When he is better, he goes home and stays with his mom, who got rid of the horrid step-father.

            I really enjoyed this book. It has many twists and turns and some ups and downs (quite literally).  Would definitely recommend reading this book, the series, and all the other books he has written.

Sherwood by Meagan Spooner

To: All the people who love Robin Hood and those who like twists in original stories (like Robin Hood…)

From: The girl who loved the twist in classic Robin Hood

Marian was betrothed to Robin when she was young. But instead of being a “proper lady,” she was a little different. While she did enjoy embroidery, she wasn’t normal. She loved fighting Robin with makeshift swords and archery. She was daring and loved Robin with all her heart, until he died.

The people of Locksley always held hope because of Robin. He was their protector, the one who shield them from the persecution of the Sheriff of Nottingham. They were proud. Safe. Somewhat happy. But then Robin died.

Then the Guy of Gisborne comes into play, wishing to be Marian’s new fiancé and Lord of Locksley. No way! The right hand of the Sheriff, the one Robin grew wary of, wanted to take the place of Robin! And as time passed, tensions grew, and Marian, wary of the tensions, became her hero and the people’s as well. She was Robin Hood.

This book was highly enjoyable. I loved the story’s flow and the way Meagan wrote her characters. Marian’s journey about secrets and heartache really hit me in the heart. And brain. This book stayed with me for an extra few days. I even read it during vacation because I had to know what happens next! Anyone who loves fantasy, adventure, and Robin Hood will definitely love this book. I know I did.

I rate this a 9/10 just because of some of the slow parts. This book is a long book, 467 pages to be exact, but every second is worth it. This is great if you need a book to last for a bit longer than usual. Hopefully, I just gave you a new favorite book to read, so go ahead! Enjoy!

Book Review of Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly

Stepsister is a new book by Jennifer Donnelly published earlier this year. The book tells the story of one of Cinderella’s (though in this book, she is simply known as Ella) stepsisters, Isabelle. Told in third-person point of view, the book follows Isabelle as she navigates life after Ella leaves and shows readers her side of the story. Unbeknownst to Isabelle, however, there are others interested in how her story plays out. According to the three Fates, she is destined for a short and tragic life– a sentence that the charismatic and adventurous enigma Chance is determined to alter. As Isabelle tries to get her family’s life back in order in the face of hatred from their community and a war looming on the horizon, the oldest Fate sister and Chance struggle to lead her path in two very different directions.

The story has meaningful messages to share about the definition of beauty and how the choices we make can have huge impacts on ourselves and those around us. As Isabelle struggles to live in a world that defines her by her past and her gender, she comes into her own and grows stronger as she is finally allowed to play to her own strengths of perseverance, bravery, and skill with a sword rather than a needle. The story shows us that it’s never too late to change your path, and that appearances are not only often deceiving but can also distract us from what truly matters about a person.

The book is well-paced and engaging, giving readers a new kind of fairy tale that includes action, romance, and a powerful coming-of-age theme. It’s witty and surprisingly funny for a book that I expected to be very dark and grim. Make no mistake, there’s plenty of darkness as well, but there’s a great balance between the two– there are too few books that can achieve both at once and maintain a serious plot and genuine message. The characters are distinctive and appealing, which makes them easy to root for throughout the story as well. All in all, this book was a pleasure to read, and I would definitely recommend it to fans of fantasy and fairy tale retellings.

Review of “Sweep,” by Jonathan Auxier

I’m not going to lie, I did not want to read this book at first. I’m not a fan of historical fiction, and a story about monsters and chimney sweeps in England does not sound very appealing. But it’s highly rated and recommended, so I decided to give it a try.

To be honest, this was one of the very best historical fiction books I’ve read. Auxier creates a cold world of struggling characters trying to make a home amidst the cruelties of child labor, yet it’s one you don’t want to leave.

Nan Sparrow is a climber — a girl owned by a chimney sweep and forced to climb up tiny flues all day. Her master, Wilkie Crudd, is cruel, and she and the other children have barely enough to eat. But this is the only thing she’s ever known, sweeping. And she is desperate to find a man, one who cared for her until she was six years old, until she found herself alone.

The Sweep made her see magic in everything, keeping the two of them lighthearted. Indeed, they kept each other alive for half a dozen years until he vanished.

One day, Nan nearly dies in a chimney fire but awakes unharmed in a room with her char — a tiny piece of the Sweep’s love — miraculously alive. Together, Nan and her monster find a home together and realize the truth about love.

Rating: 5/5 stars. This book made me smile, it made me (almost) cry, and I loved Nan’s character, how brave and kind she was.

Ages: 9-14. There is some violence and related elements.

The Mortal Instruments: The City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

This book starts out relatively normal, a girl and her friend are entering a club called the “Pandemonium”.   It is written from two different views, one with Clary, the main character, and one with a demon boy. The demon is led into a closet by a very pretty girl.  Clary enters the closet and witnesses the “murder” of the demon boy. He poofs into magical mist and Clary gets a horrible phone call. Her mother is telling her to not come to the house, she sounds in danger and very scared. Clary goes back to her house, leaving her best friend Simon confused. She returns to see her house ruined, she is attacked by a Ravener demon, somehow managing to survive. She then meets Jace Wayland, a handsome boy who helps to bring her to the Institute, a magical place where Shadowhunters can stay. She stays there while she recovers as she was bitten by the demon.

She meets Hodge and then other people of the Institute. She then goes on a multitude of adventures with the other Shadowhunters, who are the people who hunt and kill demons, Isabelle and Alec Lightwood and of course Jace Wayland. Simon also comes on some of the adventures. Some of the adventures include defeating a Forsaken and traveling to the City of Bones and meeting the Silent Brothers. The story ends on a very interesting note, which includes lots of drama with her love interest and we uncover some new things about her newfound brother and her apparently dead father. I will let you read this and find out what truly happens.

I really enjoyed this whole book, it is the first in a six-part series (City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass, City of Fallen Angels, City of Lost Souls and City of Heavenly Fire). The series was introduced to me by a friend, who happens to show me most of the books that are now my favorites but anyway, I am really glad that she showed me this book series because I love it!

            It has many twists and turns. Some parts that warm your heart, make you angry or sad and just the parts that you can’t help but love. Cassandra Clare has also created some really unique characters. Overall, I would recommend this book and the rest of the series too.

I would give this book a 9/10

The Tale of Despereaux by: Kate DiCamillo

“The Tale of Despereaux” is a heartwarming book, masterfully written with tales of hope, love, and regrets. Now our tale will be centered on our brave, little mouse, who, of course, has made a friend with none other than the distinguished Princess Pea. Afterwards, trials await the young mouse, lots of them, that lead one little mouse to learning forgiveness.

Every since he was born, Despereaux knew he would never be the mouse his family wanted. He had abnormally big ears, his eyes were open from the start, and he always got sick. No matter what. Therefore, that made him a topic of great disgust to his family. Instead of being cared for, his family and others around him despised him. Especially after Despereaux broke the rule: Do not interact with humans. And he did. With Princess Pea. He gets disgraced and thrown into the deep, dark basement. Nobody expects him to live. And thus begin the trials of our little but big mouse. He can do anything he puts his mind to. But will it be enough? Probably, seeming that he has many allies.

This book is an automatic 10/10 rating for me. Each sentence was masterfully written and the story just flowed fast and quick. But the flow is slow enough for everyone to catch a ride and see just how amazing this story gets. It has a deeper meaning than I originally thought, and maybe you’ll feel that too. If anyone needs a new favorite book that you can’t put down, this book is just for you. It is fairly short, so it won’t take long, though you’ll be thinking about this story long after the last word is read.