WWW Wednesdays #228 – June 26th

WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

Guess who is finally reading Jar Of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier? I’ve been meaning to do so ever since I saw all those raving reviews last year and I’m definitely excited to be reading it now. I’ve also picked up my TBR jar pick The Problem With Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout… It’s my first experience with her work and I’m hoping it will be a good one. And I’ve finally started my Spanish reread of the next Harry Potter book I had pending: Harry Potter Y La Orden Del Fénix. I admit book five isn’t my favorite of the series (mostly due to Umbridge) and this Spanish version has a whopping 893 pages so it will take a while for me to finish it… I’ve been reading a chapter or two a day and so far I’m enjoying myself; I’ve missed the Harry Potter world!

WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh (4,5/5 stars) REVIEW 28/06
I’ve been wanting to try his work for a while now, so I was stoked when I received the news my request for an ARC was approved a few months ago. I mean, the whole the serial killer isn’t on trial, he’s on the jury on the cover instantly makes the heart of any thriller fan skip a beat, or am I wrong? Reading that kind of phrase on the cover gives you a lot of expectations, and those were definitely met with this story. What a ride! While this is actually book four of a series, I’m happy to announce it can be read as a stand-alone as well. A fast, disturbing and shocking legal thriller with a serial killer twist… Oh yes, I’m definitely a Steve Cavanagh fan now.

2. The Woman In Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware (3,5/5 stars) REVIEW 30/06
I think what made me enjoy The Woman In Cabin 10 was the Agatha Christie like feel of the plot and the whole premise of having a small group of people ‘trapped’ in a small environment and the possibility of something dodgy going on… I have a serious weak spot for those kind of stories. I do have to say that the main character is beyond annoying. Lo Blacklock is one of those spineless and whiny women without a real personality and I didn’t appreciate how her anxiety was used as an excuse for her actions. Things can be said about the credibility of the plot in general, and I also found the ending to be too abrupt and it left too many questions unanswered. I can’t deny I still mostly enjoyed reading The Woman In Cabin 10 though, both due to the writing, the Agatha Christie feel and the travel/Norway element.

3. Us Against You by Fredrik Backman (4,5/5 stars) REVIEW 30/06
I think most of you will know by now I’m a huge Fredrik Backman fan, and I’ve been saving Us Against You as it was the final fiction book I had pending and I wasn’t ready for it to be over. I couldn’t resist any longer though, and I’m glad I finally read it. While, like with Beartown, I initially thought it was going to be slowburner for me, things soon improved and this story quickly won over my heart. Then it took hold firmly of that same heart, ripped it out and teared it into a million tiny pieces… I don’t cry often while reading, but this story definitely made my eyes water. Trigger warnings are in place for abuse, rape, alcoholism, LGBT discrimination and violence… Difficult topics, but the author is able to incorporate them realistically and respectfully into the story. Fredrik Backman has done it again! It’s not my absolute favorite, but without doubt an excellent albeit heartbreaking read.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I have a few ARCs left that are pending in July and August and The Victim by Max Manning is next… It’s been on my shelves for a while and I can’t wait to finally get to it. I’m also finally picking up my copy of The Boy Who Steals Houses by C.G. Drews! My copy is already waiting for me next to my reading chair, although I’m not sure my heart is ready for it. I also still want to read House Of Furies by Madeleine Roux soon. And I have a new TBR jar pick! The Cellar by Natasha Preston; yet another title I’ve been meaning to pick up for ages.


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BOOK REVIEW: Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix – by J.K. Rowling

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Title: Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix
(Harry Potter Series #5)
Author: J.K. Rowling
Genre: YA, Fantasy
First published: June 21st 2003
Finished reading: February 14th 2015
Pages: 796
Rating 4

“Youth can not know how age thinks and feels. But old men are guilty if they forget what it was to be young.”

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Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix has always been my least favorite Harry Potter book of the bunch. Don’t get me wrong; I still love the series, but I guess the main problem I have with this fifth book is that I absolutely despise Umbridge. Her character isn’t supposed to be likeable, but still… Both the last chapters of the fourth book and fifth book mark a turning point in the life of Harry, where he is forced to deal with death and the fact that Lord Voldemort has returned. Harry is growing up, and the books get only darker as the story continues. The initial innocence is gone, and the last few books of the series are definitely not suited for the youngest audience. I remember crying the first time I read the ending… Sirius has always been one of my favorite characters and sometimes I wish J.K. Rowling would have mentioned him and the other Animagi characters more frequently. Who knows, maybe one day?

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WARNING: Spoilers! Please don’t read this summary if you haven’t read the previous books yet...

After Harry Potter’s fourth year at Hogwarts ended terribly with the death of Cedric and return of Voldemort, he still had to go back to his aunt and uncle during summer. His friends and godfather Sirius seem to have forgotten him as they are busy with the order of the phoenix; a group of witches and Wizards working together to fight Voldemort. Things change when two Dementors show up and attack both Harry and his cousin, forcing the young wizard to protect both of them and use magic in front of a Muggle. The Ministry Of Magic tried to expell him, but Dumbledore interfered and Harry has to go to a hearing instead deciding his fate. The problem is that Harry is the only one who actually saw Voldemort’s return, and The Ministry Of Magic doesn’t want people to believe Harry and let the panic of his return spread. All summer long they have been running an anti-Harry and Dumbledore campaign, but it hasn’t been completely succesful… For now.

Things are about to change at Hogwarts as the Ministry decides to interfere. They have appointed Umbridge as the new Defense Against The Dark Arts teacher, and soon it shows that the Ministry doesn’t want the students to know how to defend themselves. Paranoid that Dumbledore is trying to create an army to fight against the Ministry, Umbridge has the task to slowly take control of the school and make sure everything is up to standard… And she turns out to be a true dictator in pink disguise. Harry now has to fight both against the numerous decrees of Umbridge and the all too real dreams he has been having… How long will it be before Voldemort shows himself again?

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The prose is as good as ever even though the story gets darker as Harry ages. The parts with Umbridge read slower and I found them annoying in general, but that is probably mostly because of my dislike for this character. While this is my least favorite Harry Potter book, I still enjoyed reading it and even discovered a few facts I didn’t remember. All in all this reread was another magical journey to the world of Harry Potter; one I cannot get enough of.  Recommended as it’s part of the series and necessary to understand the rest of the books!

WWW Wednesdays #26 – February 11th

wwwwednesdaysOriginally featured at Should Be Reading and now hosted by Sam at Taking On A World Of Words, WWW WEDNESDAYS is still about answering the following three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?

harrypotterandtheorderofphoenixbeautifulruinsI’ve decided to continue my HP series reread and I’m currently reading the fifth book: Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix. This is probably my least favorite of the bunch, mostly caused by Umbridge, but I’m enjoying travelling back to the magical world of Harry Potter anyway. I’ve also started to rad Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter, a historical fiction/romance novel that will be perfect to get in the mood for Valentine’s day. Or so I hope; I’m keeping my fingers crossed it’s not too cheesy…

  • What did you recently finish reading?

beautifulcreaturesthecatcherintheryeI’ve finished Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia the other day, and I must say I absolutely loved it! A magical Caster family with a curse, a teenage girl trying to escape her fate… The dose of romance was just right, and this is one of my favorite YA fantasy reads so far. Review coming soon! I also finished The Catcher In The Rye, a classic I unfortunately wasn’t able to enjoy the way I thought I would… This novel by J.D. Salinger just didn’t convince me.

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

Again, I’m still not sure what to read next… I will probably read something romance related for Valentine’s day depending on how long I take to finish my current reads, but other than that I don’t have a clue what to pick.