[Book Talk] Harry Potter & the Cursed Child (Harry Potter, #8) by J. K. Rowling

The Cursed ChildBook Details

Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Read: July 2016

Harry Potter series

  1. Harry Potter & The Philosopher’s Stone
  2. Harry Potter & The Chamber of Secrets
  3. Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban
  4. Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire
  5. Harry Potter & The Order of the Phoenix
  6. Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince
  7. Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows
  8. Harry Potter & The Cursed Child


Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

My Thoughts

I find it so funny that my first post with book thoughts on the blog after coming back after a long, long time, would be thoughts about the latest Harry Potter. The thing is, I wasn’t always a reader. It was just before university that I realized I loved reading (though I never did read as voraciously as I have in these past years). I was an English minor and I steered towards the classes that had me reading, anything from short stories to children’s literature to some of the most well-known books in the world. And I loved it!

It was in university that I discovered Harry Potter. A friend of mine had been reading the books and I remember making fun of her for it. I mean, they were kids’ books! Who read kids’ books? I believe she was on the third book in the series when I finally picked it up myself. Boy, did I feel bad for making fun of my friend! These books were awesome!

I remember waiting patiently for the next books to come out and when I got my hands on them, I’d carry them with me everywhere. Waiting for something to heat up in the microwave? Read the book! Waiting for a phone call? Read the book! Waiting for someone to get out of the bathroom? Read the book! Seriously, if I had any kind of free time, be it 10 seconds or an hour, I couldn’t get enough. I had to get through these books and figure out what happened to Harry and his friends!

I believe that’s what got me into reading books that were written for a younger audience. I stopped being such a snob and praised people for reading anything, instead of scolding them for what I thought they should be reading. (Of course, I didn’t naturally dive into reading all matters of middle grade and YA after that – Twilight takes the credit for that course in my reading history – but that’s another story)

ANYWAY, I was a bit on the fence about reading this particular book, the final book in the Harry Potter series. First off, I wondered if it would be just as exciting as reading the previous books. And second, could I handle reading a play? I had only read Shakespeare plays and with those I usually read them with the audiobook playing in the background just so I could better understand what was going on. The fact that this was a play was definitely something that made me NOT want to buy this book, but then nostalgia had the better of me. I realized that my Harry Potter collection was starting to grow, with special edition books and beautiful illustrated hardcovers. I knew that I needed this book in my collection!

So I bought it. And then when I realized that my preorder would ship to me at least three days after the release, I bought it again as a digital copy. And I devoured it in one day! My husband was making fun of me for wandering around with my iPad but I had to finish the story. I loved that I had all the feels as I started reading the story, meeting all the old friends – Harry, Ron, and Hermione. I loved all the throwbacks to the old series as Harry’s son started at Hogwarts. I loved the action and the time traveling and the finality of the story by the end.

The only thing that was hard to get past was the play part – there was a serious lack of detail that really had to be made up in my head. Having been in the world through books and movies, though, that wasn’t hard. It was easy to imagine the beautiful witch and wizard robes and the spark of power around the incantations of spells. And it really wasn’t hard to picture all of these characters in my head and the friendship they all had. By the end, it didn’t feel like I was reading a play at all!

This was a wonderful, nostalgic trip and even though I’m in my mid-thirties I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Upon finishing, I wondered when I would be able to start reading the books to my children, to get them as excited about this particular world as I am. Harry Potter is definitely one of those stories that will live on forever!

{Kind of a Book Review} And just like that, Breathe, Annie, Breathe has made me want to run again

IMG_20140709_091510Since I’ve had my first child, I’ve been a little lax in the exercise department. For the first 8 weeks or so, exercise just hurt (the joys of having a c-section), and since then I’ve had bursts of motivation, but for the most part I’m just lazy.

Thank the heavens for Miranda Kenneally.

I’m not a football player, nor do I enjoy softball. I’m not really religious, and while I love horses, I don’t really like riding them for long periods. However, with this fifth book in the Hundred Oaks series, I found something I do love.


If you saw me running now, it would be a sad, sad sight. I have little to no endurance, very little speed, and I just, well … I just suck at it. About six years ago, though, I didn’t suck at it. I was actually training to run in the Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon in Las Vegas and made it up to about 13 kilometers before I stopped. I don’t know why I stopped. Running is probably one of the easier — and cheaper — forms of exercise there is. And I was actually getting pretty good at it. It helped me keep my weight in check and was actually kind of fun.

These days, I wish I still could run at least 5 kilometers without getting winded and feeling like I was ready to die. While reading Breathe, Annie, Breathe, I longed for Annie’s endurance. That girl had strength! I remember the shakiness after a long run and that feeling like I was going to vomit. I remember my biggest worry about the Vegas half being the location of the bathrooms. Annie is everything that I long to be. I want to be able to run without feeling embarassed about it (everyone starts somewhere, right?) and just push, push, push to get where I want to be. There will be setbacks, but Annie showed me that that’s okay.

And Jeremiah. Oh, of all the book boyfriends I equally loved and hated! I was never a daredevil, so I could never, ever see myself with a guy like Jere — and I would have the same fears that Annie had, of him hurting himself. I did love the realization she had partway through the book that you could hurt yourself doing the simplest of things — it’s not just reserved for things like bungee jumping or skydiving!

I also have to say that it wasn’t just Annie who inspired me in this book, but Miranda herself. In the Acknowledgements she shared her story of running and training for a marathon. I felt myself reminiscing back to the days when I had that determination and told myself that it’s still there — I just have to coax it out.

I know most of this has been about my story when it comes to running, but it just had to be. This book inspired me to lace up my shoes and do my Couch to 10K program. I considered the 5K but just decided to go for the big one. After the husband left for work and the baby ate, I plopped the baby in his exersaucer next to the treadmill and off I went! It felt great and I have more energy now than I have in the past few weeks. Yeah, I walked the majority of this training session, only running for 3.5 minutes, and only logged in 3.4 kilometers in the end, but I’ll get there.

All thanks to Miranda Kenneally.

I can’t say that I won’t have any setbacks on this 13 week journey to getting my endurance up to running 10 kilometers, but maybe I’ll just keep this book by my bedside as a constant reminder that anything is possible. And heck, maybe one day I’ll have to determination to build up to a half marathon again.

Anything can happen.

Are you a runner? Have you ever read something that inspired you to get moving? 


BOOK REVIEW: The Humming Room, by Ellen Potter

Date(s) read: October 8, 2012
Genre: MG Fantasy

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Hiding is Roo Fanshaw’s special skill. Living in a frighteningly unstable family, she often needs to disappear at a moment’s notice. When her parents are murdered, it’s her special hiding place under the trailer that saves her life. 

As it turns out, Roo, much to her surprise, has a wealthy if eccentric uncle, who has agreed to take her into his home on Cough Rock Island. Once a tuberculosis sanitarium for children of the rich, the strange house is teeming with ghost stories and secrets. Roo doesn’t believe in ghosts or fairy stories, but what are those eerie noises she keeps hearing? And who is that strange wild boy who lives on the river? People are lying to her, and Roo becomes determined to find the truth.

Despite the best efforts of her uncle’s assistants, Roo discovers the house’s hidden room–a garden with a tragic secret. 

Inspired by The Secret Garden, this tale full of unusual characters and mysterious secrets is a story that only Ellen Potter could write.

My Thoughts

Thank you to Raincoast Books for providing me a copy of this book for review!

This was such a sweet book! Before I read it, I wondered if I would feel lost having not read Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden beforehand, but this story definitely stood on its own. I only wish it had been longer! At only 182 pages, this story provides the story of Roo, an orphan who goes to live with her uncle on an island where she encounters secret doors, a mysterious garden, and many other things!

From the first pages, I knew this was a book I would enjoy. I don’t read a lot of Middle Grade books, but when I find one that looks spectacular, I try to get my hands on it. I would say this one is similar to Lauren Oliver’s Liesl & Po because it contains ghosts and is told in a fairytale kind of way, but there were so many other things going on. Most of all, I think my favourite part of the story was Roo. Her determination to be herself was amazing, even if that meant she’d get on other peoples’ bad side. BUT, throughout the story we see a remarkable change in her character that brought a smile to my face. At just 12 years old, she shows so much growth in character that it’s hard to remember that she was only 12 years old.  Continue reading