Tag Archives: J.K. Rowling

Challenge Update, March 2020

2 Apr

What a weird month. That’s all I’m going to say about that one. You can look at my progress at any time on my challenge page.

Books finished in March:

Lethal White // Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling) (4/5)
August Snow // Stephen Mack Jones (2/5)
The Girls at 17 Swann Street // Yara Zgheib (4/5)
Fingersmith // Sarah Waters (3/5)
The Yellow Wallpaper // Charlotte Perkins Gilman (3/5)

And caught up on reviews! Here’s a positive side of the pandemic.

When Are You Reading? Challenge

5/12
Moving forward! I used Fingersmith to mark of the 1800-1899 time period and The Yellow Wallpaper could have been used for it, too. I’ll call that a double win. I hope to keep ticking these off, one after another.

Goodreads Challenge

14/55
I’m one ahead right now but I don’t know how long that will last. I’m in the middle of a lot of books, too, which I know will slow me down or a while but I think it will be for the best in the long run.

Book of the Month

I’m going to have to go with Lethal White by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling). It was really fun and reminded me while I like this series so much. I’m glad the fifth book is coming out soon so I can’t forget too much before learning more about Robin and Strike.

Added to my TBR

I’m shocked to say this is down to 55! I haven’t been this low since I joined Goodreads. I’m killing it.

  • None! Can you believe it? I’m in shock.

Personal Challenge

I’m gearing up again to track personal goals here. This is a great way to keep me accountable and to tell you about me outside the wide world of books.

  • Triathlon Age Group National Championships: Well. I’m set to start training on April 20th. We’ll see how that goes. At this point, I haven’t been in a pool for almost three weeks. I’m running or biking 6 days per week and doing stability exercise each day as well. I’m probably in a better place than most since I’m not concerned about the swim. This race isn’t until August so we should be in the clear, but I’m still not holding my breath.
  • Submit my novel: Here’s somewhere I’m slacking. With everything going on, this hasn’t been a priority. I’ll get more into it next Tuesday when I do a post about my writing, but a good summary is that I’m not moving forward with this at the time since the world isn’t moving forward at this time. I do hope to get back to this, but it may be quite a while.

How are your challenges going so far? I hope you’re off to a good start. If you love historical fiction, give some thought to my challenge for this year, it’s fun!

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Book Review: Lethal White by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling) (4/5)

19 Mar

I’m loving this series so far. With all the free time I suddenly have, I may have to look into finding the BBC mini series so I can watch it as well. I’ve heard that’s well done. But I like having my own picture of Robin and Strike in my head and I’m not sure I want to change that.

Cover image via Goodreads

Lethal White (Cormoran Strike #4) by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling)

Other books by Galbraith reviewed on this blog:

Cuckoo’s Calling (Cormoran Strike #1)
The Silkworm (Cormoran Strike #2)
Career of Evil (Cormoran Strike #3)

Summary from Goodreads:

When Billy, a troubled young man, comes to private eye Cormoran Strike’s office to ask for his help investigating a crime he thinks he witnessed as a child, Strike is left deeply unsettled. While Billy is obviously mentally distressed, and cannot remember many concrete details, there is something sincere about him and his story. But before Strike can question him further, Billy bolts from his office in a panic.

Trying to get to the bottom of Billy’s story, Strike and Robin Ellacott—once his assistant, now a partner in the agency—set off on a twisting trail that leads them through the backstreets of London, into a secretive inner sanctum within Parliament, and to a beautiful but sinister manor house deep in the countryside.

And during this labyrinthine investigation, Strike’s own life is far from straightforward: his newfound fame as a private eye means he can no longer operate behind the scenes as he once did. Plus, his relationship with his former assistant is more fraught than it ever has been—Robin is now invaluable to Strike in the business, but their personal relationship is much, much trickier than that.

I’d been hoping the series would start focusing on Strike and Robin’s lives a little bit more. I think with Robin’s wedding being a large part of the last book, it was finally time and I’m so excited about the change. It was fun to see the characters develop alongside the plot and I’m OK with how long this book was to accommodate so much. Rowling didn’t give up the mystery in favor of the character development. The mystery was still twisted and fun to unravel. I hadn’t seen the end coming until the big reveal. I’d seen glimpses of it but as a whole it took me by surprise. And I loved it.

Robin is a very real character. Her relationship with Matt is so well done. I understood why she fell in love with him and why she married him even when I hated him. Her feelings are very relatable and she’s changed a lot through the books and I like how that personal growth is reflected in her marriage. Strike has been less dynamic but his relationships with women are still interesting and fun to read about.

Strike continues to be a favorite character in this series. He’s constantly underrated and dismissed by people who can’t get past his handicap. But he proves time and time again that he’s more than capable and better than those on staff at the police. I can’t wait to see where his character development goes as I think there’s some more change coming to his character soon.

I felt as clueless as Izzy through the story and I liked her a lot because of it. I didn’t understand how most things were connected or why people were acting certain ways. I was unable to switch my perception of certain characters from what I first knew to a different reality. It made it easy to identify with Izzy and understand why the revelations about her family were so hard to stomach.

J.K. Rowling
Image via The Telegraph

I loved Robin’s plot line as it dealt with Matthew and Sara. That was the only thing I’d guessed before it was revealed. I think Robin was too close to it to see the obvious signs and she was too swept up in the case to look too closely at the clues. I’m glad it wrapped up the way it did and I regained a lot of respect I’d lost for Robin.

The beginning of the novel was frustrating for me. I didn’t like the strained relationship between Strike and Robin. It felt weird that after the wedding, things would be so different between them, but I understood why. After being so close and open for so long, Robin was keeping a big secret. I like that work was able to reconnect them even when Robin continued to keep her persona life to herself. Once that awkwardness went away, I was less stressed out about the book and enjoyed it a lot more.

The audiobook I listened to was narrated by Robert Glenister. He’s narrated all of the Strike books so far and I think he does an amazing job. The accents he uses for each character are reflective of their regions (as best as I can tell) and his voices for women don’t seem offensive to me. I liked how he changed Robin’s voice when she was acting under cover. The bored tone he gave the Chiswell’s when they were being pompous jerks was great, too.

Privilege and wealth were very prominent in the Chiswell children. It was a big motivator for all of them. Even Izzy, who seemed immune, seemed drawn to strike because he knew Charlotte and that made him desirable. It was their eventual ruin. With their father’s fortune in shambles and his life falling apart, they didn’t know what to do with themselves and the little they could continue to hold onto. The Lethal White of the title could easily refer the children who looked perfect on the outside but were destined to die.

Writer’s Takeaway: The blend between character development and mystery was great in this book. I loved the details of the case because it kept you guessing. The initial contact with Billy was great because he was so psychotic that you had no idea what to think of what he’d seen. I liked that the book ended with following up on this starting point. It was a good way to bookend the story.

Overall, a really enjoyable read and I’m looking forward to continuing the series. Four out of Five Stars.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Related Posts:
Book Review – ‘Lethal White’ by Robert Galbraith | BookBloggerish
‘Lethal White’ by Robert Galbraith | papergirl

WWW Wednesday, 18-March-2020

18 Mar

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: As with almost every aspect of our lives, the COVID-19 outbreak has affected my reading. I’m working from home for the foreseeable future so reading White Oleander by Janet Fitch during lunch isn’t happening. I hope to get to it again int he future, but it’s taking a break for now.
I’m back to Fingersmith by Sarah Waters full time and still loving it. I’m getting a lot more reading time in because I’m staying home more so I hope to get through this one in a reasonable time.
I picked up the audiobook for The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye by David Lagercrantz just in time. My local library has closed it’s doors so I’ve got until early April before I have to worry about a due date on this one. Because I’m not driving to and from work, it might take me a while to polish this one off. We’ll see how life has changed.
I started a new audiobook on my phone to keep me entertained on runs. My husband is working from home so I’m not getting a lot of alone time to listen. So it might take me a while to get through The Girls at 17 Swann Street by Yara Zgheib. My next planned athletic event is a run (since I had two swim meets and a run canceled already). So I might as well get running a bit more.

Recently finished: Working from home left me with the chance to listen to an audiobook during lunch so I enjoyed Lethal White by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling) and was able to wrap it up. I’m loving this series more and more and I’m so excited for the fifth book to come out later this year! Maybe I won’t take forever to get to it.
I used a slow weekend to wrap up August Snow by Stephen Mack Jones. The book club meeting for this book has been canceled so I won’t get a chance to discuss it with my group but I still wanted to wrap it up. It wasn’t my favorite but I’ll save all those thoughts for my review.

Reading Next: I should get to Cuando era puertorriqueña by Esmeralda Santiago sooner than expected with how fast I’m getting through physical books right now. I’m glad I’ve got a large store of books to keep me sane through the quarantine and craziness. I’m trying to find the silver linings.

As a reminder, I’m out of the country on vacation. I will not be replying to comments this week in order to enjoy my vacation. I’ll check periodically to approve any new poster’s comments. All reading is suspect, this post is planned well in advance.


Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 11-March-2020

11 Mar

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: I listened to very little of Lethal White by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling) while I was on vacation so I’m back at it now and I’m hopeful I can finish it this week. I’ve got some more running going on than normal which gives me a good chance to catch up and finish it up.
I read very little of White Oleander by Janet Fitch, too. Maybe a chapter? Maybe? I’ll hope to get back on this one now that I’m returning to work and quiet lunches.
I’m loving Fingersmith by Sarah Waters. There was already one huge twist that I adored and I think there will be at least one more coming. I’m about 250 pages in but took a pause to read a book club book.
The book club pick is August Snow by Stephen Mack Jones. I think it will be a quick read so I’m not too concerned about getting through it before the meeting.

Recently finished: Again, nothing. I had so much fun on vacation that I forgot to read much!

Reading Next: I plan to pick up Cuando era puertorriqueña by Esmeralda Santiago as soon as I find time for a print read. I’ve put my Spanish-language read for the year off for too long!
I’ll need an audiobook next and I’ve decided on a physical audiobook of The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye by David Lagercrantz. I may even start this one before I finish up with Galbraith since I usually run an eaudio along with a physical one to keep myself entertained on runs.

As a reminder, I’m out of the country on vacation. I will not be replying to comments this week in order to enjoy my vacation. I’ll check periodically to approve any new poster’s comments. All reading is suspect, this post is planned well in advance.


Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 4-March-2020

4 Mar

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: I’m still enjoying Lethal White by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling) and am excited this is a long haul. I haven’t had a 20+ hour audiobook in a while and I’m happy this is the one. Strike and Robin make a great pair.
I’ve read a bit of White Oleander by Janet Fitch while I’m away. It’s nice to have a book on my phone to grab snippets of a story while waiting around. But mostly, it’s been good conversation with my mom and I’m loving that.
I dove into Fingersmith by Sarah Waters on the plane! No word yet on if I’ll finish it but I’ll take a sizeable bite out of it before we get back to the states.

Recently finished: Nothing this week and no reviews posted. More to come on that when I’m back home!

Reading Next: If I finish my current read before I get home, Cuando era puertorriqueña by Esmeralda Santiago will be my next read. It’s waiting for me at home and I’ll be excited to read in another language but I didn’t think I could handle it while in a foreign country. My brain has only so much space.

As a reminder, I’m out of the country on vacation. I will not be replying to comments this week in order to enjoy my vacation. I’ll check periodically to approve any new poster’s comments. All reading is suspect, this post is planned well in advance.


Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 26-February-2020

26 Feb

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: I’m in love with Lethal White by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling). I’ve liked all of the Galbraith novels so far but I think this one is the most engaging yet. Robin’s story is more involved now and I’m really invested in her marriage and how it’s affected by her job. I think this is a great layer that’s been added to the story and I can’t wait to see how it ends.
I haven’t gotten very far into White Oleander by Janet Fitch. Maybe I’ll get through some during my vacation but I’m not going to plan on it too much. I hope to be having so much fun that I don’t get to read outside of travel time! Fingers crossed.
I did get started with just a bit of Fingersmith by Sarah Waters. I hope to concentrate on this one during my travels. It’s nice and long and I think it will keep me entertained for long flights and ferry rides. I’ll be really pleased if I finish it.

Recently finished: I rushed to finish What the Eyes Don’t See by Mona Hanna-Attisha on Saturday. I got the review written and posted yesterday as well. I’m so glad I’ve read this book and understand the Flint water crisis better now. I live close to Flint and it’s hard to believe something so terrible could happen an hour from where I live. It’s really eye-opening. I gave the book Four out of Five Stars.

I was able to review Wild Ink by Victoria Hanley on Monday. It was an okay read, nothing special for me. I think I would have gotten more out of it if I hadn’t read two other books on writing recently. I gave it Three out of Five Stars.

Reading Next: I plan to pick up Cuando era puertorriqueña by Esmeralda Santiago when I get back from Greece. I need to get started on my Spanish book for the year. I can’t believe I’ve put it off this long.


Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 19-February-2020

19 Feb

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: I haven’t had as much time as I’d like for What the Eyes Don’t See by Mona Hanna-Attisha. My book club meets to talk about this on Monday and I’m not sure I’ll have it finished! I’ll have to make some more time for it this week than I normally would. It for sure is not going on vacation with me!
I started a new audiobook and, as planned, it’s Lethal White by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling). This picked up right where the third one left off and I’m adoring it so far. These characters are great and I’m looking forward to seeing how the tension between them can be resolved.
I had a change of heart about my ebook and decided to pick up White Oleander by Janet Fitch. I listened to the audiobook of this a while back and realized later that it was abridged. It’s been long enough that I’ve forgotten most of what I listened to and I’m ready to read the full book this time. Strap in for a long one!

Recently finished: I was close to finishing Wild Ink by Victoria Hanley! I wrapped it up during lunch on Thursday. It was an OK read, nothing great but still enjoyable. I’ll have a review for it up tomorrow. I gave the book Three out of Five Stars.
I also finished Finding Gobi by Dion Leonard. I have a few quibbles about this one and ended up giving it Three out of Five Stars even when I really enjoyed parts of it. I posted my review yesterday so please go check it out.

I also posted my review of Sarah’s Quilt by Nancy E. Turner since last week. It was a fun story, but I still had some quibbles I couldn’t look over. I ended up giving the book Three out of Five Stars.

Reading Next: I still need to pick up Cuando era puertorriqueña by Esmeralda Santiago as a print book, but it might get put off a bit. I do plan to read it this year as my Spanish-language read, though, so I won’t forget it!
This close to my trip, I think I might grab the book I’ve decided to take with me, Fingersmith by Sarah Waters. It’s a longer book, but I think it will keep me entertained for the long flights and I won’t mind leaving it behind if I finish it and want to pick up another book.


Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 12-February-2020

12 Feb

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: I think I’m nearing the end of Wild Ink by Victoria Hanley. I’ve been having more days I can dedicate to reading during my lunch which has been nice. I’m going to be optimistic and say I have two weeks left on this one.
I’ve really liked what I’ve read so far from What the Eyes Don’t See by Mona Hanna-Attisha. I thought this book was going to be a lot of science and politics that would be a drag to get through, but Hanna-Attisha has approached it like a memoir. It’s about her interaction with Flint and the water crisis and how she became active.
I’m already halfway through Finding Gobi by Dion Leonard. This is such a cute story and I love that it involves running! I haven’t ready an endurance sport book in a while and this is getting me ready for tri season starting soon.

Recently finished: After such a rush from last week, I’m not surprised that I don’t have any to add here this week. I think next week will see at least one title, though.

I was able to get some reviews written! I posted my review of The Extra Ordinary Life of Frank Derrick, Age 81 by J.B. Morrison on Monday. I gave it Three out of Five Stars. I’ll have another post about it soon because my book club met on Monday to talk about it.
I also reviewed The Dutch House by Ann Patchett. I’m so happy I finally finished this one because I really enjoyed it and I can’t wait to do another buddy read with this friend because we had a blast. I gave it Four out of Five Stars.

Reading Next: I have to change the plan here a bit due to the library due dates (boo). I’m picking out all the formats of books and I think I’ll need a new audiobook first. I’ve settled on Lethal White by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling). It will feel good to be caught up on this series and I’d love to have a little mystery in my life for a bit.
As for an ebook, I’m thinking of The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides. I’ve loved his books before and I believe I’m caught up on his fiction after this one.
As for a print book, I think I’ve put off my Spanish read for too long this year. I’m going to dive in with Cuando era puertorriqueña by Esmeralda Santiago. I found this in a used book store in New Orleans a few years ago and I think it’s about time I opened it up.


Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 25-April-2018

25 Apr

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


Currently reading: Lots of driving for work and the emergence of spring means that I’ve made significant progress on The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. The book’s really good and I found myself moved near to tears at one point (no, I wasn’t chopping onions). I know the big question is if the older woman in the 1990s timeline is one of the sisters or not and I keep changing my guess. Please, no one tell me!
I’m getting there on The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro. It’s still slow for me. This part of the book has been jumping around in time and character and I’m not enjoying it at all. I often find myself confused about who’s talking and if it’s in the timeline or a flashback. I’ll be glad to finish this one.
I’ve made some fair progress on An Abundance of Katherines by John Green but not too much. It’s enjoyable still but not sucking me in yet. John Green tends to suck me in late so I’m waiting for it.
I was able to start Drop Dead Healthy by A.J. Jacobs and I’m already over half way through it. I adore Jacobs’ writing voice and I’m also a big fan of all the health tips and tricks I’m picking up along the way! I bet this one is off this list by next week. Seriously.

Recently finished: I finally finished Harry Potter y las Reliquias de la Muerte by J.K. Rowling! It was great to finish this one up after so long at it. There’s my Spanish book for the year. Phew. I posted my review of the book yesterday so please check that out when you get a minute. It’s not my traditional review, but I’m guessing if you wanted to read it, you probably have by now. Or at least saw the movie. Either way, you likely know the plot by now and I’m not going to say anything new original that you haven’t heard or thought before. It’s pretty much me gushing, I’ll be honest. Oh well.

Reading Next: I hope to finally start Mister Monkey by Francine Prose soon. I’m getting close to the end of Nightingale so it shouldn’t be far off. I still have no idea what this book is about, but I’m looking forward to finding out!
In my efforts to tackle Mt. TBR, I’ve requested an inter-library loan of the book currently sitting on the top, What I Know Now: Letters to My Younger Self by Ellyn Spragins. It’s a collection of letters and life advice from successful women in various fields. I think it will be a good pick-me-up as I struggle through finals and get ready to head into an accelerated summer class. At least I hope it is.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Book Review: Harry Potter y las Reliquias de la Muerte (4/5)

24 Apr

I did it! I finally finished my Spanish language book for 2018. It took me almost four months this time but I’m so glad to say I finally finished and even more excited because it means I’ve finished my read through in Spanish which I started in 2012. Yep, it was that long. I started off strong and read the first four in a year but then I slowed way down when I started working full-time. But it’s done and I’m now working on the illustrated versions as they’re released. I’m currently behind and only on the second book. But that’s a story for another post.

Cover image via Goodreads

Harry Potter y las Reliquias de la Muerte (Harry Potter #7) by J.K. Rowling

Other books by Rowling reviewed on this blog:

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts I and II by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling, Illustrated by Jim Kay
Harry Potter y el Orden del Fenix by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter y el Misterio del Principe by J.K. Rowling
Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling
Very Good Lives by J.K. Rowling
The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling)
The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling)
Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling)

Summary from Goodreads:

Concluye así la serie más vendida de la historia de la edición, que a la postre se ha revelado como un gigantesco puzzle literario de casi 3.700 páginas dividido en siete partes. Con un ritmo infernal que corta el aliento, y un final tan emocionante como inesperado, el último libro constituye un broche de oro en el que infinidad de detalles que surgieron en las seis entregas anteriores cobran sentido y tienen una explicación exacta, dejando al lector maravillado ante tan inmensa obra de relojería.

Man, did my spell check hate the Spanish summary. Oh well. If you don’t know what this book is about, I’m not going to spoil it by posting the summary in English. You’ll have to read the first six first (or at least those summaries). This was one of my least favorite books in the series when I read it the first time and I liked it marginally more now, having watched the final movie enough and recognizing the deep emotions that I flew past when reading it the first time (and admittedly skimming them again this time). I liked the structure that the books got when they focused on a year at Hogwarts. There was Quidditch (except book 4), classes, holidays, and a huge host of characters that showed up each year. I missed this structure in the final book and even though there are epic adventures, there was minimal McGonnagal. And that’s sad no matter how you slice it.

I think one of the reasons this book translated well to screen for me was because the emotional turmoil that Harry goes through fell flat to me a bit on the page. These characters are going through a war and it was hard for me to see that Ron was so moved by his brother’s death or that Harry was scared to face his death. The writing worked better for me in the first six books but it was a bit lacking for me in this one.

I don’t normally say this with Potter books, but Harry was my favorite character in this one. He’s finally matured and stopped yelling at everyone which is really refreshing. He’s also very strong when it’s needed of him. He figures things out and is smart, but not unbelievably so because he asks for help when he needs it. And I can’t forget brave. He’s very brave in this book but he shows his weakness. With the way the plot’s structured, you’re a bit out of luck if you don’t like Harry in this book because the other characters don’t play as big of a role.

Unfortunately, the characters aren’t very relatable in this book. The situation Harry’s going through is very unique and it’s not very comparable to anything in my everyday life. At this point in the series, I’m reading because of my investment in the story, not because I feel a personal connection to the characters.

J.K. Rowling
Image via The Telegraph

I read this over such a long period of time that it’s hard to remember specific parts I enjoyed. I did like the time at Shell Cottage, which was drastically shortened in the movies. I’d forgotten how much they disliked Griphook and it was such a joy when Remus showed up to announce Teddy’s birth.

I’m not a fan of the epilogue. It does show that everything was able to return to normal, in a way, but it also shows that people chose odd names for their children and sets up for a sequel that I’m still sorting my feelings out about. I think it could have involved a lot less name dropping and focused more on Harry and Albus. It was too busy for me.

 

Love was a very strong theme in this last book. Ron and Hermione’s feelings for one another, Harry for Ginny, love between family members and loving friendships. Voldemort’s lack of love was not as obvious to me as I wish it had been, but I did see some great examples of it. Someone who kills a loyal follower like Severus as quickly as Voldemort did is clearly incapable of love. You do get a glimpse of Bellatrix’s feelings for Voldemort, though, and I liked realizing that wasn’t as much of an afterthought as I originally thought it might have been.

Writer’s Takeaway: Wrapping up a series can be incredibly difficult and I really commend Rowling for how well she was able to do it. Of course, not everyone will be satisfied. But she did a great job of tying up her loose ends and giving readers the ending they wanted without it being easy to get. I can’t say I ever plan to write a seven book series, but if I do, I hope I can wrap it up as well.

Overall an amazing book but hard to compare it to the other amazing books in this series. Four out of Five Stars.

Until next time, write on.

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