Discussion Sunday: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Spoilers)

I’ve been seeing, for the most part, two different opinions of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, I thought it would be really cool to have a discussion between people who represent each half of the fandom. The half that loved it and the half that disliked it and compare each side of things.

This isn’t meant to start fights or make anyone feel bad or like their opinion is less valid. This is just for fun. Anyone who starts fights in the comments or gets too aggressive will be blocked.

There will be spoilers in this post! So if you haven’t read The Cursed Child, continue at your own risk!

Meet the readers!

13694518_520558314815793_213694925_a  nanna

Jordan                             Nanna

taylor     logan

Taylor                                   Logan

Let’s begin!

Did you feel like there was any out of characters actions from the characters?

Logan: “I felt that the responses from some of the characters in certain scenarios were a bit different from how they would have handled them 22 years ago. But then I have to remind myself that these are 36, 37 year olds who have children of their own. They’ve grown and changed and handled a lot since then. They’re not the same characters they were in the 7th book – you have to expect some change.”

Jordan: “I absolutely felt that a lot of our well-known and loved characters were completely unlike how they had been presented in the Harry Potter books themselves. Take Ron, for example. When he was a teen, he was brave, smart, and witty; in The Cursed Child, though, he was constantly stuttering and seemed to be constantly nervous and inarticulate most of the time. I thought that even Harry himself was misrepresented: the Harry Potter I know would never have told his son that he sometimes didn’t want him as a son, and he never would have been as harsh as he often seemed to be in The Cursed Child.”

Nanna: “I think the biggest one was Harry. He had me shaking my head. I didn’t think he’d be the same teenage Harry we grew up with though because adulthood changes us. Some scenes really upset me though. Also, Hermione! Really, girl? A bookcase? A bookcase! Not her brightest moments. You know who still kicked ass? Ginny freaking Weasley. Oh, my god. My love for her is so strong. ”

Taylor: “Yes! For sure! I didn’t expect them to be exactly the same but holy crap. Harry was the worst one. Nothing about him seemed even remotely similar to the Harry Potter I know. Things he said, thing he did, were so unlike him and it made me want to cry.”

How did you feel about Voldemort having a child? Did it seem plausible? Did Bellatrix being the mother seem plausible?

Logan: “Voldemort having a child was weird. Like, really weird. I wasn’t expecting it at all. I figured The Cursed Child was Albus and him having to live in Harry’s shadow was his curse, but then like….I don’t know. It doesn’t fit in with the old timeline AT ALL. Unless Bellatrix got pregnant and then they time turnered forward 9 months and had the baby in like, a day. The only plausible thing is that they time turnered even FURTHER back to before the wizarding war….maybe even when Bella was in Azkaban? And she was pregnant there. But they never go into that so I’m just…yea no, it’s weird.”

Jordan: “I could see him having a child, but definitely not within the circumstances the play described. If Voldemort had a child, he would have raised her, ensured that she was like him and didn’t end up in a situation where she could turn against him. Instead, Delphi somehow inexplicably idolized her father without ever having met him? I don’t remember getting any information about Delphi’s childhood, so I was left slightly confused in that aspect. As for the likelihood of Bellatrix being the mother, I don’t think this would have been plausible if Voldemort were to “realistically” have a child in the Harry Potter series. I just think that he wouldn’t have chosen someone so close to him; he wouldn’t gain really anything by the match, and it could affect the relationship between him and Bellatrix in a negative way. ”

Nanna: “Oh, my god. Yes! When I read this part, I yelled “I knew it!” Bellatrix was always crazy in love with old Voldie. She was so devoted to him from the very beginning that it didn’t surprise me. Still, the entire idea of Voldemort and Bellatrix having sex had me laughing so hard and cringing. I can’t picture it nor do I want to. I would have rather had Delphi be a devoted follower too instead of the child of Voldemort.”

Taylor: “I think that’s what I hated most about this book. First off, it just didn’t make sense. Why would Voldemort want someone who could rival him? Who could potentially be better than him? Voldemort was always about power and himself and him having a child made no sense. Plus, the timing of Bellatrix being pregnant and having a baby made even less sense. The whole thing made not even a drop of sense. I feel like that aspect of the plot was only included for shock value.

Also, it was just weird. It made me feel so uncomfortable. Sometimes I’ll randomly think about it and it makes me wish I never read this book. It was just so freaking weird.”

What about the overall plot? Did it ever seem outlandish or unlike something Jo would think of?

Logan: “I liked the overall plot. I thought it was fun, and really different from the other books – which honestly, it’s not apart of the first 7 novels so it wouldn’t make sense to fit the flow of those. I also think this sort of plot is fantastic in the sense that in answers a lot of What If questions that the readers might have. If this character hadn’t died, or this hadn’t happened…I don’t know, it was a cool concept and I feel like it would be awesome to see portrayed on stage. It IS really weird with all that trolley witch nonsense and some other scenes. Those I didn’t think fit. But I overall enjoyed it and think Jo absolutely contributed to it.”

Jordan:  “I definitely think that the plot was unlike what we’re used to from JK Rowling. In the first 7 books, the conflict was real and stressful; I felt engaged and was turning the page because I just couldn’t wait to find out what happened. In this play, however, I felt the barriers the characters faced were exaggerated in terms of urgency/importance and were there solely for shock value; I was turning the page simply because I wanted to finish, not because I really cared about the turnout. Not only did I find the main conflict to be exaggerated, however, but I also just found them to be generally odd and somewhat nonsensical. Here’s how I viewed it: after eavesdropping a conversation his dad had with an old man Albus had never met and after having a fight with his dad, Albus suddenly decides it’s his responsibility to steal a dangerous artifact from the Ministry of Magic to go back in time and save someone he knows nothing about… and then basically everything goes south from there. It wasn’t necessarily that all the plot points themselves were outlandish, it was that the base of the conflict just made no sense in my opinion. ”

Nanna: “I didn’t think of it as outlandish. It was crazily fast paced. It took me a while to get that we were going to be on a long, and yet short, journey with Albus. The time jumping was hard to keep up with. But I chalked it up to the story being told in script-form. It needed to be fast paced, it couldn’t have filler moments. I also understood that it wasn’t just Jo writing it so I wasn’t expecting a Harry Potter book.

One of the major things that did shock me about the plot was Ron and Hermione constantly being in love. After Jo questioned their relationship, I feared that she would maybe make an alternative world where Harry and Hermione did end up together but she didn’t. She cemented Ron and Hermione’s love more than ever. It was beautiful.”

Taylor: “I didn’t like the plot at all. It was so rushed (which I think is because it’s a play and not a real book) and confusing. It didn’t seem like something Jo would think of and overall felt like someone wrote a fan-fic while they were drunk. I found it hard to follow and insane. So many things didn’t make sense to me and it didn’t feel authentic.”

Harry was a horrible father in The Cursed Child. How did you feel about this? Did you believe the explanation that it was because he didn’t have a father figure to learn from?

Logan: “I don’t think Harry was a horrible father. I think that he didn’t know how to relate to Albus because they were so alike. Growing up, I was so much like my mother, she said some horrible things and I said horrible things and we fought endlessly, but now I just realize it’s because we were too similar. I don’t think Harry intends to be the way he is with Albus – I think Albus fights back because he’s 14, 15 years old and that’s what most 14 – 15 year olds do. They push their parents buttons and being the middle child really irked him and he knew how to piss off Harry. I don’t think Harry could ever be a horrible father, I just don’t believe he knew how to connect with Albus. What also bothers me is that I’ve heard people accusing Hermione of being a neglectful mother and that’s why Rose is so nasty to Albus. Within a few seconds of Albus wanting to be friends (not even, just wanting to sit) with Scorpius, Rose is storming away and not speaking with him. I’ve heard a lot of people saying that Hermione is a terrible mother and that her daughter shouldn’t have traits like that, but Ron is her father. Ron is one of the most loyal characters, and Hermione is so insightful, I find it harder to believe that Rose is written correctly. She has so much good in her from both her parents, it hurt to read about her character.”

Jordan: “I just found his actions and character to be completely unrealistic based on his personality from the original series, and I absolutely do not think his being a terrible father had anything to do with the fact that he didn’t have a father figure himself. I would have expected that because of how the Dursleys treated him despite the fact that he was supposed to be their “second son”, he would be encouraged to be the best father he could be; I thought he would ensure that all of his children were treated with the utmost respect and care. Instead, I was left utterly confused at Harry’s awful treatment of Albus. ”

Nanna: “This is such a hard question. I don’t think he was necessarily a bad father. He definitely could have not said some things and reacted differently, but I understood him. There are times when we say things we don’t mean, especially in arguments. In that scene with Albus & what Harry tells him, I was more saddened that shocked or upset. I knew he didn’t meant it. It was a horrible thing to say but, in the heat of the moment, many people say things to hurt people. I was more upset over the way he talked to McGonagall than over what he said to Albus. For the whole “didn’t have a father figure to learn from” part, that was complete rubbish. He had two other kids who turned out just fine!”

Taylor: “The things Harry said to Albus were unforgivable. “Sometimes I wish you weren’t my son.” Who says that?! I don’t care what Albus said to Harry or how heated things got, no parent should ever say that to their child. The Harry Potter I know would never say that.”

How do you feel about this book being marketed as an 8th book, a continuation of the original 7?

Logan: I don’t like it. It’s not an 8th book – it’s entirely separate. This isn’t even a book, it’s a play. And as a play, I love it. I love the universe, I love that we get to look at the lives of some of our favorite characters again, and I’m thrilled it exists. But it is NOT an 8th book.

Jordan: “I don’t think it’s fair to call this the 8th book of the series when everything about it is different. If the characters, plot, format, and writing style are all separate from these same aspects in the first 7 books, how could it possibly be referred to as a continuation?”

Nanna: “It being marketed at the 8th book was definitely a no-no. I really don’t think it was a continuation. It’s definitely more of a spin-off than a continuation. I think that “continuation” gives the presumption that the main characters are going to be the same ones as the the first books in the series. I didn’t think of Harry as the main character (he was more of a secondary character); Albus was the main character in my opinion. Instead of having the golden trip, we have the duo: Albus and Scorpius.”

Taylor: “I think that was a big part in the down fall of this book for me. I was expecting something very different from this book because it was marketed as an 8th book. I think that that’s what it was, a marketing scheme. They probably didn’t mean it in a bad way but I do feel tricked into thinking the book was something it wasn’t.”

Do you feel like this book is canon?

Logan: I’d like to think parts of it are. And with it having Jo’s name on the cover, it’s hard to believe it isn’t. I really do believe Scorpius is a sweetheart and Draco changed for the better, having broken out of his father’s shadow. I like to think that Hermione really became everything she was destined to be, and Ron supported her. (Side note, I also loved that even though Jo has said in past interviews that she doesn’t think she’d have put Ron and Hermione together again, she had them have a pull toward each other in every single timeline. Even when they didn’t end up together, there was always something.) I like to think that all these things are real, and that their futures were bright. Do I find it hard to believe that Voldemort had a child, and that the Trolley Witch is crazy? Yes. But I feel like if we had more information on both those topics, it would be easier to jump ship.

Jordan: “Absolutely not. Nothing about this book (other than the names of the characters) reminded me of JK Rowling’s work. To me, this play felt like a work of fanfiction (and not a good one, at that): the plot points that were supposed to be “exciting” just seemed to fall flat, contrary to the heart-racing action Rowling usually writes; the characters in this play didn’t feel realistic, whereas in the first 7 books I felt like I could literally call them if I wanted to; and where the dialogue in the original Harry Potter novels felt natural and real, the conversations in The Cursed Child felt completely forced. I really am hoping JK Rowling didn’t contribute much, because it would only add to the disappointment if she was the main author and creator of this plot. ”

Nanna: “Sort of. I think the world is a little lost. We don’t get much details and I miss being immersed in the story. As I was reading it, I pictured scenes but I wasn’t in the world. Maybe I’m being weird but that’s the best way I can think to explain it.Would I like to see more? Yes. I would like to see more details. I want the entire story but with Scorpius as the main character! He’s my absolute favorite now. I can picture already how beautiful heart-wrenching his story can be.”

Taylor: “J.K Rowling could knock on my front door and tell me this book is canon and I still won’t accept it. This book felt like fan-fic and that’s all it ever be to me.”

Did The Cursed Child book satisfy you as a continuation?

Logan: I was absolutely happy with The Cursed Child and its content. I’m glad it was written and I really really enjoyed it. I’m actually surprised to hear how much negativity there is surrounding it, but it’s so interesting to hear all the varying opinions about such a popular series.

Jordan: “No, definitely not. There really just wasn’t much at all I liked about it: I did like Scorpius, but other than that? I was disappointed by pretty much everything else. I almost wish I hadn’t read it, because then the beautiful almost perfect image of Harry Potter I used to have would have been preserved, and I never would have had to feel the disappointment I’m currently facing after finishing The Cursed Child. “

Nanna: “Not a continuation, no. A “glimpse at the life” is more like it! Don’t think of it as a continuation. If I think of it as a short story, yes. It makes more sense as a short story but I’d rather read a continuation about the golden trio.”

Taylor: “Uh, no. Not even a little bit. This book was marketed as a continuation and that feels like a lie to me. If this was marketed as a play based on the characters by Jo, I probably wouldn’t have hated it as much. Every time I think about this book, I’m filled with regret and disappointment.”

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Thank you so much to Logan, Jordan, and Nanna for this amazing discussion! I really loved everyone’s answers and thoughts!

If anyone wants to answer any of the questions in the comments, please do! We’d love to hear your thoughts!

And be sure to follow Logan, Jordan, and Nanna on all of their social media, which will be linked down below.

logan Follow Logan: Instagram, Twitter, blog.

nanna Follow Nanna: Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, GoodReads.

13694518_520558314815793_213694925_a

Follow Jordan: Instagram, blog.

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Do the length of reviews matter? |Discussion Sunday

Discussion-Sunday

Discussion Sunday is our meme used to have an open discussion about anything books. It’s not necessarily every week, just whenever we have a topic we’d like to talk about. If you’d like to join us on your own blog, please credit us and send us the link so we can discuss your topic with you! -Taylor

I’ve been thinking about this for a while and I’m finally so curious that I can’t hold it in any longer. Do length of reviews matter? Does a review have to be at least 2 paragraphs to really convey the readers thoughts? As someone reading reviews, do we really care about reviews that are only a sentence or two? Do those reviews with only a couple of sentences even count as reviews?

I noticed a couple of weeks ago how my own reviews vary in length a lot. Some reviews are pretty long and some are very short. The length of my reviews really depend on a lot of factors. If I wrote the review just after finishing the book or I waited a couple of days. If I liked the book or not. If I was in a hurry to post the review before I had to go do something else. But mostly, how passionate I was about the book.

If I absolutely loved (or hated) the book, I can babble on and on about it. I noticed that most of my short reviews tend to be books that I rated three stars. Three star books, for me, tend to be the hardest books for me to review because I neither loved nor hated it. How does one write long, detailed reviews for books that simply didn’t impress you?

Personally, I tend to read shorter reviews when I’m looking up reviews on a book. Probably because I’m a little lazy but also, I don’t have time to read a massive review. I just want to know if the book was good or not. Why would I spend 10 minutes reading a review for a book when I could use those minutes to be reading an actual book?

But do short reviews really convey anything? Are they thorough enough to do the book justice? Or do they leave out too much information? If the review hits the main points (plot, writing, characters) of the book, does it matter how long it is?

I believe that the length of a review doesn’t really matter as long as it tells me what I want to know, which is if they book or worth reading or not. Maybe it depends on who the reviewer is. If a good friend of mine wrote a review that had two sentences, I’ll call it good and proceed to either read the book or not. But if I’ve never read a review from the reviewer before, two sentences isn’t a lot to go off of.

How do you feel about the length of a review? Do you prefer long or short reviews? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject, whether you agree with me or not. :)

Taylor-Signature

Definition of Genres | Discussion Sunday

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Discussion Sunday is our meme used to have an open discussion about anything books. It’s not necessarily every week, just whenever we have a topic we’d like to talk about. If you’d like to join us on your own blog, please credit us and send us the link so we can discuss your topic with you! 

This week I’d like to discussion something that bothers me a lot of the time and that’s the definition of genres in literature and why they shouldn’t matter.

Now, I’m not necessarily talking about genres like horror or  contemporary but Young Adult, Middle Grade, and New Adult.

A few years ago, I was at an author event with Rae Carson and a few other authors and she talked for a little bit about how she had to make some of the characters in her Fire and Thrones series a little younger so that they would fit into the Young Adult genre. I didn’t really know until then that genres like Middle Grade, Young Adult, and New Adult are just age categories of the characters who’s perspective the book is written from. I had been lead to believe (by no one in particular) that books were placed in those genres based on the reading level. Which is how many people that I’ve encountered believe. The Young Adult Library Services Association of the American Library Association defines a young adult as someone between the ages of twelve and eighteen. And in that case, many “classics” are Young Adult.

When talking to older readers (about 30-60 years of age), I found that many of them call Young Adult literature “kids books”. And if you read Young Adult, you know that is not the case. I’ve also found that a lot of people tend to steer clear of Young Adult because they think it’s not as high quality because it’s “meant for kids”. I’ve even found a few Young Adult readers who won’t read Middle Grade because “it’s for kids”. And I find that disappointing. It’s disappointing that some readers will limit their reading. That they won’t give new genres a chance because of preconceived notions. I like to think that genres shouldn’t matter. If you see a book that you want to read, that looks interesting, you should read it even if it’s not in your “normal” genre. Personally, I read mostly Young Adult because YA books tend to interest me most. But I do love a good Middle Grade fantasy or an adult horror or a New Adult romance. And if the right book comes along, I’ll read it regardless of genre. I think all readers should be able to read whatever they want without limiting themselves to a genre.  Everyone has preferences but those preferences shouldn’t prevent one from new reading experiences. Genres like Middle Grade and Young Adult are just guide lines to the character’s age. Not rules to who should read them.

What’s your opinion on literary genres? How often do you read outside of your preferred genre(s)? I would love to know your opinion on this subject!

-Taylor

Masculine/Feminine Literature | Discussion Sunday

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Discussion Sunday is our meme used to have an open discussion about anything books. It’s not necessarily every week, just whenever we have a topic we’d like to talk about. If you’d like to join us on your own blog, please credit us and send us the link so we can discuss your topic with you! -Taylor

This week I’d like to talk about something that’s been on my mind for a very long time.

About a year ago, I was in Barnes and Noble with my sister when a mother with a young child came into the YA aisle. The kid was around 10 years old and the mother was in search of a book or two for an older daughter who wasn’t with them. When the kid showed the mother The Maze Runner and said that it looked like a good book, the mother glanced at the cover and said, “No, that book is for boys.” I was stunned. Both that someone would think The Maze Runner is just for boys and that someone would think a book that The Maze Runner is genderized. My sister and I are baffled to this day about why that women thought something like that.

So today, I really want to talk about why some books are genderized and why it’s such a big deal.

What about a book makes it a book for boys? What makes a book “girly”? Is it action/adventure books meant for males just as movies are? Why do people assume girls don’t want to read about superheros and things exploding? Personally, I love books (and movies) like that. What about The Maze Runner said “for boys” to that women in Barnes and Noble? If a book is written from a guy’s perspective, does that make it a masculine book? Granted, I think if a book is written in a guy’s perspective, it’s probably more appealing because it’s more relatable. If a guy walked up to me and asked me for a book recommendation, I’m much for likely to say Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson over The Selection by Kiera Cass purely because Steelheart is written from a guy’s  perspective. Not because The Selection is “chick lit”.

If books are masculine or feminine depending on what perspective it’s written in, what category does duel perspective fall into? All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven is written in both a guy and girl’s perspective and yet I’ve seen people refer to it as “chick lit”. Is contemporary in general “chick lit”? Is it the pastel colored cover that screams “I’m for girls”?

I personally think books should just remain books. I don’t believe there are books for girls or books for guys. I feel like this kind of sexism is almost exclusive to New Adult, Young Adult, and Middle Grade books. I have not once seen anyone refer to Game of Thrones in any kind of  genderized manner. But books like The Maze Runner and The Selection are subjected to being categorized by gender all the time. YA books tend to be marketed toward genders instead of readers.

I know this post is mostly rhetorical questions but the whole subject of books being for a specific gender baffles me.  It also bothers me to no end.

What are your thoughts on masculine/feminine literature? What books do you feel are marketed toward a specific gender? Does it bother you? Do you think there’s any need for it? Comment below with any and all thoughts on this subject. I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions, whether you agree or disagree with me.

Book Buying | Discussion Sunday

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Discussion Sunday is our new meme. It’s not necessarily every week, just whenever we have a topic we’d like to talk about. If you’d like to join us on your own blog, please credit us and send us the link so we can discuss your topic with you! -Taylor

This week I’d like to talk about book buying. Last month when I posted my monthly book haul on my Instagram, I received an interesting message from a fellow book Instagram account telling me how I was “wasting” my money by buying so many books and how “disrespectful” I was by posting my haul because not everyone can buy as many books as I do. Now, for the last 7 months, my end of the month hauls are no less than 20 books. They range from 25-60 books each month. The haul in question was 46 books.  Anyway, I found it extremely interesting and mildly upsetting that someone would say that I’m wasting my money on books. Especially coming from a social media account dedicated to books and reading. I tried asking them why they thought the way they did but they never replied. But it really got me thinking about book buying and why it’s important.

When I first started reading extensively in 2010, not only did I have no clue what Young Adult books to buying, I also couldn’t buy a lot. I would buy around 10 books a year and read each and every one of them,  whether I liked them or not. Mostly because I didn’t have any other books to read and I would have rather have read a book I didn’t like then not being reading at all. So once I got to the point where I could buy a fair amount of books each month and I knew what books I liked, I started to buy almost all the books I wanted. Now, I can’t go buy all the books I want each month but if  see a book or two that I want, I’ll go buy them. 1) Because I want them. 2) Because I can. I’m at a time in my life where I can go buy 10 books a month. I doubt I’ll always be able to do this and that leads me into my next point.

Because it’s extremely unlikely that I’ll be able to buy 20 books a month forever, I’m sort of stockpiling. I read a lot (15-25 books a month) so buying 20 books a month doesn’t sound so crazy if I can kind of keep up with it. So when I’m unable to buy so many books, I’ll have piles of unread books to keep me busy. Just two years ago, I seriously only had 5 unread books. It was a sad time because I started to reread books that I didn’t like all that much because I didn’t have a lot of reading options. I like having a lot of options when choosing what to read. I read whatever genre I’m in the mood for so when I only had 5 unread books about vampires and I wasn’t in the mood for vampires, I was kinda screwed.

I also buy books I know I want to read. Whether I’ll read them in a week or a year, I don’t know. But when I see a book I want to read, I’ll buying it. I know that I want to read it so I might as well buy it. There’s no harm in the book sitting on my shelf for 9 months so why not buy it? I know if I see a book in store and I don’t buy it, there is a very high chance that I’ll forget about it and never read it. That one book could become one of my favorites. Why would I want to forget a potential favorite?

And my last reason for buying so many books is really simple. It’s because it’s my money and I can buying whatever I want with it. I firmly believe that people should buy whatever they want and whatever makes them happy (within reason. Don’t go buying a bunch of drugs, kids). Books make me incredibly happy. And if I can afford to buy what makes me happy, why shouldn’t I? If buying clothes and shoes made me happy, I would buy those. If makeup and hair products made me happy, why shouldn’t I buy those? If you can afford to buy what makes you happy, you should buy whatever that is.  And anyone who tells you otherwise can butt out. Because at the end of the day, it’s your money. If you want to buy books, go do it. If you want to buy vintage records, go right ahead. For me personally, I can’t think of any greater joy than receiving a box of books in the mail.

What do you think of book buying? Should people limit themselves on buying books? What are you’re book buying habits? Comment with any and all of your thoughts. This is Discussion Sunday so I really want to hear your thoughts and opinions, whether you agree or disagree with me. I really want know. :) -Taylor