Book Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

626F6F78747265616D=7474747474727576707<7473Based 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.

Okay, this was wild. From start to finish. And I am so conflicted about it. On the one hand, I was pretty entertained throughout the whole thing. On the other, I was pretty disappointed/underwhelmed overall.

Let’s start with what I loved about it. Albus and Scorpius’ seriously unsubtle love and devotion to each other. Finally, a Potter/Malfoy love story the fans have been waiting for. Seriously though, I’m ignoring that bit at the end. The premise of the story is so outrageous that it was just so entertaining and I loved a lot of it. I was able to easily feel a connection to Albus, and Scorpius. Even in play form, you can see that they’re struggling trying to find a place for themselves in a school that holds the legacies of both of their fathers. Ron Weasley is still the best in every universe and I have nothing more to add to that.

However, for the most part I found the story predictable and the original characters to be completely out of character from their development in the canon Harry Potter books (because I for sure am not considering this part of canon). First, in no universe would Harry James Potter ever say such terrible things to his own son, or try to control him the way the Dursley’s controlled him. Second, there’s no way that Severus Snape would ever be okay with sharing a name with a Potter. Even if he did, he would never outwardly admit to anyone, let alone his namesake.

I was really disappointed with the story overall in that everything that happened was predictable, which is not ever something I would expect from a Harry Potter story. In general though, I found myself having to remind myself just to read and not think too much about it. Time travel stories sometimes really mess with my head and I start thinking about the complexities and consequences, and things overall that could just not happen even in the magical world if you’re following your own rules.

If nothing else, I got to feel the anticipation and excitement of reading a new Harry Potter story and I’ll always be grateful that I got to feel a little piece of my childhood all over again.

Overall, I’d give it 3 bards.








so try me on and i will tell you where you ought to be









“Snape was just a fuckboy who was bitter he got friendzoned,” says the fan who romanticizes the Marauders and conveniently forgets that the only character to ever act entitled to Lily’s romantic attention was James Potter, who bullied Snape from the start simply because Snape was Lily’s friend and male. Like, if anyone was a fuckboy…

Except that Snape is the one who felt entitled to Lily’s attention. Did James pursue her a little too aggressively? Yes, but he behaved like a pretty typical teenage boy with a crush. When Lily rejects him James brushes it off and keeps trying to get him to liker her, Snape’s the one who gets upset and lashes out at her. Also, by literally everyone else Snape and James are described as having the same sort of relationship as Harry and Malfoy but we only ever see the relationship from Snape’s point of view because James is dead. Do you think Harry is a bully too?

So here’s the thing. Literally nothing you just said is supported in canon.

James was more than “a little too aggressive” in his pursuit of Lily. He relentlessly bullied her best friend, and at one point even tried to use this as leverage to get Lily to date him (he’d stop the torment, if Lily would agree to a date). Lily herself calls him out on how he is a bully, saying he walks down corridors, hexing anyone who annoys him just because he can. When they get together in 7th year, it’s because he supposedly has stopped his bullying ways, but continues to bully Severus in secret behind her back. That is canon. That is said by Sirius and Remus, after Harry saw “Snape’s worst memory” and was appalled at how fucking horrid his father was.

And, why is it that James constantly bullies Severus?

JK herself said: “James always suspected Snape harboured deeper feelings for Lily, which was a factor in James’ behaviour towards Snape.“ 

So. Because Severus Snape was Lily Evans’ best friend, and a guy, James worried that he was a rival for her affections, and from day one targeted him for bullying. Because how dare Severus even think he has the right to talk to her, when obviously James is the one she should pay attention to.

The only character we see not respect Lily’s rejection is James Potter. This is canon. He doesn’t ever take “no” for an answer. He refuses to. He resorts to lying to her in order to finally get her to date him.

Severus Snape, for one, never tried to be anything more to Lily than her friend. We are given no evidence to the contrary. And when she breaks off their friendship, he leaves her alone. We see him bargain for her life, we see him mourn her, but we see nothing to suggest he ever talked to her again after she ended their friendship. He respected her decision, and backed off.

You also seem to misunderstand the comparison between Harry and Draco. Harry is Severus and Draco is James. It’s another case of a rich, self-entitled jerk bullying someone from an abusive home, just because he feels slighted.

I almost scrolled past this, but I won’t because it’s exactly the kind of Snape apologia and vilification of James that really bothers me in the HP fandom.

1- There is absolutely no evidence in canon that James ‘relentlessly’ pursued Lily. That is fanon. Sure fanon has that trope about James repetitively asking Lily out and almost stalking her. In canon we only see James ever ask Lily out ONCE. In Snape’s worst memory. The rest of the time we see Snape having to tell Lily that James fancies her and there is no evidence she even knew about it before that, then we have Lily actively defend the maradaurs to Snape asking him why he was so obessed with them :

(DH, The Prince’s tale, p540 bloomsburry edition )

“… thought we were supposed to be friends?” Snape was saying. “Best friends?”
“We are, Sev, but I don’t like some of the people you’re hanging around with! I’m sorry, but I detest Avery and Mulciber! Mulciber! What do you see in him Sev? He’s creepy! D’you know what he tried to do to Mary Macdonald the other day?”
Lily ha reached a pillar and leaned against it, looking up into the thin, sallow face.
“That was nothing” said Snape. “It was a laugh, that’s all -”
“It was Dark Magic, and if you think that’s funny -”
“What about the stuff Potter and his mates get up to?” demanded Snape. His colour rose again as he said it, unable, it seemed to hold in his resentment.
“What’s Potter to do with anything?” said Lily.
“They sneak out at night. There’s something weird about that Lupin. Where does he keep going?”
“He’s ill,” said Lily. “They say he’s ill -”
“Every month at the full moon?” said Snape.
“I know your theory,” said Lily, and she sounded cold “Why are you so obsessed with them, anyway? Why do you care what they’re doing at night?”
“I’m just trying to show you they’re not as wonderful as everyone seems to think they are.”
The intensity of his gaze made her blush;
“They don’t use Dark Magic, though”.

Now, what does this scene tells you. First for someone who supposedly didn’t give as good as he got and was only the helpless victim of James, we learn that : 1- Lily doesn’t understand why he is so obsessed with them and can’t see the resemblance between the marauders and the very real, blood supremacist, dark magic using bullies that Snape was hanging out with and found funny. 2- Snape was very clearly trying to out Remus and actively trying to prove his case; so please do tell me, if this isn’t reason enough for James to hate Snape then what is? Not only did Snape actively try back when he was 15, but he DID out Remus years later because he couldn’t let go of the past when Remus was being nothing but cordial with him.

2- Which brings me to my next point, the idea that Snape was an innocent victim and not a bully himself is utter bullshit.

Let’s look at another excerpt from the books shall we:

(DH, The Prince’s tale, p542, Blommsburry edition)

“I was. I would have done. I never meant to call you Mudblood, it just -”
“Slipped out?” There was no pity in Lily’s voice. “It’s too late. I’ve made excuses for you for years. None of my friends can understand why I even talk to you. You and your precious little Death Eater friends – you see, you don’t even deny it! You don’t even deny that’s what you’re all aiming to be! You can’t wait to join You-Know-Who, can you?”
He opened his mouth, but closed it without speaking.
“I can’t pretend any more. You’ve chosen your way, I’ve chosen mine.”
“No – listen, I didn’t mean -”
“- to call me a Mudblood? But you call everyone of my birth Mudblood, Severus. Why should I be any different?”

Now what does this tells us? This tells us that unlike what the Snape apologists often love to pretend, Snape wasn’t an inactive by stander in the wannabe-death eaters sessions of muggleborns bullying. He actively took part in it, he actively threw slurs at them. Lily herself mention that and Snape doesn’t deny any of it.

Not only that but we also know that Snape invented Levicorpus, which we later see James use, how do you think James learned it if not because he had it used against him? We even see Snape use Sectusempra on James; Sectusempra, aka the spell capable of cutting someone open and leave them to bleed to death. This is the kind of experimentation Snape did with Dark Magic, so spare me if I don’t buy the “poor innocent Snape” narrative. He was a bully at school, going after muggleborn with his band of magical equivalent to the Hitler youth. But aside from that, please do tell me more about how Snape was innocent and never gave as much as he got when even LILY calls him out on his bullying of Muggleborns and admitted herself that she couldn’t excuse him anymore.

“Severus Snape, for one, never tried to be anything more to Lily than her friend. We are given no evidence to the contrary. And when she breaks off their friendship, he leaves her alone. We see him bargain for her life, we see him mourn her, but we see nothing to suggest he ever talked to her again after she ended their friendship. He respected her decision, and backed off.”

Excuse me? We should admire him because he backed off after HE threw a slur at her and still tried to talk to her when she didn’t want to, even saying he would sleep in front of the common room if she refused to have that talk?

And above all, we should think Snape is such a great guy because he bargained for her life? WHAT? Snape – may I remind you – was the reason why her life was even in danger to start with! Snape is the one who sold a BABY’S LIFE to Voldemort without second thoughts and only backed off when he realized that the baby in question was Lily’s. And not only that but he only partly backed off because he didn’t give a shit about what would happen to Harry and James, AKA the man she loved and HER SON. Dumbledore himself called him out on it:

“You disgust me,” said Dumbledore, and Harry had never heard so much contempt in his voice. Snape seemed to shrink a little. “You do not care, then about the deaths of her husband and child? They can die, as long as you have what you want?”

I genuinely cannot believe my eyes that some people are trying to paint this as a selfless act on Snape’s part. If it had been Neville he would have let him die without blinking, just like he was ready to let Harry die, a ONE YEAR OLD BOY and the son of the woman he claimed to love. I do not doubt that he loved her, but his love was entirely and completely selfish and none of what he did was for her. He did what he did for himself and to feel better about what he had caused. Snape was not a good person. Snape was bad guy who did the right thing for the wrong reasons. All his life he remained the same bitter bullying douchebag, he bullied kids as a gorwn ass man, he never got over it unlike James.

The point of Snape isn’t “good is not nice”, the point of Snape is “you don’t have to be a good person to do the right thing”. “Good is not nice” is in fact the point of James. Was James an immature “toerag” (as Lily colourfully put it) when he was 15? Sure he was, but his heart was always at the right place which is something we cannot say of Snape. And he grew out of it, which is another thing we cannot say of Snape.

The fact that James bullied Snape isn’t the only thing we know of him. We also know that James welcomed Sirius in his home when the later had nowhere to go, we know that James accepted Remus for who he was and became an Animagus to help him, we know that James befriended three outcasts without caring about how uncool they were, from what family they came from or what disease they had to deal with, we know that James was ALWAYS disgusted with pure blood supremacy as evidenced by his reaction when Snape calls Lily the m-blood in front of him. We know that when Snape was busy joining the Death Eaters fresh out of school, James was joining the Order and fighting against Voldemort from the start (a war that as a pure blood he could have stayed entirely out of). We know he defied Voldemort three times and lived to tell the tale, we know that he died throwing himself between Voldemort and his wife and child without even a wand to try to give them time to escape. James was a good person who wasn’t always nice and grew out of his bullying way.

Every characters aside from Snape always describe the Marauders as this generation Fred and George (who by the way also did a number of questionable things, such as shoving Montague in the vanishing cabinet, feeding Dudley their toffees or turning Neville into a bird). Were they always nice? No. Did they bully Snape?  Yes. Where they still good people? Yes. James included.

Snape wasn’t a good person, he never was, he never grew out of his petty high school quarrels, James did. Both were assholes when they were teenagers. One grew out of it, the other didn’t. It’s as simple as that.






Snape was bad guy who did the right thing for the wrong reasons.


The Re-Read Frenzy

So, now that Summer has rolled around and changes are hitting the Midsummer team (Jess is starting a new job and Olyvia is moving to Texas) we have both been caught up in re-reading some of our favorites. Re-reading can be something that can make you feel comfortable and as if you are hanging out with an old friend.  There is also something to be said about how re-reading can encourage children to continue to discover new novels and stories similar to those they already love.  In fact, I really think that re-reading was a huge influence on how much I adore reading today.

Although, to be fair, the first book I liked to re-read was The Foot Book by Dr. Seuss and I didn’t so much read it as I had it memorized and would randomly flip the pages to make it look like I was reading! (I was a precocious kid)

Another benefit of re-reading favorites is that you will always find something new.  I’m yet to re-read a novel and be unsurprised by a small detail I’ve never noticed or even had a specific sentence or scene jump out at me in a whole new way.  It’s so fun.

From two book nerds to you: here are some of our favorite re-reads and why we enjoy taking time out of our busy reading schedule to sit back down and remember why we loved them in the first place.

Olyvia: It helps when I’m in a reading slump, but also when I can’t choose what to read next, if I go back to my favorites I’ll usually pick something new but similar.

Olyvia’s Go-To Re-Reads

The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas
Anything Libba Bray.

Jessica’s Go-To Re-Reads: 

Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

What are some of your favorite re-reads?  What book do you always turn to in time of reading slump or indecision?

If anything, you can take this from our post: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas is definitely a series you should pick up, read, and re-read.

Top Ten Tuesday



Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted for us book blogger types by the Broke and the Bookish. They provide a topic, and all of us participants post our answers on our blogs and we hop around checking out one another’s answers! This week’s topic is:

Top Ten Things On My Bookish Bucket List

1. Become a published author

2. Finish the Harry Potter series (including companions)

3. Attend ALA in addition to BEA

4. Donate 100 Books to a local library

5. Buy the Jimmy Fallon THANK YOU notes books!

6. Start Vlogging

7. Get a signed copy of Lea Michele’s Brunette Ambition

8. Buy a library kit for my personal book collection

9. Host some authors in a local bookstore for YA Fans in Charlotte, NC

10. Help promote books and authors more and more.


What are some of your bookish goals?!

Christmas Gift Cards: What We Recommend

So you got a gift card this holiday season and are wonder what you should buy with it?  These are our (Jessica and Missy’s) picks on what everyone should have on their bookshelves!

19063  The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

    This is a must have and must read… (Especially since the movie just came out this past November) I could read this book over and over again, and since I bought the book I can read it whenever I need a good dose of reality or a good cry.


Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte   6185

    Not a book just to read for class anymore.  This timeless novel has a pretty amazing tragic love story between the two main characters, which includes quotes from the main characters like: “He’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.” Give it a un-educational read, I swear you won’t regret it.



3   The Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling

 Feeling like you need a little magic in your life?  Pick up any of the 7 books and get your fill.  After you have read the books once you can pick up any book and jump on the knight bus and  journey back to Hogwarts and leave your muggle life behind.



Splintered by A.G. Howard12558285

    And here everyone thought I would put Alice’s Adventure’s in Wonderland on this list. (to be honest, I’m fighting NOT putting it on here), but Howard’s reimagining of Carroll’s tale is unique, beautifully constructed, and full of colorful descriptions and images. In a word: Amazing. Plus, you can read this one just in time for the sequel, Unhinged, to arrive in stores.



5899779Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith

Now I know what you are thinking… really?  Zombies added to this classic book how is this better than the original?  Well for people who never really got into Jane Austen and Emily Bronte novels this is way better.  It has Zombies!  They are fighting Zombies!  It is so fun to read.  Trust me.

Jessica’s Opinion: Read the original first.  You can fall in love with Darcy organically just like Lizzie.  Plus, Pemberley is no place for zombies. *And you can be bored to tears. Missy’s interjection. I wasn’t bored at all with it!

An eReader

    I still prefer a book to an eReader but there is no denying the convenience of having 1000s of books at your fingertips.  And its pretty lightweight so storing it in your purse is a breeze.  Most eReaders also have the capability to download books from your local library for free, and who doesn’t like free books!

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