Wednesday, August 31, 2016

August Wrap-Up

Books I Read

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne


I wasn't aware that J.K. Rowling hadn't actually written the script until I had the book in my hands, but once I did, I tried to go into the story without high or low expectations. And I still loved it. Obviously it'll be a thousand times better seeing it rather than just reading the script (having so much dialogue and so little description was a weird experience for me at first, but I love dialogue, so I was okay with it), but for a Harry Potter book that wasn't written by J.K. Rowling, it was really, really good. The characters we know and love are all of a sudden grown up, but they didn't feel like totally different people. They'd developed as people in a realistic way, even if it was sometimes frustrating. (My only mild complaint was that Ron didn't get much time in the book at all, and even when he did it was only as comic relief. His one shot at some kind of heroism didn't work out as I thought it might. Merp.) But the world still felt like one I recognized. A lot of people complained that there was no typical plotline of Potter and Co. going through classes at Hogwarts and battling evil in their downtime, but my argument there is that this isn't the same world Harry was in. Voldemort's gone, so that means there will be different complications. And I loved the time travel plots in this, because the Time Turner plot in PoA was one of my favorites.

This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp


Talk about a chilling tale. This is not the kind of book you want to read unless you're in the right mood for something heavy. It was great to see so many diverse characters given main voices and different sides of the same story. The entire story is told in fifty-four minutes, but they dragged on just like they were supposed to in that ominous way. I will admit that Tyler's character and his motivations mostly confused me because I felt like he contradicted himself in a lot of ways, but everything else seemed very realistic.

A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin


I FINALLY finished it! It was a little slow to start, but now that the groundwork has been laid and I've gotten to know the characters and politics between the different families, I think it'll go faster now. George R.R. Martin may be gruesome, but man, can he paint a picture. I know I'm not supposed to get attached to anyone, buuuuut . . . it's me we're talking about. I love Arya. And I like Jon and Daenaryoiusoijkfs. (Totally how you spell her name.)

The Fangirl Life: A Guide to All the Feels and Learning How to Deal by Kathleen Smith


This was a not-so-thinly-disguised way to build up a girl's confidence using fangirl terms and examples from different fandoms. It had a lot of good advice, especially since it was coming from a licensed therapist, and it was fun seeing it in such relatable ways (although it focused a lot on fashion and "hairporn" and that's just not the kind of fangirl I am). Boys could definitely read it, too, and get just as much out of it, but they definitely weren't the intended audience.

In Real Life by Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang


I picked this up because Felecia Day had written a blurb for the cover, which is 1000% enough of a reason to buy a book on a whim. Fun story with great illustrations, but it was definitely a little preachy. It's all good and fine if you want to get your message in there, but the story and the characters should come first when you write a book. Find a way to artistically weave it in so they don't suffer.

The High Mountains of Portugal by Yann Martel


If I had to sum up this book in one word, that word would be "ummm . . ." I honestly have no clue what to make of this. There's definitely some kind of metaphor for everything he wrote, but I'm utterly baffled. The last part was really fun to read, though, because Odo the chimpanzee was adorable.

Movies I Watched

"Jason Bourne"


Not as good as all of the other movies, but I really enjoyed it. It was still very much classic Jason Bourne. And I liked the side characters they introduced.



I didn't realize this was a book until I was about to watch the movie, but from reviews I've seen for both, it looks like the movie was better anyways! A lot of the characters were really cliché, but the concept was awesome and you're never bored. Ever. It was off the hook.

Quotes I Wrote

Lots of writing for 'Til the Last Star Dies, but I can't quote any of it without giving anything away!

Obsessions I Acquired

"Stranger Things" - Along with everybody else in the world, it seems, my dad and I got into the show and devoured it. It's the perfect amount of humor and creepiness and paranormal fun. I loved the middle school characters especially, along with the grumpy sheriff.

Picture of the Month 

My brother decided to try putting his glasses on Scout.
I got to go shopping for fun stuff in preparation for my two college classes this year (General Psychology and English Comp 101).
This is what happens when you get a bunch of kids from writer's camp together for a sleepover. Dork music videos and 2 a.m. viewings of "Sherlock" with enough candy to put all of Australia in a sugar coma.
My mom and I went to New York to see "Les Miserablés" and catch a Ham4Ham show. One of the last performances for each thing, apparently! Here's me with the Schuyler Sisters.
We managed to push ourselves to the front of the crowd for Ham4Ham. Well, the front of the crowd of people who didn't enter the lottery.
There's the Richard Rodgers!!
And the Imperial Theatre.
Inside the theatre.
How was your August?


Rain said...

Awkwardly, I didn't realise that September was over until I saw all of the wrap-up posts waiting in my queue!
Great to hear that you enjoyed the Cursed Child - it's been rather divisive and, whilst I know that other people have enjoyed it, most of the reviews I've seen have been negative.

The Magic Violinist said...


Ha, yay for wrap-up posts acting as reminders! ;P

I've probably seen an equal amount of positive and negative reviews. And lots of people who couldn't really decide either way.

Dr. Mark said...

Phew! Your wrap-ups exhaust me! It's so cool that you and Mommy could go to NYC together. I was a little jealous, but mostly happy the two of you could spend time together. A 2 for my book club selection?! C'mon! It was glorious! ;)

And yeah, you should NOT be attached to ANYONE in GOT. None. No one. Nobody. I hope that should your chosen attachments disappear from the series at some point, in a very Martin-esque fashion, that you will still enjoy the books. But I'm not telling you if those are poor choices for attachment. We can talk later. :)

Boquinha said...

THIS - "It's all good and fine if you want to get your message in there, but the story and the characters should come first when you write a book. Find a way to artistically weave it in so they don't suffer." - is excellent writing advice. I definitely think I did the complete opposite in my first NaNoWriMo book and I see how it adversely affected the story.

And I love the pictures. :)

The Magic Violinist said...

@Dr. Mark

And they're the posts that generally take the longest to put together. There's so much!

I would've been a little jealous, too, but mostly happy, so it's all good. ;)

I know it's not a good idea, but I can't help it. It'll probably crush me later. At least I'm forewarned.


We've all probably fallen into that trap once or twice. That's what editing is for. ;)

Thanks, I do, too!