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review 2017-06-14 01:13
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Review)
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - J.K. Rowling

Alright, once again, I finished the book almost two years ago and because I was in school and had other nonsense going on, I took very few notes and put off writing the review until now. I have few details to give, which is especially depressing when you’re giving a low rating to a book that is beloved by thousands, if not millions, of readers. You want to have more to say to defend your opinion, but… well, yeah.

 

When I first tried to read this series at the age of thirteen or fourteen, Prisoner of Azkaban killed me. I quit partway through, and this is a big deal because I never just quit a book. I have not finished exactly two books since Prisoner of Azkaban all those years ago, and both of those were because they had graphic sexual content—obviously not the case here. Even the second time around, it took me months to finish this book.

 

This book is just boring. There’s not a lot happening, and it follows a very distinct pattern from the first two books. I enjoyed Lupin, but that was about it. There’s an incredibly interesting story lurking somewhere underneath the side plots and downright boring writing. Without the nostalgia of reading this as a child, I don’t have a lot of patience for the childish nature of the side stories and writing. Most of the story happens in a few exciting chapters, but everything else is muddled and boring. I get that these books are sentimental to lots of people, and I know there are things I love to read that others find boring, but this one was just kind of painful to get through.

 

Overall: Fortunately, I’ve already read Goblet of Fire, and I actually enjoyed that one. For me, this is where the childishness ends and we can move forward into a grown up and intricate plot. I’m relieved to put this one behind me and move forward with the series. I can’t count how many people told me to skip to Goblet of Fire to begin with, and they’re certainly right.

 

Read this review on my blog!
http://thaliasbooks.tumblr.com/post/161793118862/harry-potter-and-the-prisoner-of-azkaban-review

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review 2017-03-31 23:58
Red (Review)
Red - Alison Cherry

This is yet another book I initially read about a year and a half ago, but since I remember enjoying it, I decided to reread it so I could review it better. To my relief, despite lower-rated reviews I read from friends, I found that I still enjoyed Red for all its goofiness and craziness.

 

The second I read the synopsis for this book, I knew I needed to have it. I’ve been dying my hair a coppery red since I was fifteen, and it’s actually astounding how many people feel slightly betrayed when they discover that I’m not actually a redhead. I’ve had “real” redheads poke fun at me, and while I don’t care if people know I dye my hair, I sometimes feel a little bit like a liar when someone (especially strangers) compliment my hair color. My reaction is always to say, “Thanks, I dye it,” like I want them to know I can’t take credit for it.

 

That could be why I enjoyed Red so much, despite its immaturity and its flaws. I usually don’t go for books that can’t convince me to believe in its world, but fortunately I found that Cherry convinced me quite easily that Scarletville is a real place, and the people there are really kind of messed up. Felicity is a perfect narrator for the novel because she changes the most, and she’s not intentionally cruel but just kind of clueless. Felicity learning that her hair color—and everyone else’s, too—doesn’t matter is a perfect metaphor for the insignificant differences we all have that we can get hung up on.

 

What I Liked: Spoilers!

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review 2017-03-29 04:53
The Fill-in Boyfriend (Review)
The Fill-In Boyfriend - Kasie West

When I first read this in 2015, it was the only book I gave five stars that year. Admittedly, I wasn’t reading as much as I would have liked, and I’ve been in a hardcore reading slump since then, but still—one five star book is a little disappointing. I never wrote the review because things got in the way and I didn’t make time, but as I started looking back on my experience with this book, I started to worry that maybe I didn’t like it as much as I’d remembered. Maybe it was just the kind of book I needed at the time. Maybe it wasn’t all that great after all, and I was looking at it through rose-colored lenses.

 

That worry resulted in me picking it up again today to see how I really felt about it. And guess what? I loved it just as much as I did the first time! I read it (again) in one sitting, and I fell in love (again) with the characters and their stories. This is my first encounter with Kasie West, and I’d always been meaning to read so many of her books, but The Fill-in Boyfriend really sold me on absolutely everything. It is the perfect summer read—heck, it’s the perfect it’s-still-winter-even-though-it-should-be-spring-now read, too. It is the perfect chick-lit romance without shoving insta-love or cheesiness down your throat. I highly, highly, highly recommend it, and I’m so grateful that it will always be on my shelf for those days when I just need to escape reality and dive into something satisfying.

 

What I Liked: Spoilers!

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text 2015-12-12 07:24
Finished!
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - J.K. Rowling

Okay, I'll be honest, I finished this awhile ago.

 

When I first tried to read the Harry Potter books, this is the one that killed me. I never finished it. This time around, it definitely took me longer than the first two--part of that is college and the struggle to read for pleasure when I have so much reading for class; part of it is, while this is one of my favorite movies, it just wasn't a very interesting book for me. It's my least favorite in the series so far, and that kind of sucks, but although it's been a few months since I actually finished, we should all take a second to celebrate that I made it past my sticking point from years ago! Yay!

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text 2015-07-25 02:41
Finished!
The Fill-In Boyfriend - Kasie West

When was the last time I started and finished a book in one day? Like... maybe four hours. And I will take this time to cheer because MY READING SLUMP HAS FINALLY BEEN BROKEN!!!

 

This is easily the best book I've read this year. EASILY. Everything about The Fill-In Boyfriend was fantastic, even though it began a little cheesy. Since we met the love interest/fill-in boyfriend on literally page four, I was worried the insta-love would overtake me and ruin what I wanted to like about this book, but I was so pleasantly surprised.

 

The two main characters, Gia and Hayden, have the most amazing relationship. It has an obviously quirky beginning, since Gia does ask him to pretend to be her ex-boyfriend for prom night, but the development of it afterward is so natural and easygoing. I don't think I've ever read a book with as realistic a relationship as the one in this book. And this is particularly exciting for me because I've been dying to read Kasie West's books for ages and have been holding back for that "are they popular because they're good or or am I going to hate them the way I hate If I Stay and Nicholas Sparks" kind of way. BUT SHE'S SO SO SO SO SO GOOD.

 

I'll write my review for this when I'm in a less fangirly state of mind. But seriously, I'm so happy. Everything about it made me happy. I'll be more objective later. But right now, I'm just going to emotionally roll around in how happy I am, and also pat myself on the back for this completely impulsive, unfounded, and probably irresponsible buy from the bookstore. (Screw you, TBR!)

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