Review | Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)

Format: Paperback, 332 pages
Published: June 26th 1997
Genre: Fantasy
ISBN: 9780747573609
Rating: still unsure
I don’t know why I am having such a hard time deciding how I feel about this book. I think it might be because I built it up so much that it was impossible to live up to what I was hoping it would be. I know that I am going to be torn apart for this review but I have vowed to be honest!
Here are a few feelings that I have:
-I love the world building. You can really picture the scenes and the world.
-The characters – quirky, fun and memorable
-My version is very British – I was told that some of the newer editions have been edited with more American vocab/word choices but I am enjoying the original.
– I can’t help but feel as though I’ve seen this all before. I’m being reminded of books and movies that I have seen that are similar to this in plot line, characters and even in the world descriptions. I realize that this book came out 19 years ago and my opinion here may have been different if I would have read it when it was first released.
– The majority of the book IS world building. I luckily found it interesting but I know that a lot of readers get too impatient for world building that takes 200+ pages. It takes a very long time for anything truly eventful to occur, unless you count Harry going to Hogwarts as eventful but I don’t count that as a big plot event.
– Other than his life with the Dursleys he is handed everything on a silver platter. He didn’t have to work to get into Hogwarts, he is famous for something he doesn’t know he did, he doesn’t get punished for breaking any rules, he is instantly rich and without Hermoine I think he would have failed epically.
– Editing! This is always one of my biggest pet peeves. Some of the sentences are really awkward. Some of the characters that are randomly thrown in there seem so pointless (I’m hoping they make more sense later on in the series), and again, take out some of the world building. Do I really need 4 pages about candy and chocolate frogs?
I believe this book should be called Hermoine Granger and the Philosopher’s Stone. She came from a muggle family, has to work hard and study to succeed, has to face stereotypes and struggles because of her family history (or lack of). If not Hermoine than give credit to the group of them.
Overall, I did enjoy it and because of this challenge I will continue to read the series. My husband keeps saying “You’ll like the second book better because it was MY favourite”, So I am going to trust his judgment and cross my fingers. I have decided that we are going out for Halloween as Harry Potter and his parents. My little dude can be Harry as a baby 🙂
I am open to hearing your defences to my negative Nellyness. I’ve been in a bad mood lately so maybe I am judging too harshly. Let me know what you think!

Review | Isle of the Lost by Melissa De La Cruz

The Isle of the Lost(The Descendants #1)

Format: Hardcover, 311 Pages
Published: May 5th 2015
Genre: Fairy Tale
ISBN: 9781484720974
Age Range: 8+
Rating: 4/5

Twenty years ago, all the evil villains were banished from the kingdom of Auradon and made to live in virtual imprisonment on the Isle of the Lost. The island is surrounded by a magical force field that keeps the villains and their descendants safely locked up and away from the mainland. Life on the island is dark and dreary. It is a dirty, decrepit place that’s been left to rot and forgotten by the world.

But hidden in the mysterious Forbidden Fortress is a dragon’s eye: the key to true darkness and the villains’ only hope of escape. Only the cleverest, evilest, nastiest little villain can find it…who will it be?

Maleficent, Mistress of the Dark: As the self-proclaimed ruler of the isle, Maleficent has no tolerance for anything less than pure evil. She has little time for her subjects, who have still not mastered life without magic. Her only concern is getting off the Isle of the Lost.

Mal: At sixteen, Maleficent’s daughter is the most talented student at Dragon Hall, best known for her evil schemes. And when she hears about the dragon’s eye, Mal thinks this could be her chance to prove herself as the cruelest of them all.

Evie: Having been castle-schooled for years, Evil Queen’s daughter, Evie, doesn’t know the ins and outs of Dragon Hall. But she’s a quick study, especially after she falls for one too many of Mal’s little tricks.

Jay: As the son of Jafar, Jay is a boy of many talents: stealing and lying to name a few. Jay and Mal have been frenemies forever and he’s not about to miss out on the hunt for the dragon’s eye.

Carlos: Cruella de Vil’s son may not be bravest, but he’s certainly clever. Carlos’s inventions may be the missing piece in locating the dragon’s eye and ending the banishment for good.

Mal soon learns from her mother that the dragon’s eye is cursed and whoever retrieves it will be knocked into a deep sleep for a thousand years. But Mal has a plan to capture it. She’ll just need a little help from her “friends.” In their quest for the dragon’s eye, these kids begin to realize that just because you come from an evil family tree, being good ain’t so bad.

So, if you don’t already know, this book is a prequel for a Disney Channel movie called The Descendants. I’m really pumped for this movie now!

I love bringing myself back to all of my favourite childhood evil characters, I mean who doesn’t love Jafar! It was wonderful to have that nostalgia.

I can’t tell you much without giving it all away, but what I can tell you is that all the evil families have been trapped on an Island and banned from using magic. In fact, there is a dome covering the island that has removed their magical abilities. That means that all the kids, still have to do kid things like go to school and do their homework.

The Isle of the Lost wouldn’t be my favourite place to live though, they get the leftover garbage that nobody wants. Burnt coffee and moldy food, but I guess that wouldn’t bother you if you were evil and that is what you enjoyed! The kids though, didn’t seem as evil as I thought they were going to be. I mean, I get it, kids don’t need to be like their parents but I kind of hoped a little.

Either way, I think everyone should read this book and prepare for a really amusing Disney Channel movie. I know I’ll be watching it in July just to see what happens! I’ve followed these characters for the majority of my life, why stop now!