Saturday, August 27, 2011

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban [Review]

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3)

#3 in HP series
435 pages
Published 1 October 1999

For most children, summer vacation is something to look forward to. But not for our 13-year-old hero, who's forced to spend his summers with an aunt, uncle, and cousin who detest him. The third book in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series catapults into action when the young wizard "accidentally" causes the Dursleys' dreadful visitor Aunt Marge to inflate like a monstrous balloon and drift up to the ceiling. Fearing punishment from Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon (and from officials at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry who strictly forbid students to cast spells in the nonmagic world of Muggles), Harry lunges out into the darkness with his heavy trunk and his owl Hedwig. 

As it turns out, Harry isn't punished at all for his errant wizardry. Instead he is mysteriously rescued from his Muggle neighborhood and whisked off in a triple-decker, violently purple bus to spend the remaining weeks of summer in a friendly inn called the Leaky Cauldron. What Harry has to face as he begins his third year at Hogwarts explains why the officials let him off easily. It seems that Sirius Black--an escaped convict from the prison of Azkaban--is on the loose. Not only that, but he's after Harry Potter. But why? And why do the Dementors, the guards hired to protect him, chill Harry's very heart when others are unaffected?

My Thoughts:
I love this book. It's my favorite of the series and probably in my top 5 favorite books of all-time. It's just absolutely amazing! Along with a new teacher, I love that we learn more about James Potter's time at Hogwarts and the time leading up to his and Lily's death. The last page is definitely the very best though :)

Previous Book:
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling [here]

Next Book:
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling 


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets [Review]

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter, #2)

#2 in the HP series
341 pages
1 Jan 1998

The Dursleys were so mean and hideous that summer that all Harry Potter wanted was to get back to the Hogwarts Schools of Witchcraft and Wizardry. But just as he's packing his bags, Harry receives a warning from a strange, impish creature named Dobby who says that if Harry Potter returns to Hogwarts, disaster will strike.

And strike it does. For in Harry's second year at Hogwarts, fresh torments and horrors arise, including an outrageously stuck-up new professor, Gilderoy Lockhart; a spirit named Moaning Myrtle who haunts the girls' bathroom; and the unwanted attention of Ron Weasley's younger sister, Ginny.

But each of these seem minor annoyances when the real trouble begins, and someone—or something—starts turning Hogwarts students to stone. Could it be Draco Malfoy, a more poisonous rival than ever? Could it possibly be Hagrid, whose mysterious past is finally told? Or could it be the one everyone at Hogwarts most suspects . . . Harry Potter himself?

My Thoughts:
Just as good as the first one :)

We're introduced to house elves finally! There's that big doofus Gilderoy Lockhart, dueling lessons, Fawkes, spiders, Moaning Myrtle and Mandrakes. Lest we forget the first encounter with the Whomping Willow. I love how this book sets up so many things for the future books!

Previous review: 
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by JK Rowling [here]

Next book: 
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (my favorite of the 6 that I've read) by JK Rowling

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Harry Potter & The Sorcerer's Stone [Review]

#1 in Harry Potter series
301 pages
Published 26 June 1997

Harry hates living with his Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia, and their spoiled-rotten son, Dudley. Harry's room is a tiny closet beneath the stairs, and the entire family treats him with disdain. What's more, Harry keeps getting into trouble for making strange things happen -- things he seems to have no control over. But then Harry discovers the truth about himself when a determined messenger delivers an enlightening message. It turns out that Harry's mother was a witch, his father a wizard. And not only is Harry also a wizard, he's a famous one! His survival of the attack by the evil wizard who killed his parents has marked him as a legendary hero -- as has the lightning-bolt-shaped scar on his forehead.

Soon Harry finds himself attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where he receives training in some magic basics, masters riding a broomstick, and discovers his incredible talent for a game called Quidditch, which is played in the air on flying brooms. And for the first time in his life, Harry has friends who care about him: his fellow students Hermione and Ron and a giant named Hagrid. But all is not rosy when Harry discovers his true destiny and finds he must once again face the evil one who killed his parents. His survival will depend upon the help of his newfound friends, as well as his own wit and powers.

My Thoughts:
I'm not sure what to really say about this book other than I remember reading it for the first time when I was 12 (over 10 years ago!) and it blew my mind. It still does that today. The style of writing and the amount of imagination and creativity that went in to creating such a brilliant story (characters, places, plot, etc.) is just pure genius. JK Rowling is a genius. I cannot wait for my kids to read it one day!

Last Reviewed:
Lover Unleashed (BDB #9) by JR Ward [Here

Next Book:
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (HP #2) by JK Rowling 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Lover Unleashed [Review]

(I actually give it 3 1/2)

#9 in Black Dagger Brotherhood series
489 Pages
Published 29 March 2011

Payne, twin sister of Vishous, is cut from the same dark, warrior cloth as her brother: A fighter by nature, and a maverick when it comes to the traditional role of Chosen females, there is no place for her on the Far Side… and no role for her on the front lines of the war, either.

When she suffers a paralyzing injury, human surgeon Dr. Manuel Manello is called in to treat her as only he can- and he soon gets sucked into her dangerous, secret world. Although he never before believed in things that go bump in the night- like vampires- he finds himself more than willing to be seduced by the powerful female who marks both his body and his soul.

As the two find so much more than an erotic connection, the human and vampire worlds collide … just as a centuries old score catches up with Payne and puts both her love and her life in deadly jeopardy.

My Thoughts:
The book itself wasn't awful or anything, it was just terribly slow and the main storyline of Payne almost seemed like it was on the back burner. There was an equal amount of Vishous thrown in there and a little Quinn and Blay too. Plus the police/detectives and Band of Bastards... Too many words, not enough actual story for me. I've heard that the next book (#10) is going to be about Tohrment and there will be a novella on Quinn and Blay.

Previous Review:
Lover Mine (#8 in BDB series) by JR Ward [here]

Up Next:
Rereading Harry Potter series. I never finished #7.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Lover Mine [Review]

528 pages
Published 27 April 2010

John Matthew has come a long way since he was found living among humans, his vampire nature unknown. Taken in by The Brotherhood, no one could guess what his true history was-or his true identity.

Xhex has long steeled herself against the attraction to John Matthew. Until fate intervenes and she discovers that love, like destiny, is inevitable.

My Thoughts:
I don't know if this rivals #3 - Zsadist's story - for my favorite, but it's definitely up there with it.

I've always liked both John and Xhex and was waiting to see what would happen with them. I feel there was a lot of resolve in this book, which I also liked. I like hearing a lot of questions answered at the end of the story.

Previously read book: Outside Wonderland by Lorna Jane Cook [review]
Next books: Lover Unleashed (BDB #9) by JR Ward
A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard
Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling (gotta prepare for Pottermore!)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Outside Wonderland [Review]

336 pages
Published 29 March 2011

Alice, Griffin, and Dinah Stenen's mother and father died tragically when they were quite young. The loss haunts them into adulthood. Alice is a stage actress in New York who can't commit to a relationship. When she meets Ian she's smitten, but suspects it's Ian's four-year-old son that really captivates her. Griffin and his longtime partner are settled into a contented domesticity, however Theo's insistence that they adopt a child throws Griffin into a panic. When he refuses to cooperate, the crack in their relationship widens. Dinah, the youngest, has a short, passionate love affair that leaves her pregnant and alone when she discovers the father is engaged to someone else. The three look to each other for support during this rough period but they falter. What they don't know is that their parents are watching them from a place outside time and space--worrying, reminiscing, and perhaps guiding their children as each makes their tentative way towards happiness. In luminous prose, Cook tells the story of these tender souls and a love that knows no boundaries.

My Thoughts:
I might at some point go back and give this one another chance, but I got 1/5th of the way through and the story was going nowhere. I have other books I want to read more. :)  This was the August book club pick for The Clamhouse Book Club. So far, we've not had much luck with books! :S

Previous book: Lover Avenged (BDB #7) by J.R. Ward - [review]
Next book: Lover Mine (BDB #8) by J.R. Ward

Monday, August 8, 2011

Lover Avenged [Review]

544 pages (Kindle edition)
Published 28 April 2009

#7 in Black Dagger Brotherhood series
Caldwell, New York, has long been the battleground for the vampires and their enemies, the Lessening Society. It's also where Rehvenge has staked out his turf as a drug lord and owner of a notorious night club that caters to the rich and heavily armed. His shadowy reputation is exactly why he's approached to kill Wrath, the Blind King and leader of the Brotherhood.

Rehvenge has always kept his distance from the Brotherhood-even though his sister is married to a member, for he harbors a deadly secret that could make him a huge liability in their war against the lessers. As plots within and outside of the Brotherhood threaten to reveal the truth about Rehvenge, he turns to the only source of light in his darkening world, Ehlena, a vampire untouched by the corruption that has its hold on him-and the only thing standing between him and eternal destruction

My Thoughts:
I'm not entirely sure I liked this one very much either. I look forward to the continuing of what has happened in this book. I liked hearing about Rehvenge and the sympaths, but the whole Lesser crap is beyond annoying to me. I don't know why, I just really don't like the Lash, Mr. D and Omega storyline. It's worse than when Mr. Z was forelesser. This book was harder for me to get through than any of the others, but I liked it a little more than #6. I have high hopes for the next one about Payne :)

Previously reviewed book: Lover Enshrined (BDB #6) by JR Ward [review]
Up next: Outside Wonderland by Lorna Jane Cook

Monday, August 1, 2011

Lover Enshrined [Review]

534 pages
Published 3 June 2008

#6 of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series: Fiercely loyal to the Black Dagger Brotherhood, Phury has sacrificed himself for the good of the race, becoming the male responsible for keeping the Brotherhood's bloodlines alive. As Primale of the Chosen, he is obligated to father the sons and daughters who will ensure that the traditions of the race survive, and that there are warriors to fight those who want all vampires extinguished.

As his first mate, the Chosen Cormia wants to win not only his body, but his heart for herself. She is drawn to the noble responsibility behind the emotionally scarred male. But Phury has never allowed himself to know pleasure or joy. As the war with the Lessening Society grows grim, tragedy looms over the Brotherhood's mansion, and Phury must decide between duty and love...

My Thoughts:
While I really loved this book, it was also a bit much. Too many point of views. I loved the book before this one because it was minimal. This one was in the POV of Phury, Cormina, Scribe Virgin, Omega, Rhevenge, Xhex, John, Quinn, the new forelesser, Lash, etc. It was over the top a bit. Too many stories.

Next up...
Lover Avenged by JR Ward {BDB #7}
Lover Mine by JR Ward {BDB #8}
Outside Wonderland by Lorna Jane Cook {Clamhouse August Book} 
A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard