Review: The Tales of Beedle The Bard Illustrated Edition (JK Rowling and Chris Riddell)

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Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publication Date: October 2nd 2018
Format: Hardcover, Illustrated Edition
Source: Pansing Books
Page Count: 160

This lovely book is now available in all good bookstores nearby!

Blurb from Goodreads:

A spectacular full-colour illustrated edition of J.K. Rowling’s fairytale classic The Tales of Beedle the Bard, with breathtaking illustrations by all-round genius and national treasure Chris Riddell.

The dazzlingly brilliant Chris Riddell brings his magical illustration talents to J.K. Rowling’s gloriously inventive The Tales of Beedle the Bard in a fully illustrated colour edition of this essential classic for Harry Potter fans. Translated from the runes by Hermione Granger, the volume includes ‘The Tale of the Three Brothers’, familiar to readers of Harry Potter from the crucial role it played in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Mischievous and witty, these five rollicking tales are a deeply satisfying read in the tradition of all great fables and fairytales. Kindnesses are rewarded and selfishness shown to be the ruin of many a wizard. Burping cauldrons, hairy hearts and cackling stumps are met along the way. Each of the tales is accompanied by a deliciously subversive and insightful commentary by Professor Albus Dumbledore, all brought vividly to life with Riddell’s trademark wit and elegance.

Former Waterstones Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell is the only illustrator to have won the Kate Greenaway Medal three times, and is brought together here for the first time with one of the world’s best loved storytellers in this new edition of J.K. Rowling’s fairytale classic.

Much loved by generations of witches and wizards since they first appeared in the fifteenth century, this beautifully illustrated edition is set to become a firm favourite at bedtime in non-magical households the world over.

The Tales of Beedle the Bard is published in aid of Lumos, an international children’s charity founded in 2005 by J.K. Rowling.


MY OVERALL RATING:

4.3 STARS

INDIVIDUAL RATING:

1. The Wizard and the Hopping Pot – 3.5 STARS
2. The Fountain of Fair Fortune – 4 STARS
3. The Warlock’s Hairy Heart – 5 STARS
4. Babbitty Rabbitty and her Cackling Stump – 4 STARS
5. The Tale of Three Brothers – 5 STARS (My favourite of all!)

HERE’S MY THOUGHTS!

After finishing the entire 7 books back to back (now I have reread it for 3 times), actually I don’t have the intention to read this additional and companion story. I feel most attracted to The Tale of the Three Brothers mainly because its importance to Harry, Dumbledore and Voldermort’s origin and story. Many things we can learn from these short and fictional stories.

The Tales of Beedle the Bard is compilation of short bedtime stories specifically written for young Wizards and Witches. It is like Cinderella, Snow White in the Muggle world! All of the moral values and knowledge received from these stories are tailored to young wizards for them to know what is right and what is wrong. This is to instill character and behaviour since young, so that they know what to do when they face obstacles. These stories are no different compared to the Muggle ones, they are all telling the same theme and subject, which is to always be kind to one another, to be never boastful when we thought that we have achieved our dreams, to be selfless and to always respect one another.

My favourite part of this book is definitely the commentary made by my favourite character ever, Albus Dumbledore. His absorbed and thoughtful insight on the story really made me understand the stories better. One of the things that I adore Albus is about his love and fascination towards Muggles.

I have no regrets receiving this Illustrated edition. All of the illustration are spot-on and flawless, and these are absolutely helpful to the reader for better visualisation and reading.

Right now I must purchase all of the Illustrated books and also the Crimes of Grindelwald screenplay as well! God I love this Wizarding World so much and I am eternally grateful to have known this universe.

Thank you so much Pansing Books for providing me this GORGEOUS review copy! 

X

Sabrina

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[Movie Review] Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

p13663846_p_v8_agTHIS IS MY INITIAL THOUGHTS AFTER WATCHING THE FILM

Directed by: David Yates
Writer: JK Rowling
Based on the characters created by: JK Rowling
Cast: Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Dan Fogler, Ezra Miller, Zoe Kravitz, Callum Turner, Claudia Kim, Kevin Guthrie, Jude Law, Johnny Depp


Now how do I review this without spoiling the movie so much? LOL

Crimes of Grindelwald takes place in 1927, three months after the event of the first film. I go into the cinema with such low expectations, thinking that the movie would be bad and bland, but I am absolutely blown out-of-the-way!

We get to see all of the characters from the first Fantastic Beast film and it is great to see them again on-screen after two years of waiting. A lot of new characters are introduced as well, such as Leta Lestrange, Theseus Scamander, Nicolas Flamel and my most favourite character, Albus Dumbledore. We get to see Gellert Grindelwald’s actions really well in the movie, as he is progressively dominating the world and people around him. It is refreshing to watch some of the characters on-screen that are sometimes mentioned in the books.

The plot is certainly interesting but it raised many questions instead of answers. It pains me that we have no way other than to wait for the next film to search for answers. I really hope that the waiting is worth it.

The setting of the movie is also different from the previous film, this particular film sets in London, Paris and also Hogwarts. When the soundtrack and scene of Hogwarts come into view, I cried because it has been such a long time we have seen Hogwarts on the big screen. The surroundings and students makes me feel home. It makes me miss Harry, Ron and Hermione more.

The most meaningful part of this film is the reunion between the characters. All of them have been separated for a quite of time, seeing them together again is totally a moment of triumph. Watching the movie feels like learning and starting about the Wizarding World all over again. It’s because this franchise is not based on books or written materials, so viewers are constantly being surprised by the story and plot twists. I honestly like it this way because it gives you the chance to expect the unexpected. It forces you to think out of the box. It makes me even excited to watch theory videos from Super Carlin Brothers after this!

There are many surprised, happy, damn-hilarious, sad and WTF moments in the movie. This movie is an epitome of roller coaster of emotions. It is both fun and light to watch a movie without too much of action, because all of the hilarious parts of the movie have balanced it all.

We also see a move of diversity in the film. The world and characters are in a different spectrum compared to the Harry Potter universe. More people of colour casts are involved in the film, showing the world is indeed inclusive with other cultures as well.

Personally, I really don’t mind watching and immersing myself in this new world. I totally appreciate new content from JK Rowling. I know people have been very vocal about JK Rowling messing up with this world and it seems a lot of things that JK Rowling has added and done to this new world is very much contradicting to the Harry Potter universe. I at times, question the canonicity of this universe, with such opposing information in this movie compared to what we have initially learnt in the books. Like Professor McGonagall’s cameo? The ending? After thinking about the film, I wish all of that would have not happened.

Anyway, as fans, I really hope that this franchise will be successful as the Harry Potter. I absolutely love this film, more than the first one. I would totally watch it again for the second time, for better understanding and research purposes. My advice is to watch it by yourself, without thinking too much of people’s critical review on this film. If you are a Harry Potter fan by heart, I can guarantee that you will love this as much I do.

I would love to hear your thoughts about the movie too! Are you excited or unimpressed?

My rating: 4 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐

X

Sabrina

ARC Review: A Curse So Dark and Lonely (Brigid Kemmerer)

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Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publication date: January 29th 2019
Format: ARC Paperback
Source: Pansing Books
Page Count: 484
This book will be available in all good bookstores.

Blurb from Goodreads

In a lush, contemporary fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast, Brigid Kemmerer gives readers another compulsively readable romance perfect for fans of Marissa Meyer.

Fall in love, break the curse. 

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom. 

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.


RATING

4 STARS

HERE’S MY REVIEW!

Oh my god guys.

This book was far better than I expected. I went through the story with such low expectations and hopes but I was very satisfied and contented with the story. First, I was thankful that I received this arc from Pansing. Upon receiving the arc, I was intimidated by the fact that the book was so thick (it’s 500 pages long) that I nearly guessed that this is definitely a stand alone fantasy. I was wrong. I could tell by the ending that there would be a sequel and I cannot wait to read it! I believe that there is more to be told in the next story!

I have never read Beauty and the Beast and since this is a retelling of the tale, I didn’t have any references to compare between the stories. The story was well written with such amazing and diverse casts. I love Harper, the main character who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and that the medical condition did not define her. She is strong as steel and quick with her movement. Her confidence and courage was shown by how she tried to solve problems in order to break the curse. She was so selfless because she cared and helped the people of Emberfall, even though she came from another world. The male main character, Prince Rhen was also interesting to read about. He was so mysterious and calm. I could feel his despair every time he spoke about his life and that made me truly sympathised him. The other supporting casts were also so fun to read.

Even though the story was set in a very much different world from us, the world of Emberfall seems so familiar and comfortable. I was so mesmerized with the world that I felt like I was in the story as well. I was surprised by the ending because I really didn’t anticipate it. It pains me until now that I have to wait for another year to finally get my hands on the second book! 😭

I read this book in just two days because it was so good and gripping from page one till the end!

Looking forward for the next book of the series ❤

Thank you Pansing Books for providing me this ARC in exchange of an honest review!

X

Sabrina

Review: The Dark Prophecy (Rick Riordan)

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Blurb from Goodreads:

Zeus has punished his son Apollo – god of the sun, music, archery, poetry, and more–by casting him down to earth in the form of a gawky, acne-covered sixteen-year-old mortal named Lester. The only way Apollo can reclaim his rightful place on Mount Olympus is by restoring several Oracles that have gone dark. What is affecting the Oracles, and how can Apollo/Lester do anything about them without his powers? After experiencing a series of dangerous–and frankly, humiliating–trials at Camp Half-Blood, Lester must now leave the relative safety of the demigod training ground and embark on a hair-raising journey across North America. Fortunately, what he lacks in godly graces he’s gaining in new friendships–with heroes who will be very familiar to the fans of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians and Heroes of Olympus series. Come along with Apollo and Leo for what promises to be a harrowing, hilarious, and haiku-filled ride.


RATING

4 STARS

HERE’S MY REVIEW!

I cannot thank Rick Riordan enough for making Greek and Roman mythologies fun to read. This story is the second book in The Trials of Apollo series, as we watch the greek god, Apollo or known as the teenage Lester tries to regain his godly powers.

In The Dark Prophecy, we are reunited with the amazing casts of Heroes of Olympus series who are Leo Valdez and Calypso. In this world, we just have to be prepared to meet many new Greek and Roman gods, monsters and characters of all types.

I have come to love Apollo and all of the characters in the book. It is very interesting to watch him struggle with the adversity of being human. Meg McCaffrey on the hand is being such a sport to Apollo by being a good travelling companion to him, in order to face the quest. Apollo has realised that mortals do rely to each other, unlike Greek and Roman gods, so he is getting more loyal and devoted to his friends. Apollo is less self-centered now, but sometimes he still thinks that the world revolves around him. He expects things to go smooth sailing without needing to do any work.

I love for the fact that all of them care for each other so much that they are willing to do anything to see the other survives. Seeing them protecting each other truly warms my heart. I truly appreciate the appearances of LGBT+ characters in the book as it shows that all characters regardless of what their orientations are celebrated and welcomed.

The action is non-stop and engaging. There is something so incredibly fun about Rick Riordan’s writing that makes me truly engrossed into reading about Greek and Roman myths. I feel so knowledgable reading about them as I didn’t have the chance to properly learn them in school.

One of my favourite characters in the Percy Jackson series has returned and I am so excited to read about him in the next book, The Burning Maze with our favourite duo, Apollo and Meg! Guys, this is only the second book of a five book series, but I see so much potential! The problem is that one year of waiting for the next book can be so unbearable. Just pray that our beloved cast won’t die in the series 😦

X

Sabrina

Review: Whichwood (Tahereh Mafi)

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Blurb from Goodreads:

A new adventure about a girl who is fated to wash the bodies of the dead in this companion to Furthermore.

Our story begins on a frosty night…

Laylee can barely remember the happier times before her beloved mother died. Before her father, driven by grief, lost his wits (and his way). Before she was left as the sole remaining mordeshoor in the village of Whichwood, destined to spend her days washing the bodies of the dead and preparing their souls for the afterlife. It’s become easy to forget and easier still to ignore the way her hands are stiffening and turning silver, just like her hair, and her own ever-increasing loneliness and fear.

But soon, a pair of familiar strangers appears, and Laylee’s world is turned upside down as she rediscovers color, magic, and the healing power of friendship.


RATING

4.5 STARS!

HERE’S MY REVIEW!

After finishing Whichwood, I can truly say that Tahereh Mafi is a great writer! Her story, characters, words written are so perfect and beautiful. This companion to Futhermore is definitely worth the wait. In my experience, Whichwood’s story is better than Futhermore in terms of story line and writing per se. I was constantly amazed while reading because of her writing was so flowery, all descriptions were perfectly describe and well-detailed. I also loved the Persian fantasy elements in the novel. All of the depiction of the main character’s work as a mordeshoor, who washes dead bodies in preparation for the afterlife were very knowledgeable and appreciated. Alice and Oliver from Futhermore appearance’s made the story even more enjoyable and entertaining and that even made the story even more wonderful. The friendship between the young children stood out the most and that was definitely the best part of the book.

Several important messages were perceived in the book, thus it shows that middle grade books do offer critical significance for us adults to ponder upon, even though the story is whimsical and amusing. One of themes that was very prominent to me was child labour. See, the book is darker than you even expected! The story revolved around Laylee, who was an overworked child and often undervalued by the society. This was definitely an exploitive act done by irresponsible grown-ups in the story. This scenario is no stranger to the real world. Children are often exploited because they (employers) think that they can simply be ordered, hence they will be deprived from going to school and experience a normal childhood. God I love stories with immense lesson for us readers to reflect!

All in all, I love everything about this story and I do hope that there will be another companion to this whimsical middle grade story!

X

Sabrina

ARC Review: The Light Between Worlds (Laura Weymouth)

The Light Between Worlds

Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Chicken House
Publication Date: 
November 1st 2018
Format: ARC Paperback
Source: Pansing Books
Page Count: 405

Blurb from Goodreads:

Five years ago, Evelyn and Philippa Hapwell cowered from air strikes in a London bomb shelter. But that night took a turn when the sisters were transported to another realm called the Woodlands. In a forest kingdom populated by creatures out of myth and legend, they found temporary refuge.

When they finally returned to London, nothing had changed at all—nothing, except themselves.

Now, Ev spends her days sneaking into the woods outside her boarding school, wishing for the Woodlands. Overcome with longing, she is desperate to return no matter what it takes.

Philippa, on the other hand, is determined to find a place in this world. She shields herself behind a flawless exterior and countless friends, and moves to America to escape the memory of what was.

But when Evelyn goes missing, Philippa must confront the depth of her sister’s despair and the painful truths they’ve been running from. As the weeks unfold, Philippa wonders if Ev truly did find a way home, or if the weight of their worlds pulled her under.


RATING

4 STARS

HERE’S MY REVIEW!

First and foremost I would like to say I am glad that I chose this ARC to review. I hope this book will deserve the hype as other anticipated reads of the year out there.

The first thing that brought my attention was the fact that The Chronicles of Narnia is the foundation of The Light Between Worlds. I truly enjoyed watching the movies and I guessed that this book would work for me. Fortunately, it did.

The story was beautifully written with emotional and profound themes. It was set in post-war 1940s England and a mythical woodland kingdom. The focus of the book was mainly on the aftermath of their journey in Woodlands, five years after settling back to London. The entirety of the books delved into how the three siblings had to deal with life after Woodlands. I was so emotionally attached to all of the characters thus it showed that the writing was very amazing and successfully created a universe that was mesmerizing enough for me to enjoy.

The book truly gave me an insight on how to deal with grief, guilt and build the courage to continue living. Bear in mind this book also touched on serious mental health issues such as depression that led to self-harming. You guys should not expect very much action packed episodes in this book, as it was more leading towards elements of magical realism. I also love this story because it explored family issues as well, on how consequences of certain issues would effect the family as a whole. I truly appreciate good stories with family appearances in it, as it shows that families are very much important in our lives.

The book was written in dual perspectives, both were heartwrenchingly emotional to read. The narrations were raw and honest. The additional characters were so lovely they have brought daylight and happiness to both of the main characters of the book. I would always picture Lucy and Susan Pevensie while reading the book because of the resemblance of this story to Narnia.

This book will be available in all good bookstores on November 1st 2018.

Thank you Pansing Books for providing me this ARC in exchange of an honest review!

X

Sabrina

Review: The Hidden Oracle (Rick Riordan)

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Blurb from Goodreads:

How do you punish an immortal?

By making him human.

After angering his father Zeus, the god Apollo is cast down from Olympus. Weak and disorientated, he lands in New York City as a regular teenage boy. Now, without his godly powers, the four-thousand-year-old deity must learn to survive in the modern world until he can somehow find a way to regain Zeus’s favour.

But Apollo has many enemies—gods, monsters and mortals who would love to see the former Olympian permanently destroyed. Apollo needs help, and he can think of only one place to go… an enclave of modern demigods known as Camp Half-Blood.


RATING

4 STARS

HERE’S MY REVIEW!

I knew that I would be again mesmerised and happy when I read anything by Rick Riordan.

This book is honestly action-packed, full with comedy and full of diverse characters! The main character, Apollo is such a funny guy. However, I love Percy more to be honest! I wish there is more scenes with Percy in the story, because after the universe all started from Percy’s point of view. I think the writer wants other characters to be as the center of the story line. I truly appreciate Percy’s role in the book and it truly shows his importance to the story even better. In this book, Percy is more relaxed because he has his SAT to complete in order for him to persue college with Annabeth Chase. Percy is very thoughtful of his future! Good Percy 🙂

It is very refreshing to read Apollo’s point of view in his angsty teenage mortal self, from being a very self-centered God to a loveable and funny character. His narration in story is very interesting as he actually knows stuffs even back in his golden and modern days. His character reminds me of Gilderoy Lockhart from Harry Potter, not in a bad way.

Overall, I pretty much enjoyed reading this. It is a good refresher to understand about the universe, after we have read the Percy Jackson’s and The Heroes of Olympus’ series. There are many characters from both of series make appearances and it is heartwarming to see all of them are included in Apollo’s journey in being a teenager. I also love Apollo for being so openly bisexual, he accepts his son’s boyfriend with an open heart. And all the drama of Gods from Greek and Roman mythology, what’s not to love? LOL

Excited to continue book 2, THE DARK PROPHECY ❤

X

Sabrina