Review: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (J.K. Rowling)

840699.jpg

Blurb from Goodreads:

It is Harry Potter’s sixth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. As Voldemort’s sinister forces amass and a spirit of gloom and fear sweeps the land, it becomes more and more clear to Harry that he will soon have to confront his destiny. But is he up to the challenges ahead of him?

In her darkest and most breathtaking adventure yet, J.K. Rowling skilfully begins to unravel the complex web she has woven, as we discover more of the truth about Harry, Dumbledore, Snape and, of course, He Who Must Not Be Named


 

RATINGS

5 SHINING STARS ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

HERE’S MY REVIEW!

I think y’all are sleeping on this book! After rereading the series for five times already, it is true that Half-Blood Prince is the most underrated book. I mean, it is the most crucial book when it comes to Voldemort’s life discovery and weaknesses. Even JK Rowling admitted that Deathly Hallows completely overshadows Half-Blood Prince since Half-Blood Prince is the key and paves the way for the events from Deathly Hallows to happen. It shapes the way to Hogwarts’ victory.

I also notice some changes in my reading favourites to my reading patterns throughout the years of rereading. During my younger years of reading Harry Potter, I tend to devour and enjoy the first three books more compared to others because in my opinion, they are very much carefree and fun to read since the characters are also young kids and they are relatable to me. I think that the books are also easy to comprehend since they are not so much dark related activities going on and simpler to read.18423227

However now, as I grow older, I appreciate the few last books dearly. It is because as a reader, I grow mature along the years with the characters as well. I understand how complex and complicated their feelings and wants can be. I comprehend their problems because it feels relatable to me. I grow attach to them since it is the only series that I grow up reading with.

“It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more.”

Every time writing Harry Potter reviews, I would never expect to write such sentimental and emotional reviews. But when I am writing it down, all of the emotions based on my reading experience start pouring in and I will just go with the flow. It is heartwarming to come back to the world after so long leaving it. It has been a tradition to me which I will read the series annually, as a symbol that this is the series that is responsible in nurturing and shaping my life now. I cannot imagine my life without Harry Potter.

Since it is my favourite book, I would like to share my favourite scenes in the book, which may or may not be in the film.

If you haven’t read this, don’t read below if you don’t want to be spoiled.


  1. Confrontation between the Muggle and Magic prime minister.
  2.  Back at The Burrow
  3. Harry has been appointed as Quidditch Captain
  4. Fred and George made it big with their business
  5. Funny moments with the Slug Club
  6. Flashbacks of Voldemort’s past – the coolest scene in the book
  7. When Harry saved Ron when he was poisoned
  8. All of the Dumbledore and Harry’s discussion and meetings together

To end my review or rather my expression towards Harry Potter, this series has brought joy that I cannot explain to you with words. It has been an enormous roller coaster journey experiencing the Wizarding World, never again we will be able to read a series that is life-changing like Harry Potter. Now that Fantastic Beasts is debuting to the world, I really hope that it will do justice to Harry Potter. We have only seen two movies from the franchise so it is hard for me to judge the films entirely. I honestly cannot wait to watch the rest of it!

My review for:

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Thanks for reading.

X

Sabrina

 

Advertisements

Review: Archenemies (Marissa Meyer)

42598918.jpg

Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction
Publisher: 
Macmillan Children’s Book
Publication Date: 
November 15th 2018
Format: 
Paperback
Source: 
Pansing Books
Page Count:
474

Blurb from Goodreads:

Part thriller, part superhero fantasy, here is the fiercely awaited sequel to the New York Times-bestselling Renegades by Marissa Meyer, author of the Lunar Chronicles.

Are Nova and Adrian each other’s worst nightmare?

In Renegades, Nova and Adrian (aka Insomnia and Sketch) fought the battle of their lives against the Anarchist known as the Detonator. It was a short-lived victory.

The Anarchists still have a secret weapon, one that Nova believes will protect her. The Renegades also have a strategy for overpowering the Anarchists, but both Nova and Adrian understand that it could mean the end of Gatlon City – and the world – as they know it.


RATING

3.5 STARS

HERE’S MY REVIEW!

Okay now that I have finished reading this, I am glad to say that Archenemies is slightly better than the first book, Renegades.

Even though it progresses late, it is easier for me to read and understand the world since I have finished reading Renegades. The pace picks up after a few chapters and that is where all the drama starts and establishes.

The plot however, is very uncertain for me to say the least. While reading I am not sure what really is the main story here in the book – what we know is only the main character’s motivation for vengeance. Some parts are very much repetitive without no progression – like the main character’s aim to attack the villains (in her own opinion) with the lack of conviction and breakthroughs. There are many filler chapters that are not needed and can be cut off from the book. While reading I have this feeling of wanting to get rid of these filler chapters as soon as possible because I cannot stand reading a book without any progress. Slow is the proper word for this book. I cannot believe that the main protagnists still haven’t revealed their own identities in this second book to each other, and that shows how the third book will tell more on that part. I am also interested to see how the reaction of the entire Renegades when they know their true identity.

The only thing that is good is about the progress at the end of the book. I am relieved that things are getting serious and intense with the main character’s part in getting revenge. I am scared and at the same time, confused with what the final book will become. Is it going to be as bad as the first book or good? Fingers crossed that the book will be great because I spend so much time reading this 1000 word-series.

This book also discusses about grey areas, for instance on how we are supposed to react  to a situation or problem when the rules are not clear. The protagonist will surely have a hard time deciding what she is going to do towards her enemies in the final book, knowing that she has become so close with them.

I am still going to give a chance for this series, because I love Marissa Meyer and I still hope this series is going to be great!

Now that we have know the title of the third book, which is Supernova. I like that the title relates to the name of our protagonist, Nova and I am sure the book will tell us deeply on her journey in finding vengeance to the villains. I cannot wait to finish the series and finally give my thoughts on the series as a whole.

Thank you Pansing for providing me this copy!

X

Sabrina

Review: Renegades (Marissa Meyer)

28421168

Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction
Publisher: 
Feiwel and Friends
Publication Date: 
November 7th 2017
Format: 
Paperback
Source: 
Pansing Books
Page Count:
552

Blurb from Goodreads:

Secret Identities. 
Extraordinary Powers. 
She wants vengeance. He wants justice. 

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies–humans with extraordinary abilities–who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone…except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice–and in Nova. But Nova’s allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.


RATING

3.0 STARS

HERE’S MY REVIEW!

Initial Thoughts:

Believe it or not, I have waited since 2017 to read this and finally I have finished it! Marissa Meyer is one of my favourite authors because The Lunar Chronicles made me fall in love with her writing. I would not want to miss this oppurtunity reading another book from her.

However, it took me almost 2 months for me to pick this up once I received it, because I was very intimidated by the appearance of the book. It is 552 pages long and I have never read any other book which has 500 pages except Harry Potter. I was scared that I might be disappointed with this but I got nothing to lose, so I just gave it a try then.

After Reading Thoughts:

Alright, that book is very long.

It is not necessarily a bad thing you know. Long books can be very good as well but some long books can have so many fillers such as this book here.

It is hard reading the first 50 pages because I don’t know what the hell that is going on most of the time, but when I go through the next part it starts to get interesting and easy to comprehend after that.

The story mainly revolves around superheroes and villains, both fighting each other to serve justice. This concept is clearly new to me, and it is refreshing to see how the world evolves after the war and how, from scrapes, they can manage to build a new era of vast technology. The idea of superheroes truly amazes me throughout the book, it tells how people develop superpowers from young or even since they are born. However, superpowers can be abused. The result of power abuse leads to rise of villains, which their main aim is to topple governments. The politics keep me going, as some of the characters have their own story and desire to make changes in the society.

However, there is no speciality or plus point in the book. I am hoping for something bombastic and extraordinary plotlines, subplots or even revelation in the story, but there is not. Maybe I am hoping too much since The Lunar Chronicles is very great in terms of character development, plotlines and also the plot twists. It is disappointing that I don’t really enjoy this as much I enjoy reading The Lunar Chronicles so it is a sign for me to put my expectation low for the next book, Archenemies. I feel like this book does not have the charm like her other books. Besides, I don’t think that the 500 pages is worth it though, they can just cut it short to 300 pages and it will do just fine. The characters have so much potential in developing but they sort of become so bland that they are nearly forgettable in the story. I really hope Archenemies will be better than Renegades.

Thank you very much Pansing Books for providing this copy.

X

Sabrina

Ringing In The New Year Book 2019 Tag

new-year2.jpg

Happy New Year everyone!

I wasn’t tagged by anyone, but since it is 2019, why not I make a new book tag post! 🙂

RULES:

  • Link to the person who tagged you
  • Link to the creator of the tag (Bookmark Chronicles)
  • Share the tag image
  • Answer the questions below
  • Tag friends (or not if you don’t feel like it)

Best book and/or series that you’ve read in 2018?

There were many books that caught my attention. For standalone, Dear Martin by Nic Stone was such a powerful and moving read that I hope more people will read the book. I feel like shoving the book to people who have not read it yet! What are you guys doing in your life?

Alright another one, Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. Oh God this story. I couldn’t stop reading this once I started. The drama, tension and characters were so brilliantly written! I heard there is news about making this book to a TV series. Let’s just hope that the series is great!

For series, I guess The Trials of Apollo was great as well. I miss Percy Jackson and the gang and reading about them brought back memories of reading the PJO series.

Authors that you have recently found that you would like to read more of in the new year.

I would love to read more of Nic Stone’s, Angie Thomas’, Holly Black’s stories, and from a couple more authors.

Most anticipated book turned movie/TV show?

The second book in the series of To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, P.S I Still Love You by Jenny Han. I love this first movie and I hope the second is way better!

Name a character that you wouldn’t mind sharing a kiss with at midnight (if there is one)

Cardan from The Cruel Prince would make a good candidate LOL

What’s on your TBR for 2019? (Top 5-10 will suffice if it’s an extremely long list)

My main TBR:

  1. Children of Blood and Bone
  2. Renegades series
  3. The Weight of Our Sky
  4. The Wicked King

How many books do you hope to read in 2019?

I target for 40 books this year and I hope I will make it! Last year I read 46 books and I am proud of it 🙂

Will you participate in the Goodreads reading challenge or any others? (Popsugar, Down the TBR Hole, Etc.)

This year I will participate in the Goodreads Reading Challenge and I target 40 books to read by the end of the year!

Any New Year’s resolutions? (Bookish, blogging or vlogging, and otherwise)

  1. To read more books
  2. To expand horizon – read more genre
  3. To do more blogging
  4. Get a job

That’s my book tag, guys! Thank you for reading and I’ll see you in another book tag! 🙂

X

Sabrina

ARC Review: What Every Girl Should Know (J. Albert Mann)

35128524.jpg

Genre: Young Adult Historical Fiction
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date: February 12th 2019
Format: ARC Paperback
Source: Pansing Books
Page Count: 228

Blurb from Goodreads:

This compelling historical novel spans the early and very formative years of feminist and women’s health activist Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, as she struggles to find her way amidst the harsh realities of poverty.

Margaret was determined to get out. She didn’t want to clean the dirty dishes and soiled diapers that piled up day in and day out in her large family’s small home. She didn’t want to disappoint her ailing mother, who cared tirelessly for an ever-growing number of children despite her incessant cough. And Margaret certainly didn’t want to be labelled a girl of “promise,” destined to become either a teacher or a mother—which seemed to be a woman’s only options.

As a feisty and opinionated young woman, Margaret Higgins Sanger witnessed and experienced incredible hardships, which led to her groundbreaking work as an advocate for women’s rights and the founder of Planned Parenthood. This fiery novel of Margaret’s early life paints the portrait of a young woman with the passion and courage to change the world.


RATING

4.5 STARS

HERE’S MY REVIEW!

WOW.

Now this is truly an incredible read.

This is my first time reading historical fiction and I am happy to say that this book is quite good and makes me even want to read more historical fiction out there! One of the aspects that I love about this book as it was set in the late 1890s and I have always wanted to read and experience it myself on how it was during that time, more specifically on how women were treated and respected by the society as a whole.

This book is a work of fiction, some might be true and some might be made up. However, the story felt real to me. The story truly described and showed the condition of how women are treated in the late 1890s in detail.

Margaret Louise Higgins Sanger‘s (Maggie, for short) story was about her hardship and poverty that she faced with both of her parents and an ever-growing number of siblings in a small house at Corning, New York. The daughters of the Higgins family worked day and night to scrub, wash, prepare and tidy the house and all of the humans inside it. The boys were not such a help either and that made the daughters worn out after calling it a day. Their father was a free-thinker, and this made him to be blacklisted and excluded from the society because of his such contradicting believes on God and religion. His father was not able to provide for the family well.

Education was Maggie’s only hope to get out of the house and to help her family escaping from the hardship that they had faced. She wanted to become a doctor, so she could learn how to treat patients. Her experience in facing extreme poverty has made her to become an advocate for women’s rights and the founder of Planned Parenthood.

At such a young age, she has learned and realised that women are not meant to stay at home doing chores only. Women are also equally equipped to work, vote and make a change in the society. Women deserve to be heard. She realised this because of his father, he was totally “free” and able to express his feelings strongly and Maggie envied him for that. She was very brave in giving speeches in school to express herself on why women should take part in the society.

I was not so sure of the ending, it was a bit too fast and blurry because the final part did not tell the readers on the Higgins’ wellbeing.

I have never read any of her biographies before and I am very much interested in reading them soon, to learn about her self-discovery and journey in advocating women’s right.

If you have the chance to read this, please do because this read will change your life.

Thank you Pansing for providing me this powerful read!

X

Sabrina

Review: Clownfish (Alan Durant)

40750422

Genre: Children’s
Publisher: Walker Books Ltd
Publication date: November 1st 2018
Format: Paperback
Source: Pansing Books
Page Count: 219

Synopsis: 

~My Dad~

Species: Clownfish (Daddicus fishibum)
Habitat: The aquarium
Food: Fish flakes/cheeseburgers

Special note: 

After Dad’s funeral, I thought I’d never see him again. But when I visited the aquarium, there he was – only, he’d turned into a clownfish! I don’t think Mum’s ready to hear the news just yet. So for now, it’ll have to be my secret..


RATING

4 STARS!

HERE’S MY THOUGHTS!

After a very stressful week of committing to life, I would need a happy, light and easy read for me to devour please, thank you very much!

This book, Clownfish is a perfect read, initially I thought that this book was all about happiness and joy but I was wrong. It is heavier than that.

Clownfish is a moving story about friendship, love, family and heartache. Dak’s life with his family was unfortunately very short as his father has passed away due to heart disease. I felt for him because as a growing child, he truly needed the support from both of his parents. We saw his view after the transition with his life. Thankfully, his close friends were so kind and supportive of him and they always seemed concerned about Dak’s wellbeing.

He discovered something mind-blowing and unbelievable after his dad’s death. He kept this as a secret from everybody else and kept on focusing with his life until he neglected school. This was truly understandable as a child like him need time and space to recover.

My favourite part of this story was the relationship with his newly found mate, Violet, who was the niece to the owner of the aquarium that Dak has always visited. She reminded me of Darla in Finding Nemo because at first she was quite unbearable to begin with, but at the middle of the story, she became Dak’s best friend and they went through quite an adventure together.

Overall, I totally loved reading this story, it felt so honest yet poignant. I loved all the characters in this book, they all showed great characteristics and moral values.

This is my first time reading Alan Durant’s book and believe it or not, this masterpiece is his 100th book that he has written! This book is totally special to him, as the book is dedicated to his late father who died in 2016, Christopher Durant. And I think it is very special for me too.

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

X

Sabrina

Review: The Tales of Beedle The Bard Illustrated Edition (J.K. Rowling and Chris Riddell)

36392091.jpg

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