I read the Harry Potter series years ago while I was in elementary school, and I've spent life since then being fascinated by the magic and joy these characters bring me and so many others. Last Fall, I decided to reread the books and see how different my experience would be ten years later. Knowing this, my friends and family bought me the book set for Christmas. I was so overjoyed; my heart knew I was in for another adventure.
Then, a couple of weeks ago, I started a reread again. There's just something magical about adventuring with Harry, Ron, and Hermione during the holidays. Rereading this series in my twenties has been just as wonderful as it was when I was 10. J.K. Rowling has really managed to create a world that feels like home to me and millions of other readers.
After much debating with my fellow HP friends, I've decided that it'd be fun to do a ranking of the series. It's no secret that we love all the books, but there are some that we love just a bit more than the others...
7. Order of the Phoenix
Before rereading the books the Order of the Phoenix had been my favorite of the series. But after years of watching the movies and rereading the books I've come to find that this book is actually quite uneventful when compared to the others (mostly because it's a sort of transition into the Second War.)
In the Order of the Phoenix we come to understand that there is truly something uniting Voldemort and Harry. And while it's a terrifying discovery, it comes in handy (saving Arthur's life) but also at a cost (the loss of Sirius). This book may be an emotional rollercoaster, but there's no doubt that it's a pivotal moment for the series. Dumbledore's Army is formed and through it we see the strength of the students at Hogwarts. Oh and did I mention that the Battle of the Department of Mysteries is one of the coolest fight scenes in the series?
6. Chamber of Secrets
Five words: DOBBY IS A FREE ELF. Before reading the books a second time around, the Chamber of Secrets was at the top of my list. I enjoyed the plot twist that Rowling provided, and I also loved the battle scene between Harry, Tom Riddle, and the infamous basilisk. However, after rereading the books ten years later, I wouldn't say it's my favorite. While readers find out later in the series that the diary is a horcrux, it still seems a bit silly that a diary (and ultimately Voldemort) was the villain all along. Regardless, this novel is still so so so wonderful. Dobby AND a flying car. What's not to love?
5. The Goblet of Fire
The Goblet of Fire is fast-paced and offers shocking plot twists and a great and heartbreaking ending. The Quidditch World Cup, the Triwizard Tournament, and Voldemort's return... SO MUCH HAPPENS IN THIS ONE. There's nothing quite like this book; it's a roller coaster of suspense and excitement.
4. Deathly Hallows
There's no doubt that the Deathly Hallows deserves a spot on the top of the list. This book provides readers with all the feelings we could possibly know and want. By the end of the series we've laughed, cried, and everything in between. The deaths of Fred, Dobby, Tonks, and Lupin bring so much pain and shock that by the end of the series it feels like Rowling has eliminated almost all the characters that made this series the magic adventure that it is. Despite this, we also get to witness the deaths of Voldemort and Bellatrix, and as readers nothing is more rewarding.
Deathly Hallows is the end of an amazing journey. It gives readers an immense sense of closure and almost leaves us all wishing there was more. And did I forget to mention that Ron and Hermione finally kiss?
3. Half-Blood Prince
The Half-Blood Prince is, in my opinion, one of the best books in the series. Many complain that there isn't enough "sitting at the edge of your seat" action throughout the whole novel, but I think that's one of the reasons it's at the top of my list. This one lets you focus on the characters instead of the darkness even if it's just for a small while. Nonetheless, the Half-Blood Prince is definitely a warning that chaos is on the brink. You can see it in the way Slughorn is affected by his memory of Tom Riddle. You can see it in the way that Draco struggles with himself throughout the book. And you can see it in Snape's compliance with Dumbledore's plans.
By the time readers finish the Half-Blood Prince it's extremely difficult (and yet not at all) to believe that Snape could be capable of killing Dumbledore. While we later discover that Dumbledore was right to trust him all along, it's a huge blow and betrayal for first timers.
2. Sorcerer's Stone
The Sorcerer's Stone is undoubtedly one of the most magical books in the series. It's the beginning of our adventure, and what makes us, Harry Potter fanatics, fall in love with the wizarding world. The introductions of Hermione, Ron, Hagrid, and so many other characters into the series will always be iconic. That's what makes the Sorcerer's Stone the beginning of a magical ride.
1. Prisoner of Azkaban
I had never cared much for the Prisoner of Azkaban, but after rereading the series I know I was absolutely wrong. This is my favorite book, and in my opinion, the best novel of the entire series. The use of the Time-Turner and the introduction of Sirius and Lupin made this a standout novel and one to remember. No book has a more shocking turn of events than those that occur in the Prisoner of Azkaban inside the Shrieking Shack. This book had me on edge the last 200 pages; I could not put it down (even though I already knew the ending).
Have you read the HP series? Which are your favorites? Let me know down in the comments below!
Hi again readers,
Today, I'm reviewing Andie J. Christopher's Not the Girl You Marry.
Not the Girl You Marry by Andie J. Christopher
Jack Nolan is a gentleman, a journalist, and unlucky in love. His viral success has branded him as the how-to guy for a buzzy, internet media company despite wanting nothing more than to cover hard-hitting politics. Fed up with his fluffy articles and the app-based dating scene, Jack strikes a deal with his boss to write a final piece: How to Lose a Girl. But it's easier said than done when the girl he meets is Hannah Mayfield, and he's not sure he wants her to dump him.
Hannah is an extremely successful event planner who's focused on climbing the career ladder. Her firm is one of the most prestigious in the city, and she's determined to secure her next promotion. But Hannah has a bit of an image problem. She needs to show her boss that she has range, including planning dreaded, romantic weddings. Enter Jack. He’s the perfect man to date for a couple weeks to prove to her boss that she’s not scared of feelings.
But before Jack and Hannah know it, their fake relationship starts to feel all too real—and neither of them can stand to lose each other.
Not the Girl You Marry is cute, modern, and even funny. The only problem? It's not exactly memorable.
Andie J. Christopher did a wonderful job at modernizing How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, but her characters—Hannah and Jack—might not be a pair that you'll remember after reading the next ten rom-coms on your bedside stack.
Despite not being extremely memorable, Not the Girl You Marry is a good pick for readers looking for a light, adorable, and modern romance.
Hannah is ambitious, confident, and sexy, while Jack is passionate and hardworking. Their love story may be flawed and imperfect, but it's worth giving a try.
Have you read Not the Girl You Marry? What did you think?
Welcome back bookworms!
Today, I'm discussing Megan Miranda mystery: The Last House Guest.
The Last House Guest by Megan Miranda
Littleport, Maine is like two separate towns: a vacation paradise for wealthy holidaymakers and a simple harbour community for the residents who serve them. Friendships between locals and visitors are unheard of--but that's just what happens with Avery Greer and Sadie Loman.
Each summer for a decade the girls are inseparable... that is, until Sadie is found dead. When the police rule the death a suicide, Avery can't help but feel there are those in the community, including a local detective and Sadie's brother Parker, who blame her. Someone knows more than they're saying, and Avery is intent on clearing her name before the facts get twisted against her.
It feels like I'm on a bad book binge. When will it end?!
Before reading Megan Miranda's The Last House Guest, I picked up Blake Crouch's latest novel Recursion... Let's just say it didn't go well (to read my Recursion review click here).
This time around, I've been let down by my very first Megan Miranda read. Now it just feels like I've been cursed with a bad book streak.
I had anticipated reading The Last House Guest for months. I'd heard so many good things about Megan Miranda, especially All the Missing Girls, and after hearing my friends rave about this one, I decided to put it at the top of my TBR stack. Unfortunately, this book turned out to be the complete opposite of what I had expected--it was slow, dull, and quite anticlimactic.
I was initially excited about The Last House Guest because the characters and the small town setting reminded me of Tana French's Dublin Murder Squad series. And while Miranda's latest book does follow the people of a small, coastal town (like in DMS), they don't manage to captivate readers the way French's characters do. The cast featured in The Last House Guest is uninteresting and ordinary. It also doesn't help that the mystery itself lacks thrill and mystique.
As a whole, The Last House Guest is a poor novel because it lacks thrill and substance. I'm all for a gloomy, summer mystery but only those who do it well.
Have you read Megan Miranda's latest novel? What did you think?
Hello book friends,
Today I'm discussing Blake Crouch's latest novel: Recursion.
Recursion by Blake Crouch
Memory makes reality. That’s what New York cop Barry Sutton is learning as he investigates the devastating phenomenon the media has dubbed False Memory Syndrome—a mysterious affliction that drives its victims mad with memories of a life they never lived.
That's what neuroscientist Helena Smith believes. It’s why she’s dedicated her life to creating a technology that will let us preserve our most precious memories. If she succeeds, anyone will be able to re-experience a first kiss, the birth of a child, the final moment with a dying parent.
As Barry searches for the truth, he comes face-to-face with an opponent more terrifying than any disease—a force that attacks not just our minds but the very fabric of the past. And as its effects begin to unmake the world as we know it, only he and Helena, working together, will stand a chance at defeating it.
But how can they make a stand when reality itself is shifting and crumbling all around them?
Friends, I come bearing bad news (and a highly unpopular opinion). Blake Crouch's latest novel is one of the biggest book let downs of the year.
If you know me, you know that I've been dying to pick up another Crouch novel since Dark Matter—my only five star sci-fi read to date. And when I found out that he was releasing Recursion, I couldn't say "SIGN ME UP" fast enough. Unfortunately, Crouch's latest novel turned out to be repetitive, slow, and extremely anticlimactic.
Despite having an extremely captivating and unique storyline, it's the execution of Recursion that let me down. Dark Matter was fast-paced, thrilling, and extremely captivating. Its storyline and characters were enchanting and unforgettable. But Recursion was the exact opposite. While the premise was remarkable, the events that unfolded were uninteresting and monotonous. I kept waiting for something significant and exciting to happen but it never did. To sum it all up: the entire book just read like one big, jumbled mess.
There have been plenty of readers who have enjoyed Recursion, and while that's totally okay, I'm not ashamed to say that it wasn't for me. I'll be looking forward to Crouch's next novel, but in the meantime... which sci-fi picks should I add to my tbr? Let me know in the comments or message me on Instagram @theazereads.
Did you like Recursion?