Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

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Oh my Gooooodness! I’m going to say right now that I enjoyed this book much more than the Sorcerer’s Stone. It was easier to read probably because I now had a basic understanding of the world so I wasn’t focused on trying to remember and learn everything and I could enjoy it. I picked this book up because it was the next book, but after reading The Chamber of Secrets I can. not. wait. to get started on Prisoner of Azkaban.

Also, can I just say that I adored Ginny’s crush on Harry. My eleven-year old self understands.

Start Date: 10/7/16

Finish Date: 10/8/16

Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling opens on the summer after Harry’s first year at Hogwarts.

The Dursleys were so mean and hideous that summer that all Harry Potter wanted was to get back to the Hogwarts School for 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 attentions 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?

What I Loved:

Fred and George. And Ginny. And Fred, George, and Ron’s love of Ginny. And their friendship with Harry. And my heart is exploding with how much I loved the scene of Fred and George protecting Harry from the cursed buldger in Quidditch. I can’t handle it.

I also really liked T.M. Riddle and the dynamic and twist to the story that Rowling made by bringing him in.

What I Didn’t Like as Much:

I don’t like Dobby, I was feeling secondhand frustration for Harry, but I generally have adverse feelings for needy characters anyways.

I also didn’t like Gilderoy Lockhart, he seemed like a useless character to me, but at the same time I loved to hate him.

A Tiny Taste:

“He missed Hogwarts so much it was like having a constant stomachache. He missed the castle, with its secret passageways and ghosts, his classes, … the mail arriving by owl, eating banquets in the Great Hall, sleeping in his four-poster bed in the tower dormitory, visiting the gamekeeper, Hagrid, in his cabin next to the Forbidden Forest in the grounds, and especially, Quidditch, the most popular sport in the wizarding world”

For Bookshelf or Borrowing?

I said Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was a book for borrowing or Kindle, but Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets is going on my bookshelf for sure. I could definitely reread this book!

About The Author

J.K. Rowling is the author of the beloved, best-selling, record-braking Harry Potter series. She started writing the series during a delayed Manchester to London King’s Cross train journay, and during the next five years, outlined the plots for each book and began writing the first novel. J.K. Rowling is the recipient of numerous awards and honorary degrees.


More Aout J.K. Rowling

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Magical World of Pottermore

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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling


The first time I read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was in November 2015 during my train rides to and from work. I had already seen all the movies so while reading it I zoned in and out instead of actually paying attention to the story.

It’s October  and I am in the mood for some cozy and beloved books to love on thus I have come back to this series. It has been almost a year since I read this first book, so I am going to reread it and then read the series in a semi-fluid motion.And this time I am actually paying attention to the story and what is going on.

I thought I was going to read this book in a day, but it turned out to be over three days because I couldn’t stop watching the Gilmore Girls heh…heh..

Start date: October 4th, 2016

Finish Date: October 7th, 2016

The book is about an eleven-years-old  boy named Harry Potter who is quite famous in the Wizard world. He was one year old when the most feared wizard in history, Voldemort showed up at his family’s house, killing his parents. When You-Know-Who turns on Harry something stops him resulting in his defeat and disappearance. Harry is the first person to ever survive an attack from the Dark Lord thus naming him The Boy Who Lived. After his death, Rubeus Hagrid delivers Harry to the home of is Aunt and Uncle, The Dursleys.

The Dursleys hate the Potters and everything to do with magic, so they try to stomp it out by never telling Harry who he is and making his life miserable, including making him live in the cupboard under the stairs.

The story really starts ten years later when Harry turns eleven and is (surprise!) accepted in Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. All at once Harry learns the true story of what happened to his parents, how he got his lightning-shaped scar, and why strange things happen when he loses his temper.

Harry meets his best friends Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley while also finding enemies among his schoolmates such as Draco Malfoy. During his first year he picks up on the danger that is lurking behind the school walls and is soon on a self-imposed quest with his friends to find and save the Sorcerer’s Stone, if he can survive the encounter.

What I loved: 

I love the world building and how the story of Harry Potter going from a loveless home to a world where he and his kind are celebrated progresses. The story moves along at a great pace, never bored but also not wishing things would slow down.

Rowling makes you wish that you were a witch or wizard going off to Hogwarts. I can close my eyes and imagine the roar and warmth of the dining hall, the crisp air on my cheeks and my breath turning into steam as I watched Quidditch in the stands.

What I Didn’t Like as Much:

I love the story, but Rowling’s writing style isn’t one that sucks me in for hours, leaving me to come back into reality gasping for breath. I could follow along with what was happening, but I never got lost in the story.

Every writer has a unique voice and every voice speaks to a reader differently, her’s just doesn’t speak to me.

A Tiny Taste:

“A breeze ruffled the neat hedges of Privet Drive, which lay silent and tidy under the inky sky, the very last place you would expect astonishing things to happen. Harry Potter rolled over inside his blankets without waking up. One small hand closed on the letter beside him and he slept on, not knowing he was special, not knowing he was famous, not knowing he would be woken in a few hours’ time by Mrs. Dursley’s scream as she opened the front door to put out the milk bottles, nor that he would spend the next few weeks being prodded and pinched by his cousin Dudley…He couldn’t know that at this very moment, people meeting in secret all over the country were holding up their glasses and saying in hushed voices: “To Harry Potter – the boy who lived!” ~J.K. Rowling

For Bookshelf or Borrowing?

Somebody is going to kill me for this, but I say for borrowing or for owning on Kindle. I’m glad that I borrowed this book from my sister’s bookshelf and don’t have to find a place to keep it. If you’re reading it for the first time, borrow it from the library or from a friend and then buy it if you love it.

I can see myself owning a few books from this series for special rereading privileges.

About The Author:
J.K. Rowling is the author of the beloved, best-selling, record-braking Harry Potter series. She started writing the series during a delayed Manchester to London King’s Cross train journay, and during the next five years, outlined the plots for each book and began writing the first novel. J.K. Rowling is the recipient of numerous awards and honorary degrees.


More Aout J.K. Rowling

Movie Trailor


Magical World of Pottermore

The Rest Of Just Live Here by Patrick Ness


Alright people, this is one of those books where I could take it or leave it, but overall it was a good read.

The Rest Of Us Just Live Here is about four friends who are not the chosen ones and are not supposed to save the word. They leave that to Indie kids. So while the indie kids are battling and trying to save the world, these friends are just wanting to go to prom, graduate, and enjoy their last summer together.

The story is narrated by Mikey, who feels like he is always the least wanted person in the group, that he depends on and loves everyone more than they do him. He also gets stuck in these loops of washing his hands over and over until he can get it perfect or counting all of the telephone poles on his way to school.

This book was introduced to me as directed toward a middle school audience, and while the story is written in that style it deals with a lot of topics that I would not let my middle school siblings read. Mostly sex and random, unneccessary comments about sex. ugh.

Now I freaking love Patrick Ness, so so much, but I’m a little disappointed in this book. It just wasn’t wow for me.

One thing I really want to talk about is Mikey’s loops. I relate to Mikey so hard. So. Hard. 

Growing up I had to do everything multiple, multiple, strenuous times. I had to make sure I touched both feet on every line of a cross walk, I had to touch everything four times, I even had this thing where I couldn’t stop scrunching my nose. You can ask anybody in my family about this really weird period in my life. It was so weird and I have family photographs to prove it.

I also have always felt like the background character in the story of my friends’ lives. I wanted so much to be wanted and loved as much as I wanted and loved them. Then I grew up and realized it wasn’t all about me, but I still find myself struggling with the loops and the fear of being the least wanted.

Phew, now that I got that out I feel like I can get on with my life. Get on with my life. Get on with my life.

While I didn’t particularly enjoy this book and I can’t see myself recommending it to any of my friends I have to say that in this four-months I have lived in New York City I have never missed my train stop coming home. But I was on the last few chapters of this book and when I looked up I was way past my stop. I had to get off and get on the train going back towards home. So, it does get you sucked in haha.

I am going to end this review with one more thing:

Mikey’s best friend is the grandson of the god of cats. Need I say how amazing this is? I think not.

Alright you crazy animals, I’m outta here.

There You’ll Find Me by Jenny B. Jones


“So I just let go. My feet skipped to the frantic tempo…And then I was laughing too. It was the sound made by a girl who hadn’t lost a brother. A girl who wasn’t angry, who hadn’t had her world upended.”

I’ve been trying to think of what I could say about this book. Some basic background information that you should know is that this is the third January in a row that I have read this book. The first time I read the story of Finley Sinclair was shortly after my great-grandmother passed away and I was struggling with some of the same things that Finley was and this book brought me so much healing that for whatever reason I can’t not read this book at the beginning of every year and every year it has a different meaning to me.

There You’ll Find Me is about eighteen-year-old Finley Sinclair, hotel heiress, who following the death of her brother Will, has a wild year. Putting that party year behind her, she decides to study abroad in Abbeyglen, Ireland to follow the travel journal of Will and try to reconnect with God.

On the plane ride she meets Beckett Rush, teen heart throb and Hollywood bad boy who is wrapping up filming for his vampire saga in a nearby town. Finley is the only girl who is seemingly immune to Beckett’s charm, so he convinces her to be his personal assistant in exchange for him being her tour guide around Ireland.

“’I believe this is yours?’ I looked up and saw Becket Rush standing over me, my rogue suitcase beside him. ‘How did you know that was mine?’ ‘I just got a hunch.’ His arrogant smile quirked on his lips. ‘Like when I saw you nearly swan dive onto the conveyer belt.’ ‘Your vampire instincts are uncanny.’”

Between perfecting her audition piece for the Manhattan music conservatory, the pressure of school, healing from her brother’s death, reconnecting with God, and whatever is going between her and Beckett, Finley slowly starts to crumble.

“What if it fell? What if the breeze took it away? I was that kite. Fragile against the wind. Soaring one minute. Spiraling straight down the next. Just looking for something to hold me up.”

To cope with everything, Finley starts to control the little things that she can- her weight, diet, her exercise. Throughout the book there are side, underlying comments about her eating less and less and running more and more. This is probably my favorite part of the book because Finley’s border-line anorexia slowly sneaks up, in and out throughout the story and blows up on you at the end, exactly like real life.

Last year I would occasionally forget to eat. My counselor called me depressed. I called me devastated.”

I love this book for many reasons. The first reason is because the characters are funny and real, it deals with real issues like depression, perfectionism, eating disorders and grief. The core of There You’ll Find Me is not a sweet love story, but the healing of past wounds. We look at the healing between father and son, sister and sister, and a girl losing her best friend. I also loved the focus on Christ and her trying to find herself through God. I like how Jenny B. Jones breaks the YA mold and brings Christianity into the equation.

Okay, don’t freak out, but it’s about to get all sorts of personal right here.

To be completely honest, when I read this book it feels like I am narrating, not Finley. In the months after my great-grandmother passed away I didn’t know how to deal with all of the emotions going through me. I started eating less, not necessarily to lose weight, but because I had no appetite and it was one thing I could control in my life. I also started running multiple times a week at long distances to get out of the house and think. I liked the feeling of being exhausted and hungry after a run. This parallel between Finley and I was and is crazy to me.

The first time I read this book I didn’t realize that depression and eating disorders were a thing, I had never heard of it before. I know, kind of crazy. But seeing myself in Finley helped me deal and understand what I was going through and the danger of my decisions.

“He told me to stop growing up. And then he died. And I’d grown up overnight.”

At the beginning of this review I said how every time I read this book, it has a new meaning for me. This year was something I never noticed before. I moved to NYC four months ago and until the day before I booked my ticket New York was not on my radar. I couldn’t care less about it, so in reading this Manhattan wasn’t a noteworthy name to me. But now that I live in Brooklyn and work in Manhattan my mind was almost physically blown haha. Also when this conversation between Finley and her host sister happens:

“You know, we’re surrounded by people, but it just feels so… lonely here.’ Erin lifted her head, giving me a faint, thoughtful smile. ‘Only if you let it.’”

I could not help but apply that to NYC.

Wowza, this is a long review. Sorry not sorry?

I 100% recommend this as a positive, clean read. I think that even non-Christians will be able to relate and will fall in love with this book.

“’Are they playing hymns or something?’ She put some new sheet music in front of me. ‘Depends on who’s doing the listening.’”

P.S. This book is totally for Bookshelf

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon


Love. Fear. Freedom. Sick. Pain

Madeline Whittier is seventeen years old. She has a form of Severe Combined Immunodeficiency, also known as SCID, which basically means she is allergic to the world. For 16 years she is kept safe in her house and the only two people she sees are her mom and her nurse/best friend, Carla.

She is in her normal routine when a new family moves in next door. That’s when she sees Olly- black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap. She tries to ignore him and what he has stirred inside her, but at some point she has to face it.

They begin chatting online and playing charades through their bedroom windows. This story is about her falling in love for the first time and having to navigate and overcome her mom’s fear of letting someone from outside of her sterile bubble- in.

What I Loved

SCID is a very real thing and its cool getting to be transported into the life of someone who has SCID when people with SCID usually read to get a taste of the outside world. I like the development of the characters and how we get to be a part of falling in love for the first time.

Also, I can’t be the only one who was cheering her on in my head.

What I Didn’t Like As Much

The ending didn’t quite have the closure that I was hoping for, but it was every hopeless romantic’s dream.

Why I Recommend

I recommend this book as a cute, easy read that still has a nice plot arch. It doesn’t make you overly invested, but it’s not boring either.

My Favorite Quotes

“Maybe growing up means disappointing the people we love.”

“Sometimes I reread my favorite books from back to front. I start with the last chapter and read backwards until I get to the beginning. When you read this way, characters go from hope to despair, from self-knowledge to doubt… your favorite characters come back to life.”

“You can’t predict the future. It turns out that you can’t predict the past either. Time moves in both directions- forward and backwards- and what happens here and now changes them both.”

“Promise- the lie you want to keep”

“My guilt is an ocean for me to drown in.”

Borrow or Bookshelf?

This is a book that you borrow and pass on. But if you do keep this one for your shelf I will not blame you. I mean seriously?! This book is pretty freaking gorgeous.

The Fun Stuff