Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone: Chapters 8-9.

The Potions Master

Enter Professor Severus Snape.

Apparently, Professor Quirrell was given his turban by an ‘African prince’ for getting rid of a zombie. AFRICA IS A CONTINENT FOR GOD’S SAKE. *Exhale.*

This is the first time we see Snape in his element and I already dislike him. For someone who’s been yearning for the Defence Against the Dark Arts (DADA) post, Snape seems quite happy being a potions master. He calls potion-making a ‘subtle art’ and reduces the other classes to ‘foolish wand-waving’, looks like he’s trying to make himself feel better about missing out on the DADA position, again. For clarification, Professor Quirrell was previously the Hogwarts Muggle Studies teacher.

Snape is a horrible teacher. He picks on Harry, slams down on an eager student (Hermione) and calls poor Neville an idiot – I’m pretty sure teachers aren’t allowed to use that kind of language. To be fair, I did find Hermione a little irritating here. It’s obvious Snape’s talking directly to Harry when quizzing him on things he obviously wouldn’t know, but she insists on throwing her hand up anyway. Still, it’s awful of him to ignore her and then snap at her for raising her hand, that’s not how you encourage students to take part, terrible teaching. I’m surprised he only takes one point from Gryffindor (for cheek) after Harry say he doesn’t know the answer and tells Snape to ask Hermione. The number of points given and taken for stepping out of line seems to get a bit crazier later in the series.

I’m curious about how much Hagrid gets paid considering his job appears to involve going into the Forbidden Forest and putting himself in danger to help the creatures living there.

The Midnight Duel

Parvati, the unsung hero.

During the first Quidditch lesson, Neville (famously) falls off his broom and Madam Hooch rushes him to the hospital wing. Malfoy takes this opportunity to be a little shit and calls Neville a ‘great lump’, he’s immediately told to shut up by Parvati Patil, who is the only person who actually stands up for Neville. Again, we’re seeing body shaming here, Pansy Parkinson says she didn’t think Parvati would like ‘fat little cry babies’, the use of ‘fat’ as an insult doesn’t get challenged by anyone. After this little dialogue happens, Harry gets involved because Malfoy takes Neville’s Remembrall. But it’s clear Harry isn’t getting involved because he wants to stick up for Neville like Parvati did, Harry does it because he hates Malfoy’s guts and has been itching to confront him. Professor McGonagall comes into the scene ticked off at Harry and says he could have broken his neck, again, it’s Parvati who is vocal and says, ‘It wasn’t his fault’.

After the Quidditch lesson fiasco, Malfoy and Harry have another run-in and it leads to the two agreeing on a duel at midnight. It’s obviously Malfoy is tricking them, Harry’s stupid for thinking Malfoy would actually risk his neck by sneaking around the school at midnight for a duel. Note: Neville is with the trio when they try to escape from Filch and end up running into Fluffy. Harry, Ron and Hermione find him curled up outside because he forgot the Gryffindor common room password, then the Fat Lady disappears (chilling with other portraits?), he can’t get back in, so he tags along.


The Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillon

The Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillon

Publication: (this edition) January 12th 2017 by Hachette

First published on November 1st 2016

Format: eBook Pages: 240

ISBN13: 9781484781517

Perfect for fans of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. This is a beautiful, vivid and deeply moving story about a refugee boy who has spent his entire life living in a detention centre. This novel reminds us all of the importance of freedom, hope, and the power of a story to speak for anyone who’s ever struggled to find a safe home.

Born in a refugee camp, all Subhi knows of the world is that he’s at least 19 fence diamonds high, the nice Jackets never stay long, and at night he dreams that the sea finds its way to his tent, bringing with it unusual treasures. And one day it brings him Jimmie. 

Carrying a notebook that she’s unable to read and wearing a sparrow made out of bone around her neck – both talismans of her family’s past and the mother she’s lost – Jimmie strikes up an unlikely friendship with Subhi beyond the fence.

As he reads aloud the tale of how Jimmie’s family came to be, both children discover the importance of their own stories in writing their futures.  Goodreads.

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Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone: Chapters 6-7.

The Journey from Platform Nine and Three Quarters

Ron has dirt on his nose and Hermione’s talents are ignored.

  • So, everyone’s at Platform 9 ¾ now and a student called Lee opens a box to show other students a giant tarantula. Emphasis on ‘giant’. Sounds like a hint of what’s to come in Chamber of Secrets.
  • Why is Ron’s wand already battered? He couldn’t have been using it all that time before he even started school!
  • Hermione’s voice is described as bossy; I don’t like this.
  • It appears ‘stupid’ and ‘fat’ are often used together in this series.
  • Why doesn’t anyone question how Hermione managed to memorise all the set textbooks? Those are mad skills! Harry can speak to snakes, so what? This girl MEMORISED ALL THE TEXTBOOKS.
  • I find it strange that Hermione wanted to be in Gryffindor over Ravenclaw considering her obvious desire to seek knowledge and her wittiness. I know the fact she was placed in Gryffindor shows she ultimately valued bravery and friendship above all, but I thought she realised this for herself at the end of Philosopher’s Stone, when she understands books aren’t everything.

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GIVEAWAY: The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

If you follow me on Twitter, you know how much I adore this book. I’ve been going on about The Bear and the Nightingale since I picked it up to read and I’m still not over it. After raving about it in my review, I got in touch with Ebury Publishing about hosting a giveaway and tadaa, here we are.

TBATN book is already one of my favourite 2017 reads. I know I’ve made a few of you pop this on your TBR and I’ve cheered on those who already had their eye on it, well here’s a chance to get your hands on a copy.

I wanted to keep the giveaway nice and simple so, to enter, you need to provide an email address in the Rafflecopter widget below and tweet about the giveaway, you can come back every day and earn more entries by tweeting about the giveaway. The giveaway will begin on 14th January and will end on 31st January, and the winner will receive one hardback copy of The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden.

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Q&A with Katherine Arden author of The Bear and the Nightingale


katherine-arden‘Born in Austin, Texas, Katherine Arden spent her junior year of high school in Rennes, France. Following her acceptance to Middlebury College, she deferred enrollment for a year in order to live and study in Moscow. At Middlebury, she specialized in French and Russian literature. After receiving her BA, Katherine moved to Maui, Hawaii, where she worked every kind of odd job imaginable, from grant writing, to making crepes, to working as a personal tour guide, to guiding horse tours. After a year on the island, she got a contract as a teaching assistant in a high school in Briançon, France. She spent nine months teaching, returned to Maui, stayed for nearly a year, then left again, wandering. Currently she lives in Vermont, but really, you never know.’ – The Bear and the Nightingale.

I was lucky enough to snag an ARC copy of The Bear and the Nightingale from Netgalley, if you read my review you’d notice that I adored the book (a 5-star rating is no joke!). Since I loved her book so much, I was eager for a Q&A session with the mastermind behind the book and yay for me, Katherine agreed! Katherine’s responses reflect the same kind of depth and personality she pours into her work, and she was a pleasure to talk to. So, here’s the Q&A, I hope you all enjoy it and consider adding The Bear and the Nightingale to your TBR lists! P.S. I will be giving away a copy of The Bear and the Nightingale on 14th January, stick around to enter!

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