Posted in Blogging, Book, Review

7 Things I Love About The Cursed Child

Sure, yeah, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has quite a few plot holes, out-of-character Harry, Ron & Hermione and a questionable villain, but for me, it’s the underlying themes that count. In this play, it’s the ever-present (in the HPverse) themes of love, friendship and overcoming hardships with the people you care about. These are the things that made it enjoyable for me, and many others.

Anyway, SPOILERS ahead in the list of things I loved about The Cursed Child.


  1. The Amazing Duo

ALBUS: Albus. Al. I’m — my name is Albus . . .

SCORPIUS: Hi Scorpius. I mean, I’m Scorpius. You’re Albus. I’m Scorpius.

And so, the two main characters, Albus Potter and Scorpius Malfoy, become friends. Their friendship is great. Realistic. Tender. Beautiful. I enjoyed how the two interact, and I loved each of them on their own. While Albus is in his brooding, angsty teen period, Scorpius goes through quite a lot of trouble himself, which makes his mostly positive attitude seem heroic.

What I absolutely adored is the mutual understanding between the two; when misunderstanding happens (Albus is being a little too self-centered, no surprise), Scorpius says the following:

So I’m sorry if I’ve ruined your life because I tell you — you wouldn’t have a chance of ruining mine — it was already ruined. You just didn’t make it better.

They talk, they reconcile, and the interaction is, most of all, believable and relatable. I’m glad these two are friends, but of course, it wouldn’t have happened if Albus wasn’t in…

  1. Slytherin

Harry Potter’s son, in Slytherin. In Hogwarts, it turns out to be a pretty big deal, and bullies instantly show their ugly, miserable selves.

I’m glad, though, that the writers decided to make it this way and showed Albus and Scorpius fighting the prejudice together. And although it isn’t the root of the problem, I’m sure Albus being in Slytherin contributed to…

  1. The imperfect relationship between Albus and Harry.

ALBUS: I didn’t choose, you know that? I didn’t choose to be his son.

Aka, Harry is sort of a lousy dad to Albus. It is understandable, at least for me. He has Lily and James, who are just… normal, and Albus, who very obviously stands out.

Albus’ mother, Ginny, does a better job of understanding his son, while Harry needs to work at it. I’m glad they showed this relationship because, like in reality, nothing is perfect. Harry and his son go a long way before trying to make amends, and I loved reading about their journey.

  1. Severus Snape and Scorpius vs. Dementors

In an alternate reality, where Harry (therefore, Albus as well) doesn’t exist, Voldemort rules and Snape is part of a resistance against his regime, Scorpius from the Voldemort-free world and Severus are cornered by Dementors. This ensues.

SNAPE: Listen to me, Scorpius. Think about Albus. You’re giving up your kingdom for Albus, right? One person. All it takes is one person. I couldn’t save Harry for Lily. So now I give my allegiance to the cause she believed in. And it’s possible — that along the way I started believing in it myself.

SNAPE sends forward a Patronus, and it’s a beautiful white shape of a doe. SCORPIUS: A doe? Lily’s Patronus. SNAPE: Strange, isn’t it? What comes from within.

*crying like a baby*

  1. Headmistress McGonagall…

Says to Hermione:

If I could also give a detention to you, Minister, I would. Keeping hold of a Time-Turner, of all the stupid things!

Yeah, I think she should have just said “Go to hell” and given all of the parties involved detention. Due to McGonagall’s imposing demeanor, even the Minister wouldn’t have minded.

  1. Draco and Harry

Making amends! Talking! Being in the same room several and dueling each other only once!

They have more things in common now that they have kids and, well, father-son issues, and seeing them undo the mess Albus and Scorpius had made is pretty cool.

  1. Who is the cursed child?

Voldemort’s daughter? Albus? Scorpius? Harry? Maybe Draco? I love how this is left an open question, all things considered, and I think it’s something to ponder.

Final rating: 9/10. Highly recommend.


Actually, the eighth thing I love about the series could be this: it exists. Honestly, I’m glad Rowling chose to create this little masterpiece, imperfect on the surface but beautiful beneath.

Other (more elaborate) reviews on WordPress I enjoyed reading:

Review + Discussion: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by JK Rowling — Ellie’s Bookshelf

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child — DaniellaWrites

Book Review: Harry Potter and The Cursed Child — BookishKirra

What do you think about The Cursed Child? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below!

Posted in Blogging, Book, Reading, Review

Review: The Cursed Child (Spoiler-free)

Back when it was announced that there would be a Harry Potter play, a sort of eighth instalment in the HP series, I didn’t care much about it. I literally started looking forward to it only in the beginning of this summer, and even then, I was skeptical. Though Rowling was one of the writers, I feared a new story would ruin the previous books. And let me make it clear, the first few pages reinforced this idea in my head.

I kept reading, though, and soon, I was drawn into a mess of a plot, with all its flaws, out-of-character behavior and moderately predictable villain (though it took me a while to see this particular twist) and I…

LOVED IT.

Reviewers are divided, it seems, some claiming it reads like a fanfiction and others pointing out the amazing emotional parts of the play and the great characterization of the two main characters: Albus Potter and Scorpius Malfoy.

I’m leaning more towards the second camp; I laughed and cried on the journey with the brand new characters, and did the same as we met the (unfortunately deceased) characters we know and love. It involves several impossible (according to Einstein and common sense) scenarios with alternate realities, but I was able to ignore these inconsistencies because, as I’d mentioned, there was great characterization (the lovable duo Albus the Reckless and Scorpius the Dreadless). I also particularly enjoyed the Relative (’cause I’m heavy on Einstein today) Redemption of Slytherin (and Draco), Harry Potter’s Great Fear of sort of spoiler, sort of funny (I can’t even), Ron Weasley the Most Chilled and McGonnagal the Badass Troublemaker-Sponsor. Oh, and Fathers and Sons. That’s a great theme, one that I didn’t expect to be explored in such a way, but it was done nicely, in my opinion.

Spoiler-free is so hard, I hope I’m not doing it wrong.

I’ll give the play a proper rating in the spoilery review, but it’s definitely a firm 8.5–9 out of 10, and I have no regrets.

This is it for the quick spoiler-free review. I couldn’t hold it in.

Anyway, have you read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child? If not, would you like to? If yes, did you love it/hate it? What were the enjoyable parts for you and what did you dislike about it?

I’d love to discuss this so feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!

Posted in Blogging, Book, Literature, Poetry

Book Review: Paradise Lost

A masterpiece. Rating: 100 out of 10.

Me 

My review could have ended there but I’ll expand on this. It is a masterpiece of literature, the lines of which, in my opinion, would greatly inspire anyone, regardless of their world views and religion.

Though of course, Paradise Lost isn’t for everyone, that’s true. As I’d mentioned before, it took me several tries to get into it. However, if you want to read a piece of classical literature which is not only full of beautiful metaphors, engaging characters, and intriguing subtext, but also encompasses one of the greatest varieties of spiritual and philosophical themes that everyone, and I mean everyone, can relate to, then I strongly suggest you give it a try. Or two. What helped me is rereading the very first page of the book over and over again until I got used to Milton and actually understood what was going on; then my reading pace increased and I became fully immersed in the text.

But what is the text about?


Wikipedia, my old friend, says this:

The poem concerns the Biblical story of the Fall of Man: the temptation of Adam and Eve by the fallen angel Satan and their expulsion from the Garden of Eden.

Ah, but it is so much more. (Sort of spoilers but come on. You’ve heard this before.)

We start with the fall of Satan and follow him right after he and the angels he led into rebellion find themselves in the pits of hell.

We hear him and his lackeys plotting how they may best disrupt God’s actions, and first the idea to corrupt or bring destruction upon mankind comes to Satan’s mind.

We follow him through abysses and oblivions leading to Eden, where he is awed at the pair of humans he finds.

We ascend to Heaven and see how God fortells the fall of man, and how the Son of God offers to die himself for the salvation of humanity.

We are told by the Archangel Raphael what happened during the War in Heaven, and his tale literally made me see a CGI motion picture in my mind.

We see how Eve, then Adam, disobey God’s direct command and Paradise Lost ends just how it’s supposed to end, according to the Bible and common sense.

But what I loved most was how Milton managed to tell the story.

I’ll admit, sometimes I found myself getting bored, but mostly because I couldn’t understand the references Milton was making. If you’re reading this with links that explain things like this in the text, you won’t have the same problem. Say, 90 percent of the time I found myself bombarded with awe-inspiring wording, not at all cliche or too sophisticated, but rather original and simplistic.

E.g.

Mercy first and last shall brightest shine.

Me miserable! which way shall I flie
Infinite wrauth, and infinite despaire?
Which way I flie is Hell; my self am Hell…

So dear I love him, that with him all deaths
I could endure, without him live no life.

When I stumbled upon such descriptions/dialogue, it made me all warm and fuzzy inside. I felt so happy that such beauty existed in this flawed world of ours, and I came to the very unlikely but just conclusion that yes, I’ve found someone who can rival Shakespeare’s poetry in my eyes. Milton uses the iambic pentameter just as skilfully, believe me.


Check out my other posts on Paradise Lost (there are several, yeah, I really loved it).

If you decide to give it a try/have already read it/liked it/didn’t like it, regardless, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Posted in Best Quotations, Blogging, Book, Literature, Reading, Review

Best Books: To Kill a Mockingbird

So yesterday, while thinking about what to write in the review of To Kill  Mockingbird, I seriously considered taking my average review word count (600 words) and writing perfect perfect perfect perfect… you get the idea.

Because really, what can I say about this masterpiece? It’s an amazing book that I think everyone should read at least once. It’s tender and beautiful, heartbreaking and joyful, hopeful and thought-provoking. Aka, everything a book should be.

Instead of doing a proper review, I’ll recount the lessons I learned after reading this book and share some of my favorite quotes. Here goes…


You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.

Atticus

The most important lesson in the book, in our lives, in the multiverse. I’m guilty of often being stubborn and unable to view things from other people’s perspectives (I need a lesson from Tyrion Lannister, it seems) though I’m working to improve on that. The book opened my eyes to how this is, essentially, the core of all interpersonal relations. If you lack this understanding, it inevitably leads to conflict.

And we have far too much conflict in our world already so we can’t afford to disregard others’ feelings.

Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.

Miss Maudie

In my view, Tom Robinson was a mockingbird who was killed for no reason. He wasn’t guilty, that much is clear. All he did was feel sorry for a white woman and helped her practically every day, he literally sang his heart out like a mockingbird, and what did he get in return? Hate, anger and death all because he was unfortunate enough to be born black in a segregated society.

The sheriff points out that dragging the reclusive Arthur Radley into the limelight after he killed Bob Ewell would be a sin, and he is, of course, right. Arthur, too, did nothing but care for the kids, saved their lives in the end and as Scout points out in the end of the book, “We had given him nothing, and it made me sad.” But they did give him something—the opportunity to be part of their family, if only for a few minutes as he acquaints himself with Scout and says goodbye to Jem. His storyline in the book ends on a happier note that Tom Robinson’s, yet he returns to his isolated existence. Which brings me to another point…

I think I’m beginning to understand why Boo Radley’s stayed shut up in the house all this time… it’s because he wants to stay inside.

Jem

Let’s look around. Orlando. Baton Rouge, Falcon Heights, Dallas. Nice. That’s not all of the tragedies that took place and that’s, what, only the two past months?

Hate and anger surround us, creating a nightmare out of what can be a happy world. Discrimination still persists although it’s the twenty-first century. AD. After thousands of years, we still cling to prejudice and refuse to see things from others’ perspective. If Jem is right and Arthur isn’t inclined to be social because the bigotry, segregation and injustice in Maycomb County is too much to bear, who’d blame him? It’s a scary planet, a scary country, a scary city, etc. to live in.

But let’s hope. I’ll never get tired of saying this, even when things are downright terrible. Let’s hope that someday, discrimination will be eliminated and nothing close to what happened to Tom Robinson will take place in the real world. Let’s hope that people learn to be kinder to each other. Let’s hope that those innocent souls who do nothing but good won’t become victims of injustice. Through all the tears and laughs this book evoked, I retained this feeling of hopefulness and serenity, that not all is lost and humanity will change.


I did a review of the movie To Kill a Mockingbird yesterday, and I’d like to thank everyone who commented on the post. I loved reading your insight on both the book and the film!

Feel free to comment below and share your favorite quotes from this book.

Till next time!

Next Sunday Review: Paradise Lost by John Milton