Harry Potter & the Cursed Child [review]

29069989The Cursed Child is probably a really amazing stage production, doesn’t really deserve to be called “the 8th Harry Potter” story, especially as it is not truly written by JKR.

Potter fans should still check it out, because it’s a quick read (being a play) and has some fun and memorable parts; however, if it languishes on the TBR shelf for eternity, you aren’t missing too much.

The book’s shortcomings have already been carefully dissected by many articles and reviews in detail, but the main issue I had with it was simply that the plot seemed too contrived. It reminded me of a type of corny TV episode from the ’80s and ’90s. Using something like flashbacks, a show would rehash all the important moments from the past so the viewer would really get why what was happening was important. These episodes were typically boring, and somewhat insulting to the viewer’s intelligence.

That’s what if felt like the plot was doing: remixing important moments from the book series in a sort of blendy of Potter nostalgia and trying to recreate the excitement of the originals by presenting it through the point of view of a new character (Harry’s son).

It’s definitely not the Harry Potter book we were hoping for, but in the age of the great reboot maybe it’s the Harry Potter book we deserve.

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Speed of Life by Carol Weston (book review)

Brief Summary

Was thirteen the worst possible age to lose your mother? Maybe. Then again, there was no good age.

Speed of Life tells the story of Sophia Wolfe’s fourteenth year. Sophia lives with her dad in New York City, and her typical growing pains are complicated and colored by her mom’s sudden death the previous year.

Image result for speed of life carol westonIt seems like people — her friends, teachers, maybe even her dad — are beginning to expect Sophia to have healed from the pain of loss, but she hasn’t. In fact, she can’t imagine what it would be like to “get over” her mother’s death, or even wanting to do so.

Yet the speed of life slows for no one, and Sophia discovers that really living means being in the moment, whether time seems to be racing by or to be frozen. On top of this, she has to deal with issues like kissing boys, changing schools, and the fact that her dad may be ready to start dating again.

Speed of Life is a bittersweet story of loss, love, and growing up that will appeal to fans of thoughtful realistic fiction with an introspective and likeable female main character.

Thoughts

I enjoyed this book for the most part. I liked the characters and could sympathize with their feelings and struggles. I found the writing to be quite excellent, and the treatment of the subject sensitive and insightful.

Ratings

  • Plot: A- (Made sense; progressed logically; not overly predictable)
  • Characters: A- (Mostly dynamic, complex, and believable)
  • Realism: B (Overall believable characters and events)
  • Cover art: A (Cute and eye-catching)
  • Pace: B+ (Seemed slow at times, but mostly good)
  • Style & Tone: A- (Fit the character’s age and personality)
  • Overall: A-

Details

  • Title: Speed of Life
  • Author: Carol Weston
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky (April 4, 2017)
  • Length: 329 pages

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