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October Catch Up/ HP Full Series Discussion

HIIIIII friends!!

I literally have not posted for three full weeks and I feel really bad about not being able to talk and bond with all my favorite bookworms, but I also really needed this time for studying, so I think my completely random, weird posting schedule will probably be the new normal for this year.

So to catch you all up on what I have been doing since the end of September – I have started my senior year of college. While I took lots of college courses as a high schooler (enough to simultaneously graduate with an associate’s), I chose to go to a university that holds itself to a really high standard and does not take all transfer courses, so I had to repeat a couple courses even though I got marks that were high enough. Despite this, I am still being really ambitious and trying to finish my coursework for my major (which is microbiology) in one year instead of two. Basically, that means that I have a really heavy course load every quarter of microbiology and biochemistry. This quarter I have been taking Introduction to Immunology, Introduction to Biochemistry, Fundamentals of Microbiology and the lab that goes with it. These are all 400 level courses so I pretty much have no sleep and no social life (and a barely there reading life which totally sucks after a summer of nothing but reading).

In the few moments that I have gotten away from my coursework and my TBR, I got to do some fall-y stuff. Some friends and I went to a corn-maze and pumpkin patch where we got to eat caramel apples and go on a hayride. We wandered around the corn-maze without a map because I was determined to do it without, and just had a whole lot of autumn fun. For now, I don’t have any more plans, but once winter starts (my favorite season for seasonal activities!) we plan on going to a symphony and to an ice skating rink and light maze. Expect lots of hot chocolate pictures!

Meanwhile, while my reading life has gone down significantly, I still have had time to do some reading, so in the last couple weeks I have gone through the full HP series. Instead of writing about each book separately, I am going to write about a few things that stood out to me and that have been on my mind while I read the series, or after I finished.

If you haven’t already heard, or read, about J K Rowling and her problematic, retroactive inclusion of minorities, give this article a read. I first heard about this on a fellow IG page (not sure which or I would tag you) and I was mid-read of book 2, so this was on my mind quite a bit as I read the series. Personally, I agree with the writer of the article above – JKR has given us too little, too late. While the Dumbledore argument may hold true (he is Harry’s headmaster, so who cares who he likes), JKR’s saying that she made Hermoine racially ambiguous is completely bogus. For one, the Patil twins’ race was obvious – if she wanted to, she could have totally done the same thing for Hermoine. Furthermore, Angelina (who is on the Gryffindor Quidditch team) was consistently described as a “tall black girl”, so no, JKR’s mediocre description of frizzy hair and big teeth is NOT inclusivity. That being said, I still enjoyed the books – wholesome, captivating reads and characters, with themes of love and sacrifice.

For me, the peak of the series was definitely the final book – I felt like the Cursed Child was a cheap piece of writing to stay relevant. It felt rushed and unreal, the plot was quick moving and after seven novels of slow, savory burn, I felt like I was cheated. Ron and Hermoine, Harry and Ginny – those were couples I could stand behind. Harry’s and Draco’s semi-friendship was great as well, but throughout it all, I almost wished that I hadn’t read the screenplay – the image that I had in my head after finishing the Deathly Hallows was a much better image than this painful read.

Throughout the reads, I think that the scene that affected me the most was Dumbledore’s death. Up until this point, I had made myself stay away from Google and Goodreads, so as to not have any spoilers. (I was surprisingly blissfully unaware of many many plot points, despite the popularity that the books currently have). However, when I read that Dumbledore was dead, I almost expected it to be a joke or a farce, and that any minute, he would rise from the dead and save them all. The more pages I turned, the more aware I grew that this was an impossibility, and I ended up googling “is Dumbledore really dead”. I tried to avoid looking at spoilers, but I got that he really wasn’t coming back, and at that point I related to Harry so much. He raged and raged at Dumbledore for leaving him, and I did too. Despite all the deaths, of Harry’s parents, of Sirius, this one struck me the most. I still don’t know if I’m over it.

Now that I am done with the series, I am debating reading Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them but am not sure with all the bad press that JKR has been getting for her so-called “inclusivity”. What did you guys think of it? Is it worth a read? And as usual, hit my comments with your thoughts on the full HP series – agreements and disagreements, as well as your own thoughts about things I didn’t bring up!

Meanwhile, I’ll be reading one book at a time and hoping for the best. Y’all read for me, since the majority of the reading I’ll be doing will be straight out of my textbooks.

Best!!!

-A

19 thoughts on “October Catch Up/ HP Full Series Discussion

  1. Sounds like you have a heavy workload. I think that J.K Rowling just wrote and that she was never racially excluding, she just didn’t spell it out for every character. She made a point about saying what she said about Hermione when a black actress was cast to play her for Cursed Child. She was defending and supporting the casting of a black Hermione because, as she rightly said, she never said that Hermione was white, and there was plenty of scope to cast the best actress for Cursed Child.
    Cursed Child was hard for me to read first time, but it’s a very different style of writing because it is a show and she was writing scenes for a play, rather than a story book. The Fantastic Beasts books are either the school book that is supposedly written by Newt and the Screenplays for the movies.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I get what you mean about Hermoine never actually being mentioned as white, and of course, it really is up to JKR in terms of choosing the right actress. I guess what I don’t understand is the inconsistency – she clearly says “tall black” about Angelina every time she comes up in the book and not once is anything about Hermoine mentioned. That’s where the idea is coming from that it is retroactive diversification.
      I agree that the style was very different, but I think that the plot just moves too fast for me in this case. Are the Fantastic Beasts books also written in this same fast paced style?

      Like

  2. I really enjoyed Cursed Child but I don’t imagine that it ACTUALLY happened. Does that make sense? It’s not how I imagined the future for Harry & co., so while I enjoyed it as a stand-alone, I personally don’t consider it the “sequel” and imagine my own future. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I read the original series – each book soon after release, but have not read any of the others that followed; my son did read Cursed Child and said it was just OK compared to the series.. (and we do seem to similar tastes so…)

    Liked by 1 person

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