In Defense of Cursed Child

Warning: This will contain Cursed Child Spoilers. Read at your own risk.

I’ve already posted my mind-blowing Cursed Child theory / revelation, and my official review of the script itself, and now I will write the post I’ve been most apprehensive about:

In Defense of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Why I Still Love This Script

So without further ado, I present to you the 7 most  common attacks I have received since I began publicly professing my love of the book, and my response to them. This is not meant to attack the beliefs of others, and if you think Cursed Child is awful, that’s your opinion. This post is an explanation of why I love Cursed Child DESPITE all of the claims that it’s awful, and why I think readers on the fence about buying it, should at least give it a try. 

  1. “It isn’t canon!”

    https://twitter.com/jk_rowling/status/615498601809211393

    Jo, Jack, and John developed the story together. Jo was on set with the actors, she was at rehearsals, she was very involved in the process. Jo considers it canonical. This isn’t an adaption of what Jo wrote, it is the story that she wrote. Books are written by multiple authors all the time, that’s nothing new. That said, I think every fan has their own definition of the word “canon” nowadays, so I guess this one comes down to what each reader personally wants to read. Me? I’ve been advocating for the HP Encyclopedia from day one, so I’m always thrilled when Jo gives us more information about the Wizarding World!

  2. “Okay, who cares what she says, we shouldn’t be required to blindly love anything she writes.”
    This is usually the point at which someone accuses me of fan-shaming, and I have to go back say something along the lines of: “Look, I love Cursed Child, and I’m a diehard fan. You think Cursed Child is awful, and although I disagree with you, I don’t think that makes you any less of a Potterhead, and I’m certainly not attacking your for that belief.”

    No, we don’t have to blindly love whatever Jo writes — There are plenty of people who hated Goblet of Fire, or Deathly Hallows, or Pottermore, and to each his own. But I say, give it a chance. Don’t let what you’ve read on Tumblr or Reddit dissuade you from being open minded when reading Cursed Child, because I think there’s a very good chance you’ll at least feel nostalgically happy about the book, and you’ll probably at least love some aspects of it. Who knows? You might fall in love with the whole thing. Maybe you won’t. But please, give J.K. Rowling a chance.

  3. “The Golden Trio aren’t true to their characters!”
    This usually means one of two things: Either the person thinks that Harry said some dumb things in the book, or the person is upset that a black woman was cast to play Hermione in the stage production.

    To the first one I always say: Guys, look, this is the same dumb Harry Potter that we’ve known and loved since he went all caps-lock on his best friends in Order of the Pheonix. Honestly, I would think if Jo had portrayed a Harry Potter that never lost his temper, got upset, or said something he would later regret, that would be unfaithful to the character we know from the seven books. Harry may be an adult who defeated Voldemort, but he still has bad moments and stressful circumstances. And come on guys, if Ginny and Albus can forgive him, why can’t we?

    To the second one I say: 

    And this:

    https://twitter.com/EmmaWatson/status/683365894517477377?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

  4. It’s a script! Harry Potter is supposed to be a book / it just doesn’t come to life quite the same way as it does reading a book. Jo’s just doing this to get money. It’s basically fan fic.
    So I compiled a few different ones in this. Yes, it’s a script. My first time reading it, was actually when my friend Analee and I chose different characters and read it aloud, which gave it amazing depth and made it so much more enjoyable than it already would have been. Then, I proceeded to read it two more times alone, and I still thoroughly enjoyed it.

    Script books have their own kind of magic, and that’s why I say give it a chance anyway. I’m absolutely still petitioning for a filmed version of the original cast performing it, or at least an original cast audiobook. And if Jo was doing this “just to get money”, then she wouldn’t have fallen off of the billionaire list because she gave so much money to charities. And it’s not fan fiction, because it’s written and approved by the author.

  5. Bella + Voldy??? What the what???
    This one has already been explained by people with much more time on their hands, so I will direct you to the following two articles:

    How old is Delphi in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child? The Timeline Explains
    This is the quick and easy answer to when Delphi was conceived, for the TL;DR person.

    Cursed Child: Did J.K. Rowling ever hint at THAT romance in the original series?
    Personally, I think this is the best answer. It is chock full of JKR quotes from the books and from interviews over the years.

  6. Time travel? Are you kidding me? That’s SO DUMB. Also, confusing.
    In this case, I will direct you to the following essays written by people much smarter than me when it comes to the theoretical science of time travel. Personally, I yell at The Flash everytime he runs back in time because it’s SUCH A DUMB THING TO DO, but now I’m getting off topic, hahaha.

    Albus Potter and the Lesson in Quantum Mechanics
    This is the most science-y answer I could find, and if you ACTUALLY want to know how time travel works in the Harry Potter verse, this is the place to look. And if you just want to understand the alternate timelines in Cursed Child, scroll down to the subheading “The Timelines in Cursed Child”, and it explains everything perfectly.

    Cursed Child Alternate Timelines Diagram
    This is a wonderfully concise visual explanation of each of the alternate timelines in Cursed Child, and where they were different. It’s the visual version of the above. Truthfully, this helped me the most to understand it.

    Confused by the Harry Potter and Cursed Child’s Timeline? Time Turner Craziness Explained
    This is a slightly less easy to understand explanation of each of the alternate realities, but it can be a good a supplemental source.

  7. Cedric Diggory, a death eater? Yeah, right…
    As a Gryffindor, I will direct you to the following article written by a Hufflepuff that finally made it possible for me to understand how alternative timeline Cedric could have turned evil:
    Why Cedric Being Evil in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is Terrifying to Hufflepuffs

    And I will leave you with this quote from Sirius Black: 
    “Besides, the world isn’t split into good people and Death Eaters. We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.” -J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

So, there you have it. Those are my responses to the top seven complaints I hear about Cursed Child. So, give it a chance. I think you’ll probably 

 

Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child — by J.K. ROWLING

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Cover image and summary from goodreads.com.

Title: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Author: J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne

Rating:  ★★★★★★★ (7 of 5, which I’ve never actually given any book before.)

Genre/Pages: Fantasy / 343

Summary: “Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places”

Cover Review: I love it. I love it so much. It’s perfect.

My Review: This will be my actual review. My next post will be my defense of Cursed Child, which will be me combatting the most common attacks I get for my public profession of my love of this book. I have now read this book three times, and I love it more each time.

So my friend Analee and I went to the midnight release party of this book at the giant Half-Price Books next to us, and you know what every HP fan was thinking:

 

So, this is a return to the Wizarding World in a play format. As someone who personally LOVES reading plays, that part wasn’t weird for me at all. It brings it’s own kind of special magic (though I absolutely am still hoping that they will do a film recording of the original cast performing it so that we can all watch their beautifullnes, cuz MAN that cast is amazing!). This isn’t Harry’s story, though. It’s the story of Albus Potter and Scorpius Malfoy. 

Characters: It was like returning home. This is the same Harry Potter that we have all known and loved since 1997. He’s all grown up now, with kids of his own, and how all of these character’s interact is wonderfully faithful to the original series and the original character development. We automatically fall in love with the new characters, especially Scorpius. Oh man, I love Scorpius. He’s the best.

Sometimes, authors of plays have trouble making the heart and soul of character’s come across well in the scriptbook, but Jo & Company did not have that problem. These characters make you scream, they make you cry, they make you laugh, but most of all, they make you love them. They are real. They make dumb mistakes. They have poor judgement sometimes, but at the end of the day, the moral of Cursed Child is the same thing we’ve seen throughout the entire Harry Potter series: Love conquers all. Family and friends are more important than any prejudice or bias. No dark magic can stand against Harry & Friends because they are there “Until the very end.”

Plot: It was about 2 am by the end of part one, and Analee and I were hardcore freaking out. Like, we couldn’t handle this plot. The ending of part one had me torn between two equally strong emotions: 

 

Personally, I loved the plot. I thought it was perfectly faithful to the formula of the Original Series, while still being a story completely of it’s own. It brought new light to aspects of the wizarding world that I had only ever wondered about, and it gave me a greater love and understanding for this series and universe that Jo has so carefully and painstakingly created and allowed us to enter.

Reading this script book with an open mind was like visiting an old friend after a very, very long time — it was like returning home. Read it with an open mind and I promise you will not be disappointed. It’s action packed, it’s heartfelt, it’s poignant, and crazy fun. This is the best book ever. I loved it more than I can possibly put into words. I highly recommend this script book to Harry Potter fans of all ages. I think everyone should read this book. 

P.S. Pro tip: This book is best read aloud with friends, to get the full scope of the play. 

Content Advisory: Some deaths, and intense fantasy violence, but nothing graphic.

To Sum It Up: Me, right after finishing it:

Review: Siren’s Song — by Mary Weber

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Cover image and summary from goodreads.com.

Title: Siren’s Song (The Storm Siren Trilogy, #3)

Author: Mary Christine Weber

Rating:  ★★★★★ (5 of 5)

Genre/Pages: Steampunk Fantasy / 384

Summary: Nym and Draewulf prepare to face off in a battle destined to destroy more lives than it saves.

With the loss of Tulla still fresh in mind, Rasha’s fate unknown, and Lord Myles taken over by the dark ability, Nym and the few Bron soldiers rush to warn Cashlin’s queen. Only to discover it may already be too late for the monarch and her eerie kingdom. As the Luminescents are sifting through Nym’s past memories and the queen is reading into her future, Nym is given a choice of how to defeat Draewulf, but the cost may be more than she can bear. And even then there are no guarantees.

With that reality burrowing into her bones—along with the guilt of the lives she will sacrifice—Nym returns to her homeland of Faelen to raise an army of peasants through promises of freedom. But when the few friends she has left, along with the world and citizens she loves, are staring down the face of a monster and his undead army, will Nym summon every element her blood is capable of controlling . . . or surrender to a different strength—one of sacrifice?

Because in the end, death may be more merciful for them all.”

Cover Review: Absolutely stunning. This is serious cover goals. <3 I wish all books would get covers this beautiful, because I could stare at this for hours. ★★★★★ (5 of 5)

My Review: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I loved this book. I really loved the first book in the trilogy, and I enjoyed the second, but this one is on a whole other level of awesome. It was a series’ conclusion worthy of all of the heartbreak and emotional trauma that this trilogy has caused me from the time Storm Siren was released. 

Characters: You fall in love with these characters all over again, and you learn to love the newly introduced ones, as well. These character’s are very real in their struggles, and throughout most of the book, I just wanted to reach out and give them a hug. There were also a few times I wanted to talk some sense into them, but, you know… gotta have variety, right? It is such a sad thought that with this book I am leaving this world and these character’s behind forever, but Siren’s Song was a beautiful farewell. 

Plot: I am continually blown away by the world and storyline. The second book lagged a bit, because it’s entire purpose was to build up to this book, but let me tell you this: Siren’s Song was worth every bit of it. The war was depicted with relative realism, and the storyline is intense, but it’s really the character’s that make this plot so fabulous. This book is absolutely amazing! I loved it!

Content Advisory: Lots of death, war, and bloodshed. Graphic, but not explicit. Some kissing. 

To Sum It Up: With story and imagery as breathtaking and captivating  as it’s cover, this is a trilogy finale that you will be unable to put down. It’s heartbreaking, it’s moving, and it’s insanely action packed. I highly recommend this book to readers 12 and up. 

Review: Shadow Eyes — by Dusty Crabtree

 

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Cover image and summary from goodreads.com

Title: Shadow Eyes

 

Author: Dusty Crabtree

Rating:  ★★★★☆ (4 of 5)

Genre/Pages: Urban Fantasy / 328

Summary: “Iris thought she could ignore the shadows…until they came after everyone she loved.

Seventeen-year- old Iris Kohl has been able to see both dark and light figures ever since a tragic incident three years ago. The problem is, no one else seems to see them, and even worse…the dark figures terrorize humans, but Iris is powerless to stop them.

Although she’s learned to deal with watching shadows harass everyone around her, Iris is soon forced to question everything she thinks she knows about her world and herself. Her sanity, strength, and will power are tested to the limits by not only the shadows, but also a handsome new teacher whose presence scares away shadows, a new friend with an awe-inspiriting aura, and a mysterious, alluring new student whom Iris has a hard time resisting despite already having a boyfriend. As the shadows invade and terrorize her own life and family, Iris must ultimately accept the guidance of an angel to revisit the most horrific event of her life and become the hero she was meant to be.”

Cover Review: Not a fan of this cover. The font is pretty, and the colors are nice (and important to the plot), but it’s not a very aesthetically pleasing cover, or one that would make me want to pick up / buy the book. It could definitely use a complete revamp. 

My Review: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. First of all, Dusty Crabtree’s writing and imagery are absolutely captivating. She has a way with words that makes everything come to life beautifully. The world and premise are really creative — it’s an epic modern battle between angels and demons, it’s a story that embodies Dumbledore’s quote: 

“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” – J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Characters: Honestly, the protagonist infuriated me at times, but that’s exactly what made her such a good character. She was so receptive and good at seeing what was wrong with everyone else, except for herself and her immediate circumstances. Then again, I suppose that is exactly what made her so relatable and realistic, because human beings tend to be pretty blind when it comes to themselves and their friends. That’s what enables Iris’ story to teach so many good and important life lessons. Each character exists to teach the reader different things (but not in a preachy way at all), and each character is in a different stage of their personal battle between good and evil. 

Plot: I loved the plot. It told the very real story of a teenage girl in a scary world overcoming her own personal evil. It was heartfelt, it was poignant, and it was meaningful. This is the kind of story that actually stands for something. It’s more than just a fun book to read, it’s genuinely good book, and an important story to tell. It was a fantastic read!

Content Advisory: Wow, this book deals with some really heavy topics. Alcoholism, date rape, drug use, teenage pregnancies, self-harm, suicide, blackmail, manipulation, miscarriages, cheating spouses, and car crashes, if memory serves. These things are always portrayed in a negative light, and is a story contrasting the battle between the light and the dark in the world. When I asked the author about it, she said: “There are some PG-13 things, but nothing major – it’s really more just descriptions of stuff leading up to something bad that never actually happens.  But everything (guy/girl stuff) is shown in a negative light – not condoned.  In fact, I have yet to get negative feedback on that from a Christian or person sensitive to that stuff.”

To Sum It Up: A beautifully written contemporary tale of the eternal battle between good and evil, this book is nearly impossible to put down. It’s engaging, gripping, and realistic. I highly recommend this book to readers 15 and up. 

Review: Lily, the Brave — Katherine Hodges

 

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Title: Lily, the Brave

Author: Katherine Hodges

Rating:  ★★★★★ (5 of 5)

Genre/Pages: Fantasy / 266

Summary: “Lily has a soft spot for helping people, but is it really worth the risk? Her life was already hard enough after the accident. How can she possibly deal with being a superhero too? Seventeen year old Lily Harrison is given an incredible gift. She doesn’t really want it, but she’s stuck with it. Lily’s best friend convinces her it can be used for the good of mankind, but it only seems to bring her trouble and put everyone around her in danger. Using her gift would force her out of her comfort zone and into the realm of top secret assignments, late night stake outs, and constantly looking over her shoulder. All she wants is to be a normal introverted teenager, hang out with her best friend, crush on a gorgeous guy from a distance, and pass algebra at the end of the semester. Lily would give anything for a normal, quiet, life. One thing is for sure, her life will never be the same again.”

Cover Review: Not everyone likes photography on covers, but I think this one was really well done. I LOVE the font of the title, and having some of the thoughts she hears on the cover is a very interesting concept. Overall, I think it’s a beautiful cover.

My Review: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. For some reason, I didn’t think I was going to like this book. I’m not exactly sure what made me think that, but I did. However, I was very pleasantly surprised when I was proven totally wrong, because I ended up loving this book. The premise was totally unique, and the story was wonderful! I really wish and hope that there will be a second book coming out, because I would LOVE to read more about these characters and their lives!

Characters: So this was pretty crazy…  I wasn’t sure what to think of the characters at first, but I quickly grew to love them! Each of them underwent a huge amount of character development throughout the book, and they were each a good, well-written character in their own right. When reading this book, I didn’t really feel like any of the characters were relegated to second class roles like “love interest” or “optimistic best friend”, because even though some of them may have had those traits, they were real people, first. Except, obviously, not, you know… real. 

Plot: Now this was the truly crazy bit. This book was a YA spy thriller with a gifted teenager going on top secret missions. There were times I was screaming at the book, laughing out loud, or gasping in shock. And then there was also that time when I got to one of the huge climactic moments of story and just then — my break was over at work and I had to clock back in. Yeah, that wasn’t fun, because then I spent the rest of my ten hour shift anxiously waiting to figure out what happened next. 

Content Advisory: A girl gets pushed down the stairs and is in a coma, scenes of bullying occur, and there is some kissing in the book. There are some relatively intense scenes of stalking and kidnapping that might be too much for some readers. Gunfights and violence occur, but are generally off screen. Overall, it’s a pretty mild and age-appropriate YA novel. 

To Sum It Up: This book was really awesome. Like, I know people (myself definitely included) way over use that word, but I mean it. This book reminded me of the books I used to go to the library, pick off a shelf at random, and then finish by the next morning, back when I was 13 or 14. It’s just one of those genuinely good quality and enjoyable books. I’m really looking forward to the sequel! highly recommend this book to readers 13 and up. 

Review: Starwarden — by J.A. Dalley

 

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Cover image and summary from goodreads.com.

Title: Starwarden (Almek Manning, #2)

 

Author: J.A. Dalley

Rating:  ★★★★★ (5.5 of 5)

Genre/Pages: YA Mil-Sci-Fi / 216

Summary: “Dalton Space Force: Now Hiring!

Almek Manning survived the first part of his military training at the Solar Fleet’s boot camp, and now he must face the rigor of life at the Academy. Meanwhile, the cease-fire between the Solar Fleet and the United Monarchy of Europe is becoming increasingly fragile, and Almek has begun to wonder if he can finish his education quickly enough to help fight the war…

However, Sky Marshal Kitt, Jack Dalton, and High Admiral Numair have plans for the young midshipman, and Almek’s choices may yet decide the outcome of the war.”

Cover Review: It’s pretty. It’s a really nice outer space graphic design cover. I prefer covers with characters on them, but this one’s not bad at all. 

My Review: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I loved this book just as much, if not more, than I loved the first book in the series, The Zochtil. This review’s going to be short and sweet, but don’t take that as anything negative about the book. This is definitely one of my favorite books. I really did love every second of it!

The characters are believable and real, the story is unpredictable and heart-wrenching, and the world is insanely well-developed. This is one of those books that I just opened right away and knew that it would be amazing. The writing captivates you immediately, and you quickly get invested in the lives of these insanely cool and well-developed characters.  

Wow. I REALLY loved this book. It is a genuinely GOOD book. Nearly impossible to put down, it’s the kind of book that you wholeheartedly enjoy the entire time. Spectacularly well-written. Honestly, I was a bit afraid that it would seem unrealistic to have a teenager fresh out of the Academy change the course of battles/war, however, it wasn’t that way at all. There was nothing about this book that seemed rushed or unbelievable.

It was a solid novel. Fast paced, but you never got left behind or confused as you do in many of the novels nowadays (Champion, Shadow Throne, etc.). You were NEVER bored, and even though it revolves 100% around the military and interstellar maneuvering, you never get lost in the anagrams, mil slang, or complicated physics.

The plot and the characters were PERFECT! I really love these characters, and I loved the story ARC of this book. J.A. perfectly crafted a sense of foreboding prior to major plot twists, but you never knew WHAT was going to happen… just that it wasn’t going to be pretty. The timing of the plot and events was PERFECTION.

Did I mention I love the characters? Their interaction is THE BEST. The implants, too. And the psychological damage of war and wartime promotion. And basically just the whole book. This is a book that you come out of feeling satisfied. Wanting to know what happens next, yes, but HAPPY with the book as a whole.

To Sum it Up: I never really thought that I would read and enjoy Young Adult Military Science Fiction (man, that’s quite the mouthful for a genre, isn’t it?), but there’s just something about the writing, characters, and plot of this book that make it unforgettable and impossible to put down. highly recommend this book to readers 11 and up.

 

Review: Edna in the Desert — by Maddy Lederman

 

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Cover image and summary from goodreads.com.

Title: Edna in the Desert

 

Author: Maddy Lederman

Rating:  ★★★★☆ (3.5 of 5)

Genre/Pages: Fiction / 184

Summary: “Can a Beverly Hills teen survive without a smart phone, Internet, and TV? Edna will find out.
Edna is thirteen, a precocious troublemaker wreaking havoc at her Beverly Hills school. Her therapist advocates medication, but her parents come up with an alternative cure: Edna will spend the summer in the desert with her grandparents. Their remote cabin is cut off from cell phone service, Internet and television. Edna’s determined to rebel until she meets an older local boy and falls in love for the first time. How can she get to know him from the edge of nowhere?”

Cover Review: Meh. It tells me nothing about the book, and doesn’t really incline me to pick it up. It’s a low-budget graphic design, nothing more. 

My Review: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Weird disclaimer, of sorts. I wrote this review three years ago, but forgot to post it to my blog, so here ya go! Short, but sweet :)

So I thoroughly enjoyed this book. 3.5 stars.
I have a bit of mixed feelings on it. I feel that the story and message of the book came across quite well, however I feel that adding the almost sex scene between a 13 year old and a 17 year old, and the 13 year old’s continued thoughts afterwards, was absolutely 100% unnecessary, and for this reason I will not recommend this book to anyone under 16, even though the rest of the book is very lenient age wise.

Content Advisory: The above mentioned scenes of a sexual nature between a 17 year old and a 13 year old. I read this when I was 16, and there was stuff in it that I hadn’t even heard yet. 

BUT, I did love the writing. The best thing? It was a very fluid easy read, that I could hardly put down! I loved the story, and I loved how it was written, and I loved the morals. They were very prominent, but not slap-you-in-the-face. It was a very thought provoking book, and I really loved it! I’m looking forward to hopefully reading more about Edna in months/years to come! I highly recommend this book, but only to readers 16 and up.