Sunday, July 24, 2011

"I fell asleep watching Veronica Mars again..."

In my post-Potter world, I've been looking at life differently...

Sorry, couldn't help myself.  Honestly, it was quite an experience to see the movie, and I loved it to little tiny bits, but I'm not suffering from Post-Potter Depression.  It was a lovely conclusion, and now I'll look forward to Pottermore.  I didn't really have anything to say of any importance, but I felt I should update the blog to let my oh-so-many followers know that I wasn't about to self-Avada Kedavra.  Currently, I'm just suffering from Extreme Comic-Con Jealousy.  I'll make it there one day... ONE DAY...

So, to thank you for reading this entry, please enjoy this video!  It's currently my favorite song.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

ReRead 2011: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Okay, seriously, just read the books.

I don't even have the words to give justice to my feelings about this.  You may think I'm exaggerating, but I'm not.  Reading DH is an experience, and it has yet to be matched with any book I've ever read.  I had spent a little more than 5 years with these characters when I first read this (still a newbie by lots of HP standards), and joining them on their journey is no easy task.  From start to finish, this is a action packed, emotion-filled roller coaster of epic proportions.  And I love every word.

First, my own personal midnight story: I made plans to get the book from a local Barnes & Noble with my buddies Katie and Doug.  We went to B&N, and it. Was. CROWDED.  There were people errywhere, and the chances of us getting a book and getting out of there unscathed were slim.  Sitting in the parking lot, we made an executive decision.  We knew there was an unfrequented Wal-Mart nearby, so we went to check out the crowd there.  We found a crowd... of 3.  The lady at the front of the line was hardcore super crazy, but she made sure each of us got all 4 of the house wristbands that Wal-Mart would have handed out if the crowd got insane.  We had the books in hand and paid for by 2 minutes after 12.

So we head back to their place to make like a Strawberry Debutante and readreadreadreadreadreadread.  We all sat together in a room and snacked on delicious junk food and read like mad.  Katie reads the fastest, so she got a few pages ahead of us, and every time she gasped or laughed or anything, I was like, "OMG WHAT NOW?"  At the first death (HEDWIG!!!), we shed a tear, and we knew no one was safe.  Finally, something happened where Katie slammed her book closed and walked upstairs, yelling, "NOPE!" as she went.  I couldn't imagine what would be so terrible that it would drive her out of the room.  I found out just a few pages later, tears streaming down my face.

It's long been told on this blog that I am an epic crier.  This book... holy crap, I'm crying from start to finish. Hedwig.  Mad-Eye.  The attack at the wedding.  Ron and Hermione holding hands while they slept.  Ron LEAVING... but showing up just in the nick of time.  Hermione beating the crap out of Ron (those were tears of laughter).  Blow after blow after blow.

The worst (before the Battle of Hogwarts) comes in the form of a free elf.  Poor, sweet, selfless Dobby shows up just in time to save his friends while sacrificing himself.  For a character that irritated me endlessly upon introduction, I didn't expect to openly weep at his death.  In fact, during this past reading, I started to cry when he first showed up in the dungeon!  Before anything bad had even happened to him!  And when Harry, Ron, and Dean all give him clothes to wear when they bury him?!?  Oh, just leave me here to drown in a sea of my own tears.  Dobby's death is an important moment in Harry's journey as well as really freaking sad.

The absolute worst worst most terriblest of deaths in the book, however, is Fred.  It's so... oh, it sucks so bad.  I know when I see this part in the movie that I will officially be done.  Like, stick a fork in me because I might be dead on the ground from over-crying done.  I can't say anything more about that.

And so we reach the end of Harry's journey, where he faces Voldemort one last time, and he defeats him in a glorious way.  He chose love, his family, his friends over anything else, and that was the best decision in the end.  He fought through the hardships, destroyed the Horcruxes, avenged his parents, showed how very strong he was, and it all paid off for him.  I would love to know what Harry did over those next 19 years- the changes he and Ron made to the Auror office, the toast he gave as Ron's best man at Ron & Hermione's wedding, the cheers he made up while watching his wife Ginny rock the Quidditch pitch as a Holyhead Harpie.  However, I am totally satisfied with the epilogue Jo provided, bringing Harry completely full circle back to Platform 9 and 3/4, this time with his own family, a family that truly loves him.  Rumor has it a certain sob-inducing song will play at the end of the film, and, if this is true, I will be a steaming hot mess of tears.

I know they are fictional characters.  I know it's a series of fantasy books originally written for children.  I don't care.  These stories inspire me, these characters affect me like nothing has before.  In that way, they are real to me.  I adore this series more than any other, and I cannot wait to read these tales to my own children someday.  Tonight's movie will be a fitting end to this beloved story of the Boy Who Lived.

Thanks for staying with me through this.  Until the very end...

Friday, July 8, 2011

ReRead 2011: Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince

Um... you know what I'm gonna say!

The closer we get to next Friday, the harder and harder these things are to write.  I can't believe the movie is almost HERE.  I can't believe any of this.

So, what are my thoughts on HBP?  Well, first, here's my own personal buying story.  When HBP came out, I was working at a tv station, and my shift started at 4 am (YEP, 4 AM!!).  There was a Books-A-Million right next to the station, so I went there at midnight to get my book, and I hid from our cameras who would be running the midnight book buying story on the morning show.  From there, I sat at my buddy's desk for the next 4 hours until my shift started, reading and eating peanuts.  Then, I sat in the audio booth and read in there until the show started at 6 am.  Then, I read during commercial breaks.  I'm amazed the show even had audio, to be honest.

The moment I finished the last sentence of HBP and closed the book, I couldn't think.  I couldn't even move.  This one hit me hardest of them all (until Deathly Hallows came around).  It's very clear that the end is so near, and yet there are so many questions that need to be answered and so many things that need to be addressed before the fans would be satisfied.  However, if the journey would be anything like this one, I would definitely be there for the ride.  HBP dove into Voldemort's past, showing the unsavory roots of the most terrifying wizard of their generation.  And what's worse- Jo actually makes you feel kinda bad for him.  He grew up in a terrible environment, feeling abandoned by his family and knowing he was destined for something greater.  However, it becomes abundantly clear that life is all about the choices you make, and he... chose poorly.

The most interesting and important aspect of Voldemort's past, however, is his creation of Horcruxes, the pieces of his soul that must be destroyed before he can officially kick the bucket.  Dumbledore reckons there would be seven, since it's a magical number and all (though I'm partial to three meself).  Either way, between the diary from CoS and the ring that Dumbledore found and destroyed, looks like that's 5 to go, essentially turning Deathly Hallows into a road book with a mission.  And that's just fine with me!

I truly love so many things about HBP, from the reveal of the identity of the Half-Blood Prince himself to Hermione's complete and total girly anger over Ron's snogging of Lavender.  All of those are reasons why HBP stole the throne of Jeskuh's Favorite HP Movie Adaptation from PoA (also for this scene).  BUT, the thing I love the MOST?  HARRY AND GINNY FOREVER AND FOR ALL TIME.  I've read on the interwebs before that many fans thought it would be Harry & Hermione together.  Those people are, frankly, idiots.  Ginny has always had The Feelings for Harry, and she's awesome, and if they are together forever and for all time, that makes Harry OFFICIALLY Ron's brother and Molly & Arthur's son.  It's a no-brainer.  Plus, reading how his crush slowly develops is really fun, especially when he doesn't even realize what's going on.

The best part of this book, however, is the relationship between Dumbledore and Harry.  It really grows and blossoms over this story, though it becomes quite clear that he's setting Harry up to take over for him.  And with good reason.  Severus Freakin' Snape just up and kills him.  Double U.  Tee.  Eff.  The death itself isn't what always gets me in this book, though it is quite sad.  It's the funeral; more specifically, the description of Hermione sobbing into Ron's shoulder while a single tear falls from his the end of his long nose.  For whatever reason, that's the moment I join the Golden Trio in their tearful sorrow.  Bucket for my creys.  At least it prepared me for the extreme and total cryfest that would occur from Deathly Hallows.  But, you have that to look forward to with the NEXT entry, which will most consist of me telling you all the times I cried.  Spoiler alert: THERE ARE A TON.

I love the idea of a love potion that has a different aroma for each person, so it smells like whatever attracts each person the most.  I love how that's one of the first obvious signs that Harry's got a crush on Ginny.  I LOVE that Hermione thinks of something and immediately blushes and shuts up.  I ESPECIALLY LOVE that I recently found out (via Tumblr, OF COURSE) that the third thing Hermione smells in the potion is Ron's hair.  That's so damn precious.

I've already stated why this chapter makes me cry, but it's also just so... final.  It's our main three characters, all together, deciding to go on their one final mission.  To quote a TV show I used to watch so much back in the day, you think you know... but you have no idea.

My next and final HP ReRead post will be very soon.  It'll be up next week, hopefully at least before I head out to the movie...