Friday’s Five Favorites (Authors)


Welcome to my newest installment on this blog. Each Friday (or as often as I can) I will post my five favorite things from a specific category. As I am a book junkie (you might have noticed), I am starting off the series with my five favorite authors.

 JK Rowling


As the author of the infamous Harry Potter saga, JK Rowling is one of the best known authors on the planet today. The series that made her famous is so phenomenal, and I simply cannot comprehend how people don’t like it. The first book I read of the series was Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and I immediately started searching for the rest. I read all of them in a matter of weeks (those that were available at the time) and I have never looked back. Through the years, I traveled with Harry as he grew up, and eventually, lived happily ever after. Each year I read the books through at least once, just to remind myself that magic really does happen.

 Nora Roberts

chasing fire cover

As my faithful blog readers can confirm, I am constantly reading Nora Roberts. Her romance novels, as well as her crime novels, are in a league of its own in the literary world. There is no scene that is left unperfected, and I have enjoyed her books since I read River’s End, which is a perfect book to be introduced to her. I have to confess, of late I have been shunning her romance novels more and more, but I still enjoy reading most of her material.

Marian Keyes


I have read most of the books written by Marian. Her novels are shockingly human, and she focuses on flaws in the human psyche, while remaining funny. Of all authors, she truly has the ability to make me cry. My favorite book by her is probably Rachel’s holiday.

JRR Tolkien


Author of the brilliant Lord of the Rings trilogy, I am particularly proud that he was born right here in Bloemfontein, South-Africa. His literature is simply the best. I read the lord of the rings at eleven years old, and have never looked back.

Enid Blyton

I thought about who to put up as my fifth favorite author, and while many could qualify, I had to mention a writer who had made me love books. I read every book of her I could find as a child, and I think she is one of the main reasons I am still reading today. Her children books are so full of detail. Most specifically, I can remember when I read her books that I would always be hungry after a paragraph, as she described lunch with such detail.

Who qualifies as your favorite author of all time?

Book challenge: Progress part 4

Morning 🙂

I am finally done with 20 books in my challenge. I really can’t believe it! I really love tracking how many books I read in a year. I have always wondered, knowing it is a huge amount, but now I can finally know. I cannot wait until I am done with exams. It feels like all the studying is severely affecting my reading.

Here is my completed reading list so far:

     Chasing Fire  – Nora Roberts
The Search– Nora Roberts
Hidden Star– Nora Roberts
Fallen Star– Nora Roberts
Captive star- Nora Roberts
Richelle Mead – Bloodlines
Richelle Mead – The Golden Lily
Richelle Mead – The Fiery Heart
Nicholas Sparks – The Guardian
Stephen King – Carrie
Lewis Carrol – Alice in Wonderland
Nora Roberts – Montana Sky
JK Rowling – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
JK Rowling – Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
JK Rowling – Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
JK Rowling – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
JK Rowling – Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
JK Rowling – Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
JK Rowling – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Nora Roberts – High Noon
Nora Roberts – Carolina Moon
Nora Roberts – Tribute
Nora Roberts – Black Hills
Nora Roberts – Angel’s Fall
Katie Fford – Love Letters

Currently reading:

Kathy Reichs – Death duJoir

Planning to read:

Susan Collins: Hunger Games

Susan Collins: Catching Fire

Susan Collins: Mockingjay

Stephen King: The Green Mile

Lewis Carrol – Through the Looking Glass

JK Rowling: The Casual Vacancy

Marian Keyes: The Mystery of Mercy Close

KhaledHosseini: A thousand splendid suns

Richelle Mead: Vampire Academy (Books 1-7)


Have a splendid Monday!

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (JK Rowling)

Book: 19/100

With Dumbledore dead, Voldemort continues to gain ground in the magical world. Voldemort is obsessed with finding and killing Harry. His favourite Death-Eater, Snape, who killed Dumbledore the previous year, tells him the date they plan to move Harry from the Dursleys – thereby breaking the protective spell Dumbedore had cast on Harry until he was of age.

The Order of the Phoenix’s plan to get Harry to safety is by giving 6 other people Polyjuice Potion – a potion that causes you to take on the appearance of someone else. With 7 Potters flying through the sky in different directions, the Order is confident Voldemort won’t know who to attack. Harry is not happy with the plan, but ultimately gives up some of his hair to complete the potion.

As soon as Harry and the Order enter the skies on thestrals, brooms and Hagrid’s old motorbike, they are surrounded by Death-Eaters. A blast kills Harry’s faithful owl, Hedwig, and when Harry tries to disarm a Death-Eater, they realise the real Harry. Now chased by Voldemort, Harry and Hagrid crash into the home of Tonk’s parents only saved from him by the protective enchantments around the house previously cast by the Order.

Harry and Hagrid return to the Borrow via portkey, and they join Mrs Weasley and Ginny while waiting for the others. Lupin and George return, with George seriously injured by Snape. Eventually everyone gets to the Burrow, except Mad-Eye Moody, killed by Voldemort. Everyone mourns the death of the ex-Auror, and immediately start to wonder who could have leaked the exact date of Harry’s departure. Harry tells them that he trusts all of them, refusing to believe any of his friends would betray him.

At the Burrow, the entire Weasley family is preparing for the wedding of Bill and Fleur. On the day of the wedding, Harry is disguised once again via polyjuice potion, so that he can attend it safely. During the reception, Ron’s ghastly aunt tells Harry about the numerous secrets Dumbledore had kept hidden from Harry, like the fact that Dumbledore had a Squib sister and had always kept her hidden. While Harry is still reeling from shock, Kingsley Shacklebolt’s Patronus appears, telling them that the ministry has fallen, which means the protective enchantments around the Burrow has been broken. Harry, Ron and Hermione flee just in time as the Death-Eaters turn up and start searching for Harry.

Hermione, Ron and Harry apparate to Tottenham rode and go into a coffee shop to discuss their next plan of action. As they discuss this, they are attacked by Death Eaters and narrowly escape. Shaken by their close shaves with death, they flee to number 12 Grimmauld place, the house Sirius had left Harry. There they realise that the house had been searched, presumably by Severus Snape, and Harry finds a torn letter written to Sirius before her death. Hinting at another secret of Dumbledore, the letter’s last few words are missing. Harry finds a picture of himself as a toddler, but also here the other half off the photo is missing.

Leaving Sirius’ room, Harry passes the room of Sirius’ dead younger brother, Regulus. Harry realizes that Regulus’ full name is Regulus Arcturus Black – RAB, the thief who took the original Horcrux from the lake that Harry and Dumbledore had visited the year before. Summoning his houself, Kreacher, harry demands the truth of the whereabouts of the locket. The hysterically distraught elf shares the tale of how Regulus discovered the truth about Voldemort, and he and Kreacher set out to the lake to retrieve and destroy the locket. Regulus, defying what Sirius had believed of him, chose to save the elf instead of him and died in the lake. Kreacher tells them that Mundungus Fletcher took the locket from the house, and Harry requests that Kreacher find the Mundungus so that they can fulfil Regulus’ dying wish.

When Kreacher returns with Dung, they are horrified to hear who has possession of the locket – Dolores Umbridge, the Ministry witch who was responsible for the disaster of Harry’s fifth year at Hogwarts. They group devise a plan to break into the Ministry to get the locket, and although they succeed, they are detected, and upon returning to Grimmauld Place, they bring Yaxley along with them into the protective enchantments, forcing them to leave the place for good. Luckily for Hermione and her great spell work, they have a tent and necessary camping equipment stocked in her handy little bag, enchanted by the Undetectable Extension Charm to enlarge it.

Harry, Ron and Hermione all take turns in keeping the locket around their necks, as they all are affected by its evil. One night, they hear a discussion between Goblins and fleeing wizards, and realising that the sword of Godric Gryffindor can destroy the Horcrux, Harry and Hermione is jubilant at a new lead in their dismal search for destruction of Horcruxes. Ron, who is affected the strongest by the Horcrux, leaves Harry and Hermione in a rage, and after he leaves they realize he won’t come back – their protective enchantments shields them too well.

Now, Harry and Hermione are all alone, and together they continue their search. They find out more about Dumbledore’s youth, which just makes Harry more miserable. They read the autobiography Rita Skeeter wrote on Dumbledore, and in it is revealed that Dumbledore was once friends with Gellert Grindelwald, an evil wizard who was overthrown by Dumbledore. Harry and Hermione travel to Gordric’s Hollow, Harry and Dumbledore’s birthplace, to visit Bathilda Bagshot and Harry’s parents grave. They follow Bathilda into her house, and are attacked by Voldemort’s snake, which comes out of the dead Bathilda with Dark Magic. The snake summons Voldemort, and they escape just as Voldemort arrives, and Harry relives his parents’ death. During their escape, Harry’s wand gets broken, and now the pair only has one wand between them.

Harry and Hermione, now camping  in the Forest of Dean, takes turns keeping watch. One night, there is a Patronus in the form of a Silver Doe, and Harry, sensing that it brings no evil, follows the doe to a lake, where the sword of Gryffindor awaits him in the ice. Harry tries to retrieve the sword, nearly drowns, and is saved by Ron. Stunned at the return of his best friend, Ron asks for forgiveness, and destroys the locket. Overjoyed, they return to the tent to tell Hermione, but she freaks out, and yells at Ron. Ron quickly shares how he came to find them – by the Diluminator Dumbledore had left him. Better yet, he is able to provide Harry with a wand, which Ron got by escaping from Snatchers (people who catch fleeing muggle borns and take them to the now anti-muggle born wizards)

Hermione, reading the books that Dumbledore had left her, Tales of Beedle the Bard, realises the symbol in the tale is the symbol Xenophilius Lovegood had worn to Bill and Fleur’s wedding. Xenophilius  tells them the tale of the three brothers is about the Deathly Hallows, a cloak of Invisibility, the Elder Wand, and the Resurrection Stone. He also tells them that the possessor of all three would make him the master of death. Hermione discards this as rubbish, and argues that it would be impossible. Mr. Lovegood leaves them to prepare some food for them, but actually summons the Death Eaters because they took his daughter Luna hostage, and would return her to him if he gave information on Harry Potter. Once again, they escape by Hermione’s brilliance.

Now obsessed that Dumbledore had wanted him, Harry to find the Hallows, he largely ignores their quest for the Horcruxes, much to Hermione’s annoyance. One night, they manage to tune into a anti-Voldemort radio station. This puts them in a great mood, and Harry accidentally says Voldemort’s name, now a Taboo, breaking their protective enchantments. They are captured, and taken to Malfoy manor. When Bellatrix Lestrange realise that they have the sword of Gryffindor, she freaks out, and tortures Hermione to find out how they got it. Hermione tells Bellatrix that it is a fake, and she is backed up by a Goblin, Griphook. In the cellar of the mansion, where Ron and Harry are now imprisoned, they are saved by Dobby the Houself, who apparatus out with Luna, Dean and MR. Ollivander, and returns for Harry, Ron, Hermione and Griphook. Harry disarms Draco Malfoy, taking his wand, and they apparate to shell cottage, the house of Bill and Fleur. As they apparate, Bellatrix throws a knife at k\Dobby, and it kills the brave little elf.

After they buried Dobby, they talk to Griphook. Harry, who realised that Bellatrix’s fear meant that Voldemort had given her something to store in her vault at Gringotts, where the fake sword of Gryffindor lies, now realises that the next Horcrux waits there for them. Together with Griphook they stage a break in, with Hermione disguised as Bellatrix, once again from the trusty Polyjuice Potion. They break into the vault, and escape by setting the Dragon of Gringotts free.

Now, with the Horcrux in their possession, Voldemort knows Harry is hunting his Horcruxes. Harry sees into Voldemort’s mind, and realise another Horcrux is waiting for them at Hogwarts. They apparate into the village of Hogsmeade, setting off the caterwauling charm set on the village, and they are rushed to safety by the barman of the Hog’s Head, who turns out to be Aberforth Dumbledore – brother of Albus Dumbledore. He tells them more of the sad story of his sister Ariana, who wasn’t a Squib, but whose powers had destroyed her eventually from when she was attacked by Muggles. They enter the school in a secret tunnel, leading into the Room of Requirement, which now hosts all the students defying Snape’s new regime on the school.

Harry sets out to find the last Horcrux, the Diadem of Ravenclaw, as the school prepares to battle Voldemort’s death eaters. Ron and Hermione destroy the cup with a basilisk fang, and Harry finds the Diadem in the Room of Requirement, where everything is hidden. They are attacked by Malfoy, Crabbe and Goyle, and Crabbe casts Fiendfyre to try to capture them. This result in the destruction of the Diadem and Harry knows that only one Horcrux, the Snake Nagini, now stands between him and a mortal Voldemort.

The first wave of attack on Hogwarts results in the deaths of Remus Lupin, Nymphadora Tonks and Fred Weasley. Harry searches for Voldemort, finding him in the Shrieking Shack, and witnesses the murder of Severus Snape. Snape gives Harry a vial of his memories, and harry returns to the castle to see them in the Pensieve. Harry sees the love of Snape’s life in these memories, Harry’s own mother, Lilly Potter, finally explaining why Snape had always hated Harry, whose father married the woman Snape had loved. He witnesses Dumbledore asking Snape to kill him, Dumbledore, to save Draco from doing it. He also sees Dumbledore telling Snape that Harry was one of the Horcruxes, and that Harry had to die to kill Voldemort.

Accepting his fate, Harry leaves the castle to go find death. On his way, he tells Neville Longbottom that Voldemort’s snake needs to be killed, not telling him that it is a horcrux. He enters the forest, and Harry opens the resurrection stone, hidden in the snitch Dumbelore had given him. His parents, Lupin and Sirius walks with him as beings slightly more substantial than ghosts on his way to death, where Voldemort casts the killing curse, Avada Kedavra, on Harry.

While in a lifeless state, Dumbledore’s spirit returns to harry, telling him what happened in Dumbledore’s life. Harry returns to life, is carried to Hogwarts by a sobbing Hagrid, and while Harry pretends to be dead, Neville kills the snake. Now, with all Horcruxes destroyed, Voldemort is mortal once again.

A ferocious battle ensues, where Molly Weasley kills Bellatrix Lestrange. Harry and Voldemort engage in a duel, where harry tells Voldemort the tale of how Snape always defied Voldemort, and that he, Harry had become the master of the Elder wand, which Voldemort stole from Dumbledore’s tomb. Harry and Voldemort simultaneously cast spells, harry his favourite disarming spell, and Voldemort his Avada Kedavra. Voldemort’s spell rebounds on him, killing him. Celebrations ensue, with the most evil wizard finally overthrown, and when Harry visits Dumbledore’s portrait in the headmasters’ office, he visits the celebration of all the headmasters, telling Dumbledore his decision to keep the Stone in the forest. Harry repairs his old wand with the Elder Wand, and promises to return the Elder wand to Dumbledore’s tomb.

Finally, years later, we witness married couples Ron and Hermione and Ginny and Harry taking their children onto the Hogwarts Express. Harry’s one, James Sirius teases his younger brother Albus Severus that he will be placed into Slytherin. Harry tells Albus that he was named after two headmasters, one who was a Slytherin, and that the sorting hat would give Albus a chance to choose if he desperately wanted to be in Gryffindor. Together with his and Ginny’s daughter, Lily Luna, and Ron, Hermione sees off the train which their children can safely on without the fear of Voldemort.

Rating: 10/10

Yes, the highest rating. In a series of spectacular books, the last one managed to become the most spectacular. Every single page in this read is action packed, emotional and heart wrenching. I cannot say which event caused me the most tears, Tonks and Lupin Dying, Fred Dying, dobby dying, Hedwig dying, Snape’s tragic love story… “Always”

Well, it was probably Snape’s sad life story. What a brilliant shocker. The most thoroughly hated character through the entire series turning to be the greatest hero of them all. I was bawling my eyes out due to his heroics. “Sometimes we sort too soon” Albus Dumbledore to Severus Snape.

My favourite moments in the book? Maybe where Peeves sings his victory song, but most likely where Molly Weasley yells:

“Not my daughter, you bitch!”

Mrs Weasley threw of her cloak as she ran, freeing her arms. Bellatrix spun on the spot, roaring at the sight of her new challenger.

Harry watched with terror and elation as Mrs. Weasley’s wand slashed and twirled, and Bellatrix Lestrange’s smile faltered, and became a snarl. Jets of light flew from both wands, the floor around the witches’ feet became hot and cracked, both women were fighting to kill.”


And all was well.

Book challenge: Progress part 3

Happy Wednesday everyone! Guess who is going on study leave again from tomorrow? ME! I will be posting, but just not as much as usual.

Here is my book challenge progress so far – one of the reasons I do these posts is to keep track… it is really hard to remember everything!

Here is my completed reading list so far:

  1. Chasing Fire- Nora Roberts
  2. The Search- Nora Roberts
  3. Hidden Star- Nora Roberts
  4. Fallen Star- Nora Roberts
  5. Captive star- Nora Roberts
  6. Richelle Mead – Bloodlines
  7. Richelle Mead – The Golden Lily
  8. Richelle Mead – The Fiery Heart
  9. Nicholas Sparks – The Guardian
  10. Stephen King – Carrie
  11. Lewis Carrol – Alice in Wonderland
  12. Nora Roberts – Montana Sky
  13. JK Rowling – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
  14. JK Rowling – Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  15. JK Rowling – Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  16. JK Rowling – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  17. JK Rowling – Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  18. JK Rowling – Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
  19. JK Rowling – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  20. Nora Roberts – High Noon
  21. Nora Roberts – Carolina Moon

Currently reading:

Nora Roberts –Tribute

Planning to read:

Susan Collins: Hunger Games

Susan Collins: Catching Fire

Susan Collins: Mockingjay

Stephen King: The Green Mile

Lewis Carrol – Through the Looking Glass

JK Rowling: The Casual Vacancy

Marian Keyes: The Mystery of Mercy Close

Khaled Hosseini: A thousand splendid suns

Richelle Mead: Vampire Academy (Books 1-7)

Nora Roberts: Three Sisters Trilogy

Let me know if you have other good books I should try!

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (JK Rowling)


Book: 18/100

Harry Potter and his friends, Ron and Hermione, are waiting to return to Hogwarts for their 6th year. The magical world Harry finds himself in is in panic with Lord Voldemort now openly causing mayhem and terror.

Harry is fetched early during the summer vacation from Privet Drive by Albus Dumbledore, where he asks Harry to accompany him to the house of an old teacher of Hogwarts – Horace Slughorn. Harry and Dumbledore arrive to try to convince Slughorn to return to Hogwarts to teach, and Slughorn very reluctantly agrees.

Harry spends the rest of his summer with the Weasleys at their home, the Burrow. He meets Fleur Delacour again, now engaged to Ron’s older brother Bill, much to the irritation of Mrs. Weasley, who doesn’t seem to regard Fleur as worthy of her son. When the group visits Diagon Alley, under the safe watch of Hagrid, they finally see what Fred and George have been up to since leaving school. Their wizarding shop – Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes, openly mocks You-know-who, and is the only shop in Diagon Alley taking a cheerful approach on life.

On the Hogwarts Express, Harry is annoyed when Ginny leaves them to go sit with her boyfriend, Dean Thomas. Harry tells himself firmly that his feelings are brotherly, and doesn’t think that it might be more. He is interested to find out that Draco Malfoy isn’t abusing his Prefect duties, and sets out to find out why he is neglecting his favourite past-time. In the Slytherin corridor of the train, Draco openly boasts about a task that Voldemort had set for him, but doesn’t give any conclusive information. Harry is found by Draco, and left on the train injured, but Tonks, one of the Order members, arrives and takes Harry to the castle. Harry is shocked by the change in Tonks – her usual quirkiness is gone, and she is constantly distracted.

At school, Harry is shocked when he finds out that Professor Slughorn had returned to teach Potions, not Defence Against the Dark Arts. Professor Snape, Harry’s least favourite teacher, therefore got his life’s wish to become DADA teacher. They are all shocked to why Dumbledore allowed the thing Snape had openly sought for years.

Meanwhile, someone at Hogwarts is trying increasingly desperate measures to kill someone within the school. Katie Bell, a member of the Gryffindor Quidditch team nearly dies when she tries to take a cursed necklace into Hogwarts. Ron is poisoned in Slughorn’s office, and is only saved when Harry finds a bezoar to push down his throat – a cure to many poisons. Harry becomes obsessed with proving it is Draco Malfoy behind it all, but everyone, including Dumbledore, ignores Harry about this.

Harry receives private lessons from Dumbledore, and Dumbledore sets to show Harry as much as he possibly can about Voldemort’s life. Even as a child, Voldemort had immense control over his powers, not even caring if he hurt other children with it. He had no problem at all murdering for things he wanted, and indeed murdered all his living relations as a teen. Harry never receives any form of homework from Dumbledore, until Dumbledore asks him to retrieve a memory Slughorn, telling Harry that it is the most important information he will ever receive to Lord Voldemort’s immortality. This seems increasingly difficult, as Slughorn expected Dumbledore to try something of the sort. When Harry retrieves it, he learns that Voldemort had split his soul into seven pieces, making him immortal. Voldemort hid the pieces of his soul, Horcruxes, in different locations, and Dumbledore tells Harry that he can accompany Dumbledore on the next quest.

Harry and Dumbledore set of one night to find and destroy a Horcrux. They go to a hidden lake, a place where Voldemort had tortured young children in his youth, and after Dumbledore drinks a poison, they get the Horcrux. With Dumbledore seriously injured, the two return to Hogsmeade to find that the Dark Mark had been cast above the Astronomy tower. They rush to the school, with Harry under the invisibility cloak, they find Draco Malfoy waiting for Dumbledore, and disarms him. Dumbledore manages to convince Draco to allow Dumbledore to help him. Snape arrives, and kills Dumbledore. Fleeing from the castle, Snape reveals that he was the Half-Blood Prince, and that Harry had used his old Potions book the whole time. Harry finds that the Horcrux is a fake, and that someone else, RAB, took the real horcrux.

In the hospital wing, where everyone is taken to recuperate, Harry shares the news that Dumbledore has died. Fleur and Mrs. Weasley make peace when Mrs. Weasley sees that Fleur intends to stay with Bill even though he was attacked by a werewolf, and this prompts a fight between Tonks and Lupin – Tonks’ drastic change in nature had been caused by her unrequited love for Lupin.

After the funeral, Harry breaks up with Ginny, whom he had been dating since the Quidditch final. He tells her that it would be too dangerous to date her, that she would be in grave danger in Voldemort ever suspected Harry had feelings for her. He tells Ron and Hermione that he won’t be returning to Hogwarts, and they tell him in return that they will accompany him on his quest to find and destroy the remaining Horcruxes.

Rating: 8.5/10

What a phenomenal book! The Half-Blood Prince awed me, and repulsed me a little as well. Every part of every book slots perfectly into each other. My heart broke when Dumbledore died, and Harry lost yet another close mentor in his life. Harry finally falls for Ginny, and that girl had been waiting for him since the Chamber of Secrets. I love how she grew into this smart-mouthed individual, able to fight for what she believes in. No other type of girl deserved Harry 🙂

Weekends, books and stuff

Well, hello 🙂 this weekend was pretty nice, although I had a few moments where I wondered about the galling personalities some people have.


Finally read through Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. What a fantastic book – it was so amazing to read it again. It will always be one of my favourite books in the series. I started on the Deathly Hallows, and am wondering what book I will start on when I am finished – maybe some brand new writer I have never read before.

Weight loss:

I lost a kilogram! I have never been so happy to see the scale drop down. It has been on my mind how rapid weight loss diets are negatively impacting the way we see a healthy lifestyle. Healthy dieting means losing at most a kg a week, and I, being used to all these wonder diets, had been expecting 3-4 kg’s a week. Do you have any weight loss stories to share? Also, I was supposed to give up coffee from today, but I guess I will start that tomorrow :). Last week I managed to 30 minutes of exercise for three days – a record for the past few months! Keep those fingers crossed that I will do it this week as well.

I watched Lord of the Rings – Return of the King, this weekend. It was as superb as always. I really love those films.


Are so complex. Why do I have to deal with broken relationships (that has long ended) right now? Honestly, I have better things to focus on. The best part this weekend was when someone had the audacity to try to give advice about things they do not understand, or have no experiences in. Meh. Seriously, start dating then I will listen to your opinion, okay.

On the studying front, I didn’t make much progress. I had been working so hard on my last assignment submissions last week that I couldn’t find the energy to start again. I will be studying through the week now.

And lastly, some motivational stuff for a Monday. Enjoy






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Book Review: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (JK Rowling)


Book: 16/100

We meet Harry Potter again in the fourth instalment of the Harry Potter series, where he became famous as a child for destroying Lord Voldemort – a terrible Dark Wizard who murdered Harry’s parents before his destruction. Harry’s survival, and Voldemort’s disappearance, made Harry very famous in the wizarding world, but also made him live with his only horrible relatives, Vernon and Petunia Dursley.

While on vacation from his school Hogwarts, Harry has the strangest dream – a dream where Wormtail, the man responsible for Voldemort finding and killing his parents, is busy nursing a form of Voldemort back to health. They are interrupted by Frank Bryce, a muggle who is in charge of taking care of the home Voldemort and Wormtail is staying in, and Voldemort murders Frank immediately when he notices him.

Harry wakes up from his dream, and promptly writes to his new-found godfather Sirius about what he dreamt. He also receives a letter from the Weasleys, inviting him to the Quidditch world cup, and to stay with them for the remainder of the summer. Uncle Vernon ultimately agrees to let Harry go – not for Harry’s happiness, but to get him away from Privet Drive earlier.

Harry and the Weasleys set off to the Quidditch World Cup the day after Harry arrives at the Burrow (the Weasley’s home) they meet up with Amos and Cedric Diggory, with whom they will be sharing a portkey to transport themselves to the venue of the game. Cedric is also a Hogwarts student, though in Hufflepuff. He seems like a very nice guy, and is very embarrassed when his father keeps referencing to when he beat Harry at Quiddicth at Hogwarts.

When they arrive at the stadium, they are seated on the top of the pitch, giving the best view. They meet a houself, Winky, there, who is apparently saving a seat for her master, Bartemius ‘Barty’ Crouch. The group spots the Bulgarian seeker, Victor Krum, during the match, and he seems around Harry’s age. Ron particularly seems to have a hero worship going for him.

After the game, a crowd of Death Eaters (followers of Voldemort who managed to stay out of prison) terrorises muggles on the camp ground. Harry, Ron and Hermoine escape to the nearby wood, and Harry is worried when he realises his wand is missing. Shortly afterwards, someone casts the Dark Mark, the sign of Lord Voldemort, and the three is nearly stunned by ministry wizards. Things become highly uncomfortable when it is discovered it was Harry’s wand which cast the spell. Winky is found nearby, hit by the Stunning spells, with Harry’s wand, and her master, Barty Crouch, ignores her pleadings and sends her away – the greatest disgrace to a houself.


the Dark Mark

When all the students arrive at Hogwarts, professor Dumbledore announces a great surprise – that the Triwizard tournament will take place at Hogwarts during the school year. The Triwizard tournament is a historic event where one student from three magical schools: Hogwarts, Durmstrang and Beauxbatons compete in magical tasks where the winner receives 1000 Galleons in prize money, the triwizard cup, and the fame for themselves and honor for their schools. Dumbledore warns the students that only students who are 17 years or older will be allowed to compete because of the danger of the tasks. He also introduces their new defence against the Dark Arts teacher – Alastor ‘Mad-Eye’ Moody, a famous ex-Auror, who is slightly senile and orthodox. Mad-Eye moody becomes a hit at the school, despite his strange appearance and manners, when it becomes apparent how much he knows about the Dark Arts. He teaches them the unforgivable curses, and even practises the Imperius Curse on them, and only Harry manages to throw of the curse completely, which causes you to do anything the caster of the curse wants.

A selected group of champions arrive from Beauxbatons and Durmstrang, and during a feast on Halloween, the champions are selected: Fleur Delacour for Beauxbatons, Victor Krum for Drumstrang, and Cedric Diggory for Hogwarts. Shock, suspicion and dismay occur when Harry is chosen as the fourth champion – an impossible occurrence. Though Harry swears he didn’t put in his name, no one believes him, and he is magically bound to competing in the tournament. Harry is most hurt when Ron distances himself from Harry, also believing that he chose to put his name in to further his fame. Harry’s life becomes a nightmare, without his best friend, the taunts from the Slytherins, the open loathing from the rest of the school, and the articles Rita Skeeter publishes. Rita is a journalist for the Daily Prophet, and she makes up stories about Harry to suit her reader’s needs

Harry, who routinely writes to Sirius about what is happening at Hogwarts, gets a letter from his godfather asking him to be at the fire in the Gryffindor common room at midnight – on the same night Hagrid requests Harry to be at his house. Harry decides attempting to be at both, and sets of to Hagrid, where he sees that the first task for the triwizard tournament will be something involved with dragons. When he returns to the common room, Sirius appears in the fire, telling Harry to be careful, and that the principal of Durmstrang, Igor Karkaroff, was once a Death Eater.

Harry’s nervousness increases as the test becomes closer, but receives unexpected help when Moody points him to his strong points – flying. With Hermoine’s help, he learns the Summoning Charm, and summons his broom during the test. He manages to get his egg from the dragon, and receives high marks from the judges. The best thing happens – Ron apologises for his disbelief in Harry, and they become friends again.

An unexpected problem occurs when Professor McGonagall announces that the Yule ball, a traditional part of the Triwizard tournament, will take place, and that Harry must get a partner for it. He wishes to ask a pretty girl, Cho Chang, but when he finally gets the courage, she is disappointed to tell him that she already agreed to go with Cedric Diggory. Crestfallen, he goes with a girl in his year, Parvati Patil. Hermoine stuns everyone when she turns up with Victor Krum, looking gorgeous, but Ron is angry at her and jealous (although he won’t admit it)

On a clue from Cedric Diggory, Harry takes the egg under water, and discovers that there are merepeople in the lack, from which Harry will need to collect something. This, again, stresses harry out, but help arrives in the form of Dobby, the house-elf, when he gives Gillyweed to harry, which makes him move like a fish underwater. Harry tries to save all the hostages under water, causing him to break the time limit, but the judges still grade him high due to his “moral fibre”.

The three meet up with Sirius in Hogsmeade, and he tells them that Barty Crouch’s son was a convicted Death Eater. Later on, the champions see their final challenge – a maze with the trophee in the centre. Hermoine and Ron once again assist Harry in preparation for it, and when the day arrives, Harry is calmer since he knows that he practised well. Inside the maze, he and Cedric finds the cup at the same time, and they agree to share the glory for Hogwarts. Upon touching the cup, they find it is a Portkey, and it takes them to a deserted graveyard.

In the graveyard, Lord Voldemort awaits them, and murderes Cedric Diggory. With the assistance of Wormtail, Voldemort is reborn, and he summons his Death Eaters that escaped prison to him. They arrive, and he tortures Harry. He gives Harry back his wand, and they prepare to duel. Upon the first curse that is cast, Harry and Voldemort’s wands connect, and Harry’s parents, Cedric, and Frank Bryce reappear in ghost form, and they create a diversion to help Harry escape. Harry takes Cedric’s body, Summons the Portkey, and returns to Hogwarts.

Upon his arrival at Hogwarts, Mad-Eye takes Harry away from the maze, ignoring instructions from Dumbledore. Locked up in Mad-Eye’s office, he finally reveals himself, as Barty Crouch junior, the Death Eater that had managed to escape from Azkaban with his father’s help. He tells Harry that it was he who put Harry’s name in the Goblet of Fire, and that he had been impersonating the real Mad-Eye all along. Just when he turns to kill Harry, Dumbledore, Snape and McGonagall arrive to save him.

Harry tells his story to Dumbledore and Sirius, and is sent to the hospital wing to recuperate. There, he is awoken by Cornelius Fudge and McGonagall shouting at each other, for Fudge had ordered the Dementors to Kiss Barty Jnr., thereby destroying evidence that Harry’s tale was true. Fudge expresses his scepticism at Harry’s story, and it is evident that he doesn’t believe Voldemort is back. Harry gives the Weasley twins, Fred and George Weasley, his winnings of the Triwizard cup, telling them that the world will need happiness in the dark times ahead. He heads to Privet Drive for vacation, with the promises of his friends that they will see him soon.



The Goblet of Fire has always been one of my favourite Potter books. There is so much excitement happening, with the Triwizard, Harry growing up, finally having a parent figure, and Voldemort returning. JK Rowling chose the perfect moment to bring Voldemort back. It would otherwise have killed the storyline.

PS: Can you believe it was published in 2000? That makes the Goblet of Fire 13 years old – and you, very old 😉

Book review: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (JK Rowling)


Book: 15/100

In the third book of the Harry Potter series, it is noticeable that Harry is starting to grow up. He is more mature (though still young at some parts) and has accepted that he is a wizard, and made peace (sort of) that he is a famous one.

When Harry’s temper gets the better of him, and he makes his incredibly rude aunt turn into a balloon shaped human, he isn’t even expelled. Harry suspects something is up when the Minister of Magic, Cornelius Fudge, is just happy he is safe and well, and doesn’t care about his serious breaking of wizarding rules. Harry is allowed to spend the rest of his vacation in Diagon Alley, which is great news for him, as he can be away from his relatives.

The leading news story in the wizarding world is the escape of a mass murderer, Sirius Black. He is now famous, being the only person to escape from the wizarding prison, Azkaban, which is guarded by Dementors – terrible creatures that make you remember every bad thing that happened to you.

On the Hogwarts express on the way to school the Dementors enter the train, and Harry is particularly affected by them – he relives when Voldemort murdered his parents. Professor Lupin, the new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, repels the Dementors by casting a spell on them.

At school, Professor Dumbledore informs them that the Dementors will be at school until Black is caught. This is bad news for Harry – they affect him so bad that he passes out mid-air during a Quidditch match. When his captain tells him to sort out the problem before the next match, Harry asks Professor Lupin to teach him how to repel the Dementors. Lupin teaches Harry, warning him that it is very advanced magic for an unqualified wizard.

Meanwhile, Hermoine is confusing Ron and Harry by having classes at the same time. She is very vague when asked how she does this, but they can think of no possible explanation.

Harry finally finds out why Cornelius Fudge was so happy to find him well at the beginning of summer. He accidentally hears that Sirius Black is responsible for his parents’ death, because he leaked their whereabouts to Voldemort. Afterwards, he killed one of his friends, Peter Pettigrew, and a whole street of muggles, for which he was imprisoned. Harry is filled with a sense of righteous anger, and his friends try to get him to understand how foolish it would be for him to hunt down a madman.

Professor Lupin is very popular at school, revolutionising his subject for the students. He disappears once a month, and always returns looking ill. It would seem that the only person Professor Snape (Harry’s arch enemy) dislikes more than Harry is Professor Lupin. It finally makes sense to Harry when Lupin reveals that he and James, Harry’s father, were close friends at school.

Hagrid, the gentle half-giant, is distraught when Draco Malfoy manages to fake a severe injury, causing Hagrid’s Hippogriff Buckbeak to be sentenced to death. Harry, Ron and Hermoine try to help him appeal, but in the end the verdict remains. The three sneak down to support Hagrid on the night of the execution, and when they return to the castle, a huge dog attacks Ron and pulls him under the Whomping Willow. Harry and Hermoine chase after Ron, and they find a passage leading to an old haunted house under the tree.

When they find themselves in the Shrieking Shack, they find that the dog is actually Sirius Black, who is an Animagus. Harry tries to attack him, but is stopped by Professor Lupin. Stunned by this betrayal, Hermoine reveals Lupin’s big secret – that he is a werewolf, and locks himself up once a month when he turns into a werewolf. Lupin and Black tell Harry that their friendship group, James, Sirius and a man named Peter Pettigrew all turned into Animaguses to support Lupin when he turned. They also tell him that it was never Sirius who leaked the information about Harry’s parent’s whereabouts, but Peter Pettigrew, whose Animagus form was a rat, and who disappeared after killing all the muggles, blaming Sirius. It turns out that the rat in question is Ron’s rat, Scabbers, and Lupin turns the Rat into the man Pettigrew. Sirius and Lupin want to kill Peter, but Harry tells them not to, and that they can use him to prove Sirius’s innocence.

When they return to the castle, Lupin changes into a werewolf and the group scatters. They narrowly escape the Dementors, but Peter Pettigrew flees, and Sirius is recaptured.

Dumbledore listens to their story in the hospital wing, and tells Harry and Hermoine (Ron is too badly injured to join them) to use Hermoine’s time turner to help Sirius and Buckbeak. The Time-turner, it is revealed, is how Hermoine has been managing to get to two classes at one time. They use it, and manage to free the Hippogriff and Sirius, and rush back in time before Snape throws a tantrum because Sirius got away.



The Prisoner of Azkaban is great on so many levels. Not only are we reading about more mature characters, Harry finally finds a parent figure in Sirius. He learns more about his father and mother, and begins to form into the man who would end up destroying Voldemort for good. My favourite part in the book is definitely when they win the Quidditch cup – there is no finer moment. I get Goosebumps every single time I read it. Oh, and this is the book that I can remember reading when I was eleven years old, and I am sure it is responsible for starting my reading addiction!

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (JK Rowling)


Book: 14/100

I reached for the second book in the Harry Potter franchise almost immediately after I finished The Philosopher’s Stone. I really adore these books so much, and I was very happy when the Potter bug bit me again.

What Happened (the short version)

Harry returns to school for his second year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry after nearly being punished for magic he didn’t perform. The magic performed was done by a house-elf, Dobby, who deliberately tried to get Harry into trouble after Harry refused to listen to his warnings that Hogwarts wasn’t safe for him.

At school, strange things start to happen. After the caretaker’s cat is petrified, there is a message on the wall behind it saying that the Chamber of Secrets has been opened. The History of Magic teacher tells them that the Chamber was created by Salazar Slytherin, when he left the school because he didn’t want any muggle born witches or wizards enrolled. The rumour went that when the heir of Slytherin returned to the school, the Chamber would be re-opened and the monster within would purify the school of muggle borns.

Harry becomes prime suspect when it is discovered he can talk to snakes, a habit that has long since been accepted as part of the Dark Arts. Every crime points to Harry, but people start to believe in his innocence when one of his best friends, Hermoine, is attacked.

This leaves Ron and Harry to solve the mystery. The find out through a secret diary that Hagrid was expelled for the crimes, even though he did not commit them. When Hagrid is taken to prison as a preventative method, they know they must do everything to stop the monster. They go into the Forbidden Forest, and meet Aragog, a huge spider, who tells them that it was never he nor is Hagrid responsible for the deaths of a student during the last time the Chamber had been opened.

Harry and Ron find out that the monster is a Basilisk, a huge snake that can kill you if you make eye contact with it. When they hear the monster took Ron’s sister, Ginny, into the chamber, they set of to find it and save her. Accompaning them is Professor Lockhart, a man who claims to be a type of heroic saviour to the wizarding world. When they enter the tunnel leading to the chamber, he tries to curse Ron and Harry, but the spell backfires, making him lose his memory, and makes the tunnel cave in. Ron stays with Lockhart, and Harry decides to go searching for the monster alone.

In the chamber he finds Ginny, nearly dead. He finally meets the Heir to Slytherin – who came back through the diary Harry saw Hagrid being falsely accused in. Tom Marvolo Riddle, reveals himself as the young Lord Voldemort. He tells Harry that he had used Ginny through the diary to petrify everyone, and when she dies, he will be restored to his former self.

Tom sets the basilisk free on Harry, and unexpected help arrives when Fawkes, Professor Dumbledore’s phoenix, scratches out the Basilisk eyes, ensuring Harry can kill the snake while looking at it. The sword of Gryffindor is sent to Harry, and he kills the Basilisk with it. Harry prevents Tom from coming back by stabbing the diary with a Basilisk fang, effectively erasing Tom from the present. Fawkes heals Harry, and carries him, Ginny, Ron and Lockhart to safety.




Rating: 8/10

I don’t ever see myself grading one of the Harry Potter books lower than an eight. They are simply so well written that they deserve highest rating.

The Chamber of Secrets is very funny. I love the humour in it, the sarcasm, and all the small events that make the book such a success. If you have read all the books, you notice how Rowling left clues about events that would happen later on. The characters are all a little older, wiser, and braver.

My favourite part is probably the feast the students have in their pajamas after the Chamber has been closed again, and Hagrid returns to the school. Simply excellent 🙂

Read the review on the first book as well here 🙂