Sunday, 28 August 2016

Book Tag: The Last Airbender

I decided to try something new for this blog. I see a lot of other book-bloggers doing this quite often (there is even a Pokemon book tag and also an Olympic book tag, but I really like Avatar so I think this suits). This particular book tag was created by A Clockwork Reader. I hope you like it. It may give you a good impression of the characters/books I really like (and thus think about).

Katara & Sokka: Best Sibling Relationship
I would have to go with Melanie and Jamie Stryder in The Host by Stephenie Meyer. Even though Melanie has to take on the role of his mom at some point (more or less), I still think they are amazing. She does everything in her power to protect her little brother, to the extend of making Wanda love him too. Plus, Jamie is so kind and sweet that he learns to love Wanda too, even if she is in Melanie's body and no matter what the grown-ups say.

Yue: Favourite Star-crossed Lovers
This is a hard one.. Couples I read about usually end up together, or not because they don't love the other anymore (or died). So I would not call those star-crossed lovers. Maybe Jace Herondale and Clary Fairchild in the beginning of the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare (well, the second and part of the third book), because they are under the impression that they are brother and sister, but they're already in love with each other. They really struggle with it, or at least Jace really does. At one point he wants to run away with Clary because he cannot stand not being with her. Even if their families will be disgusted by it.

Blood Bending: A Book With Disturbing Content
First one I could think of is Het verrotte leven van Floortje Bloem by Yvonne Keuls. It's a book about a girl who is left by her mother and goes from foster home to foster home and ends up doing a lot of drugs while working in a whore-house. It's all very detailed and intens. I read it when I was rather young and I decided to stop reading and pick it up again a couple years later because it's content was so disturbing.

Toph: A character who's strength suprised you
I think that would have to be Vin from the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson. A friend of mine got me into the series (I'll admit I still have not read the last book, I'm horrible I know) and I really enjoy(ed) it. Vin is awesome but I did not know what to expect with the series or with it's characters so I was really surprised by it.

The Tales of Ba Sing Se: Best Short story
I would have to go with A Wild Swan by Michael Cunningham. It's a collective or several short stories. All of which are slightly different versions of tales we grew up with (Hansel & Gretel and such), but then with a disturbing twist. My dear friend Lea gave me the book and I absolutely love it, especially because it's super pretty.

Kioshi Warriors: Best warrior character
Rowan Whitetorn from the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. Without a doubt. It's not totally fair because well he's Fae, but nevertheless, if I would have to pick who would defend/protect/fight for me, it would be him.

Zuko: Best redemption
Rhysand, the High Lord of the Night Court from A Court of Mist and Fury (the sequel to A Court of Thorns and Roses)(also by Sarah J. Maas). In the first novel he is very evil or he's believed to be evil. Especially by our main character Feyre. However, in the second novel she slowly realises that he is not that evil and he makes it up to her.

Azula: Best downfall
From the same series as mentioned above, Tamlin. The High Lord of the Spring Court. In the first novel he is a very sweet and steady guy. He appears to be in control of the situation even when the situation controls him. In the second book he loses all of that. He goes way to far and locks the woman he loves up in their house because of how scared he is. And that's not even the worst of it! After she flees from him, he basically decides to risk not only his Courts but all of Fae Realms and the Mortal lands in order to get her back. It's a mess. Honestly I can't wait until the next book comes out (which by now you'll probably know because I've been talking about ACOTAR a looot).

Iroh: Wisest Character
The Fairy Godmother in the first few books of The Land of Stories by Chris Colfer. She is the actual grandmother of the two main characters (twins brother (Conner) and sister (Alex)). I think she's the wisest, at least that I can think of right now. Of course she still made mistakes, but so did Iroh so it's okay. Next to the fact that both characters are also insanely sweet/cute.

Appa: Favourite Fictional Pet
Church from the Infernal Devices, but he's also in The Mortal Instruments (and also The Dark Artifices I think)(also by Cassandra Clare). He's Jem's cat, given to Magnus and later given to Emma Carstairs (by Jem). It's not that he does an awful lot but he's always there and hence the first animal I could think with a significant role (because let's face it, all Shadowhunter fans know who Church is). 

Aang: Purest Cinnamon Roll
Sissy Jupe from Hard Times by Charles Dickens, because her imagination and good heart change the whole family (for the better). It takes a few years but in the end her love and creativity beat the strict factual upbringing the kids were given.

Avatar State: A stubborn character
Aelin Ashryver Galathynius (or Celeana Sardothien) from the Throne of Glass series. She's very stubborn and feisty, but it's also one of the things I like about her. You better not mess with her because she will make you pay for it. Maybe not right away, but she certainly will. I love that about her. She fights for what she believes in and is very very reluctant. She's not a quitter and won't give up without a fight (if at all). 

Who would be your choices for these tags? Is there one you disagree with or maybe agree with, if so why? Let me know, I'm curious!

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Against All Odds

So my friend Aline recommended this book by Patricia Vanasse, Against All Odds, to me (or well, she actually recommended the writer to me) and due to uni I haven't had the time to read it, but now I finally have. I will not give you the full synopsis of the book like I usually do, because frankly the synopsis of the book is pretty big and I like the space to write what I want to say. So instead I'll give you this:
Sometimes boy meets girl, and the stars align, and their future is laid out neatly before them. Together forever. Meant to be. But Max and Loren are not one of those couples.

Before I start my review, I would like to say that I think these sentences do not give an awful lot of credit to other romantic stories, because it's almost never THAT easy. But for the purpose of this story, let's roll with it. The book works from two different angles, through the eyes of both main characters, Max and Loren. Due to uncomfortable circumstances, Max has to move into Loren's house. Both of the characters are struggling at the moment. Max with his mom and dad, and Loren with the loss of her best friend Lily.

This book was an easy and pleasant read. I felt like I stepped back into the skin of a 17 year old girl. Especially when it came to the anger both Max and Loren feel towards their parents. They are misunderstood and try to reach out but it does not have the effect they were hoping for. Both try to explain to their parents that what they want is not what the main characters need. For example, Loren wants to go to Julliard, which if you ask me, is huge. Especially because she actually has a shot at it. However, to her parents this is not good enough because dance is just a hobby (her words not mine).

Max' mother walked out on him two years earlier and she is trying to get back into his life, even though he tells her he does not want her in his life because of what she did. Instead of giving him space and trying to listen to him/his needs. She claims more space and thinks of annoying and clever ways to force him to move back in with her. To me the book is about those struggles between parents and their teens. The teens that feel misunderstood and the parents who want the best for their teens but cannot communicate with them due to their rebellious behaviour (and yelling).

Patricia Vanasse really got that part down. I almost wanted to yell at the mothers in this book myself. As for the love story between Max and Loren, it's clear that there is a connection between the two. However, it did not get to me as I expected it too, which I think has to do with the fact that Loren already was in love with him before the story started. I missed the whole part of her falling in love with him, which made it hard for me to actually get into that feeling myself. Nevertheless, I'm very curious about Vanasse's other books.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

The Big Friendly Giant

As kids, my brothers and I, used to watch De GVR (which is the Dutch version of the BFG), an animated film. I remember how much I liked it.With the songs and the jokes. I've never read the book though, not until this week. Actually, I never read anything written by Roald Dahl (which I should have), but I saw the book in Porto and thought it was time to buy it (because it was cheaper and we got a 10% discount). The new film came out over a month ago, I haven't had the time yet to watch it but I plan to do so (now that I've finished reading the book).

I started reading it and immediately started to annoy Fabian. I loved the jokes, the language the BFG uses and I couldn't help myself so I kept reading it out loud to him while he was trying to read a different book (hihi, sorry). Like how he says human beans instead of human beings. Disgusterous instead of disgusting. Thick ear instead of thin air, the list goes on and on. I caught myself laughing out loud several times. 

However, it wasn't the book that got to me, it was the introduction written by one of Roald Dahl's daughters. She writes about how her dad would tell them stories every night before bedtime. How he would stage things in the garden and pretend that the BFG came by their house, because he wanted his daughters to believe in magic. She got to see the film set and met Steven Spielberg (who she refers to as the BFD) and everything. She wrote:"I could feel my father walking with me around this enchanting land of giants and dreams. I could hear him telling me, as I walked around in awe, 'You see Lukie, if you don't believe in magic, you will never find it. You believed and look, you've found it. Isn't it marvellous!'"

It's both sad and beautiful. Sad because he is not here to see it himself, beautiful because it means so much to his daughter to see it now. It's not just a story, it's not just a movie. It's so much more than that. Just like (for example) Harry Potter is more than that. It is part of our lives. Part of a legacy that makes our world a little bit more magical and beautiful, between the horrible things that happen everyday. I realise that I would have probably liked the book better if I had been younger. It can be a bit slow at times, which is perfectly fine for kids but for me it made it more difficult to pay attention to what was happening (especially because I was already familiar with the plot of the story). Anyways, I feel like you should all read the book or at least watch (one of) the movies, because it's so wonderful.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

My Favourite Fictional Couples

Over the years there have been a lot of characters who were able to warm my heart. Especially when it involved an amazing love story, because well.. I'm a hopeless romantic. I like a good, exciting, heart breaking love story (does not really matter how bad or unoriginal or unrealistic it may be, if it grabs me I will love it). However, this does not happen all hat often. I also need to put emphasis on the fact that I am talking about the books, not the adaptation of these stories in to film or TV-series (because it's not the same).

I think the first time I really experienced a love so deep and wild for a love story I read was (god.. I can already feel you guys judging me) the Twilight series (Team Jacob all the way). I read the first book 11 times, and I could not re-read New Moon because their separation hurt so much. I remember how much I cried when I first read New Moon and Bella her sadness beamed from the pages (especially the blank pages with just the names of the months in the corner of the pages, man that hurt). Of course I later realised that maybe it was not the best love story, but that didn't matter, it's how the words made me feel exactly what they supposedly felt. Since then I have read a lot of books with love stories, not all of which were good or gave me the same experience. However, a few did and it was as good as the first time I came across the feeling. Below you will find my top 5 of my favourite couples, all of which gave me this feeling. And all of which (all but one) involve two people from completely different worlds finding each other against all odds.  Contains spoilers if you have not read the novels.
Made by Charlie Bowater
Feyre & Rhysand.
I will start with A Court of Mist and Fury, simply because I read it recently and the feeling it gave me still lingers in my mind. Even though the reader is supposed to hate Rhysand at first (like I mentioned in the review I posted recently), I secretly liked him to begin with. Feyre and Rhys play a dangerous came of flirting and insulting each other, but it turns into something so real, it almost made me jealous. Instead of keeping each other to themselves, they make each other stronger and shine even brighter. He turns out to be so utterly in love with Feyre that he made her hate him, just so he could help her do what she needed to do. Accepting that it may ruin his chances with her forever. To me that's amazing and admirable. People always say that Romeo and Juliet is not an amazing love story, it's just sad because death is not romantic (I agree). This makes me think of that, though in a more healthy way. A sacrifice made for the one you love, to safe them even if it means not being with them. Not to mention the amazingly detailed sex scenes in the novel. It's hot and exciting. Favourite quote from Rhysand: "I landed in the Night Court, right as Mor was waiting for me, and I was so frantic, so ... unhinged, that I told her everything. I hadn't seen her in fifty years, and my first words to her were 'She's my mate!'"

Violet & Kaspar.
This relationship is a lot like the on I put on number one (only this book came before it). The Dark Heroine by Abigail Gibbs. It involves vampires (suprise, suprise) and a human falling for a very important vampire. He's a monster in the beginning and she truly hates him for it. Especially because she's in his house against her will, but not allowed to leave due to what she witnessed them do. Slowly but steadily, they become friends and then they become more. He's an asshole who is changed by an innocent and somewhat naive girl. She's stupid, stubborn and feisty and never goes down without a fight. She plays with fire while hating him and he lets her, to an extend. Her father thinks she suffers from Stockholm Syndrome (maybe I have a weird thing for it.. Beauty and the Beast, The Dark Heroine and A Court of Mist and Fury.. damn I might have a problem), but to me, what really happens is that this novel takes two people from completely different worlds and puts them together to create a strong bond that changes both of them for the better. The difference between this couple and the one mentioned above is that Kaspar truly was an asshole, who is changed by the love of a girl, whereas Rhysand was never evil to begin with, no one just bother to see that. Favourite part of the book is when Violet ask Kasper about being a vampire: Violet "Can you enter a house uninvited?", Kaspar "No", Violet "Why not?", Kaspar "That would be rude".

Made by Cassandra Jean
Jace & Clary.
This is the first couple in a series of books which (almost) all have cool couples. Cassandra Clare is like the Nicholas Sparks of Young Adult Fantasy. Jace Herondale and Clary Fairchild are both children of the Nephelim in The Mortal Instruments series, however, Clary has no idea about this. She grew up thinking she was a normal girl and then she meets a mysterious boy who was raised in their brutal world. This story takes a long time to unravel, especially because for a long time they are under the impression that they are brother and sister, and it is the most cruel thing ever (so many feels) because they only 'find out' after they have already fallen in love with each other. They don't talk about it even though they love each other to bits. Neither voices it, until Jace realises he cannot do it anymore and confesses everything to her. Later in the same book (the third of the series) they realise they are not brother and sister at all. It takes almost the whole series before they can finally be together and it is because of that, the heart breaking wait for the happy ending, that I was so obsessed with the series for a while. In the end it was all worth it of course, they safe the world together and end up happily ever after. I think it is the first time I did not mind the sappy unrealistic happy ending (I hated it in Twilight), because it was so well deserved. The film was somewhat good at showing this love, the TV-series not so much (but that's my opinion).

Jared & Melanie and Wanda & Ian.
Last but not least, I will give you two different couples from the same book. The Host (also by Stephanie Meyer)(I have not lost hope that some day there will be a sequel). You can't really talk about one of these couple without mentioning the other. Wanda is an alien in Melanie's body. The whole world has been taken over by these aliens that invade the bodies of humans (it's their only way to survive). Most of these aliens completely take over these bodies, but Melanie's soul is feisty, which causes Wanda and Melanie to share the body. Melanie is a voice inside Wanda's head and Wanda learns to love her and those who are loved by her. She goes looking for Melanie's loved ones and it turns into a very romantic love story of two different couples but only three people. Of course no one trusts Wanda at first but it slowly turns into something different and it is a hard but also very beautiful story (ha, also an explanation of why my blog is called Wanda heart Ian, for those of you who were wondering). I used to re-read this book every year around Easter and it would be as lovely as the first time. It's a shame not as many people know about this book, considering it is much better than Twilight.

Anyways that was that. I wonder, who are your favourite couples? Do you agree or disagree with what I said? Let me know!

Thursday, 18 August 2016

A Court of Thorns and Roses

I got the first book (A Court of Thorns and Roses) of this instalment from my boyfriend's parents for my 23rd birthday (which was in February. I know.. I should have read it a long time ago) but due to my studies I had not (yet) been able to read this book, until recently. I took the book with me when we went to Brussels and Porto as summer holiday. A day and a half later I finished it and made my boyfriend read it too. We both fell in love with these characters, just like we did with Sarah J. Maas her other book series Throne of Glass.  I had waited so long with reading the first book that, luckily for me, the sequel had already been published. As soon as we were home we went to Waterstones Amsterdam to purchase the second book: A Court of Mist and Fury and I finished that book in a similar fashion (aka I read it in a day and half). I was a bit sceptic about the first book, due to the synopsis on the back:
Feyre is a huntress. She thinks nothing of slaughtering a wolf to capture its prey. But, like all mortals, she fears what lingers mercilessly beyond the forest. And she will learn that taking the life of a magical creature comes at a high price. Imprisoned in an enchanted court in her enemy's kingdom, Feyre is free to roam but forbidden to escape. Her captor's body bears the scars of fighting, and his face is always masked - but his piercing stare draws her ever closer. As Feyre's feelings for Tamlin begin to burn through every warning she's been told about his kind, an ancient, wicked shadow grows. 
The world is divided by a wall that separates the Fae  Realms from the mortal lands. Each side hates the other side. The mortal lands are a lot like the real thing (a few centuries ago) and Prythian (a part of the other side of the wall) is divided into seven Courts: Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn, Day, Dawn and Night. Feyre is a young woman who lives with her father and two sister in a small cottage. They lost all of their money years ago due to a mistake their dad made and she takes care of her family. Her sisters don't do anything and only complain and spend the little money they do have. She was 14 when she decided to start putting food on the table. Food she went out to hunt herself because her dad was too weak and broken to do it for his family. I understood her character. It was a lot like Aelin (from Throne of Glass), an easy to love and admire, strong female character. She promised her dying mother she would take care of their family (when she was 8 years old) and so that's what she does. Even when she gets taken away from them by Tamlin to the Court of Spring (who treats her better than her family ever did), all she can think of is going home so she can take care of her family again.

The sentence: Imprisoned in an enchanted court in her enemy's kingdom,.. , made me somewhat sceptical, realising I had heard this story before, after which I opened the book and found in the description of Sarah J. Maas the following words: A Court of Thorns and Roses is the first book in her seductive new series blending Beauty and the Beast with faerie lore. There it was. Beauty and the Beast. While reading this novel it was all I could see and think about. A bit of Beauty and the Beast, mixed with High Fae and maybe a bit of The Dark Heroine series (though that can just be my idea of it). Maybe that is also why I loved it so much, because I absolutely love Beauty and the Beast (Belle is my favourite Disney Princess for a reason). Sarah J. Maas did it again, she made me love her books cover to cover, like she always does. 

So even though it was very similar to those, I still fell in love with Feyre, Lucien and Tamlin, and the things that they did for each other, but above all I fell in love with Rhysand. I know he's the 'bad guy' in the first book and everyone else sees him that way. I was getting really sick of the way Tamlin treated her in the first novel. My thoughts: "Yes she's human but dear lord she took care of her family for years on end from the age of 14 until YOU (Tamlin) took her away, give her some credit!". But to me Rhysand was the only one to treat Feyre no different than he treated the people around her. He teased her, mocked her and made her love to hate him. Before I go any further I have to say that I will spoil book one for you if you haven't read it, in order to give a proper review or the sequel. So if you haven't read the first novel and plan on reading it, this where you should stop reading (unless you don't care of course, because the books will still be pretty darn good even if you read my review first).

In the first novel of this series we come to realise that Feyre was not taken by Tamlin due to her killing one of his friends, she was taken because that is exactly what he hoped a Fae hating female would do. He was looking for a girl who would love him, even though she was taught to hate Fae. He had a period of time in which he needed to do this (curse given to him by the oh so lovely Amarantha) but in the end he lets her go because he loves her too much to go through with it. He knows that he wants to break the curse, he will have to bring Feyre to Amarantha and risk her life and he is not willing to do so. So she is send home and remains unaware of the curse.

As soon as she realises (that his time is up and he now has to live out his days with the woman who put the curse on him) what is really going on she goes to the man she loves, to safe him. Even though she does not stand a chance against the Fae 'queen'. She makes a bargain with her. Three trials and she will be able to free him and the rest of Prythian from this woman. Or, she has to solve a riddle. But due to the fact that Feyre cannot read nor write (her mom died when she was really young and her sister never bothered to teach her) she has a hard time trying to solve the riddle. However, after she does so she realises she would not win by only completing the three tasks (each of which could have killed her). As Amarantha is slowly killing Feyre she finally finds the answer to the clever riddle and answers it just before Amarantha snaps her neck. Luckily for us, she gets saved by the Fae Lords of all the courts, who are grateful for the sacrifices she's made and she is turned into High Fae herself. This is a very very short summary of the novel. I did not even mention Rhysand, who helps her defeat Amaratha and saves her life (after the first trial) by making a deal with her. She has to be with him one week of every month, which ever week he chooses.
Feyre is immortal. After rescuing her lover Tamlin from a wicked Faerie Queen, she returns to the Spring Court possessing the powers of the High Fae. But Feyre cannot forget the terrible deed she performed to save Tamlin's people - nor the bargain she made with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre is drawn ever deeper into Rhysand's dark web of politics and passion, war is looming and an evil far greater than any queen threatens to destroy everything Feyre has fought for. She must confront her past, embrace her gifts and decide her fate. She must surrender her heart to heal a world torn in two.
In the sequel we soon come to realise that everything we thought to be true, may not be true at all. Is Tamlin the good guy and is Rhysand the bad guy? Feyre is devastated by what she did to safe Tamlin. She had to kill two innocent Fae and it hunts her in her dreams. Their eyes, their blood, all of it. She has nightmares every night and pukes her guts out after each and every one of them. Tamlin ignores it. He keeps on sleeping. Feyre thinks he might not know, but is almost sure that some nights she can feel him be awake next to her once she comes back to bed. He has his own nightmares to deal with, but he is locking her in his house to protect her from the world outside. Day by day we feel her slipping away. Until at one point Rhysand comes to claim her, on her wedding day. Needles to say, you're supposed to hate Rhys, but nothing is what it seems in A Court of Mist and Fury. Feyre tries to beat her depression and finds her way to become herself again. The strong huntress she used to be, the strong girl who fought for her man, instead of a trophy wife who isn't allowed to leave the house.

The second novel is soo good. It's so sad, exciting and romantic all at once. I haven't felt this way about a book since.. well a long time. Her fire and anger spat of the pages and it moved me a lot. Almost motivated me to fight myself, which is a quality Sarah J. Maas possesses anyway. She gives us strong female leads who fight for what they want and what they believe in, and it motivates me (and a lot of other girls), while still giving us amazing love stories that involve handsome strong men. I love how in her novels one does not stand in the way of the other. She combines them in a lovely manner.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Obligatory Reading: Part 2

This is part two of the books I need to read for my American Literature After Kennedy class. I didn't feel like writing a review for each individual book, because these aren't books I would have picked up if it wasn't for uni. So instead I decided to write about what I thought of them and why I did or did not like them.

After finishing A Visit From The Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan, I decided to move on to Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson (simply because I was able to borrow it from a friend). Almost immediately after starting this book I came to the realisation how awful it is that I liked the previous book, because this book is so different and a lot less pleasurable to read. I'm not saying it's not good but there is almost no dialogue, which makes it super easy to wander off (I haven't been able to finish Life of Pi due to a similar reason). 
The story of Ruth and her younger sister, Lucille, who grow up haphazardly, first under the care of their competent grandmother, then of two comically bumbling great-aunts, and finally of Sylvie, their eccentric and remote aunt. The family house is in the small Far West town of Fingerbone set on a glacial lake, the same lake where their grandfather died in a spectacular train wreck, and their mother drove off a cliff to her death. It is a town "chastened by an outsized landscape and extravagant weather, and chastened again by an awareness that the whole of human history had occurred elsewhere." Ruth and Lucille's struggle toward adulthood beautifully illuminates the price of loss and survival, and the dangerous and deep undertow of transience.
As you can see the set up is very dark and depressing and the lack of dialogue does not make it better. The women in this book appear to be rather crazy or lost, without a proper explanation. Only Lucille and the third sister (of her mother Helen) seem to get on the right track . But even Lucille doesn't really explain or give a clear reason why, she just wakes up one day totally changed and different. None of it really makes sense, or maybe I just don't understand. Either way I did not really enjoy reading this book. Moving on to the next book: Glengarry Glen Ross, a play by David Mamet. Luckily for me it is only 63 pages, so if I don't like Glengarry Glen Ross, it will be over before I know it and I can always try to watch the film (not saying it's the same thing but it helps to get into the story). 
Winner of the 1984 Pulitzer Prize, David Mamet's scalding comedy is about small-time, cutthroat real estate salesmen trying to grind out a living by pushing plots of land on reluctant buyers in a never-ending scramble for their fair share of the American dream.
The synopsis did not seem promising, of course that's only my opinion. This book is almost the exact opposite of Housekeeping. There's a lot of dialogue (which makes sense considering it's a play). We move from conversation to conversation and there is almost no background, there is no setting. All we get are those conversations, none of which were all that interesting to me because I have almost no knowledge of the business these men are in.

I honestly feel, after reading all 63 pages, like I just read a scene or two from the Wolf of Wall street. Not because it's similar (I never read the Wolf of Wall street), but because that's what it reminds me of (the film). Just a bunch of men discussing business, doing (il)legal things and calling each other names, probably a lot of yelling. It's confusing and difficult to understand. Especially because there probably is a lot of things going on in terms of body language and intonation. They continuously call the other characters to attention, which is weird if you're just reading it rather than seeing the play. Therefore I recommend watching the film rather than reading the play book, because that way you will probably get a better idea of what the writers are trying to tell you. 

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Harry Potter & The Cursed Child

The excitement for this book started a few weeks back when we were in London. We walked past the theatre in which the play was going to be shown. We tried getting tickets but needless to say it was impossible (because it is sold out until may 2017). I tried to push my excitement away again (I can be very impatient about these things, which is why I did not think about the book earlier on). 

Not too long after, Waterstones Amsterdam created an event on Facebook, saying that they would open their store at 23:30 on the 30th of July, just so fans could dress up as their favourite Harry Potter characters and so they could be some of the first to buy the book at 01:00 (because then it'll be 00:00 in England). This is where my excitement got the better of me. As a young girl, my mother and I waited in front of the Bruna in our hometown, for a similar reason (they opened their doors at 00:00 for Harry Potter and the Deadly Hallows).

Without much thought my boyfriend and I decided to go as Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy (as we did with Halloween as well)(which was a good call because we got interviewed by the Parool because of our couple costume). She's one of my favourite characters, because of the love she has for her son above all else.  A friend of mine went as Luna and another friend went as a slightly more modern version of Harry Potter. We waited in line for a while (sooo many fans!) and then bought the book, or at least a ticket with which we could get our copy at 1:00 AM. We waited upstairs and decided not to stand in line the whole time considering we already bought the book. So me and Lea/Luna started looking at other books. Foolishly, we went back downstairs to look at more (and pay for them), not realising that, of course, that we would not be able to go back upstairs due to the line that was all through the store! Seriously, a looot of people. But due to the clever system (paying up front) the line went crazy fast. Before we knew it we had a copy of the book in our hands and were in front of the store again. What an experience.. The synopsis of the novel/script is as follows: 
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 a 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.
I know a lot of people are really looking forward to reading this book and thus I will not spoil what happens in the book here (which would be hard anyways because the book is the script of the play that has been in theatres for a while (previews and such)). I will merely mention my opinion of the book, in comparison to the other seven books.

I was both disappointed and pleased with this book. To me it was very clear that J.K. Rowling was doing her very best to please the fans. We got something old we, we got something new, but because the book was in script form it felt rushed. It started with Albus Severus Potter going to Hogwarts for the fist time ever and only a few pages later, he was already going to Hogwarts for his fourth year! I would have liked to see this book as a novel, like old times, simply because now there was no room for a lot of silliness or bonding with the characters. I did not feel connected to the characters like I used to with the other novels. Nevertheless, this book made me laugh and it made me cry and I was extremely sad and overjoyed when I finished reading it. I am really happy with the release of the book, I just wish it was a tat different. I hope you guys enjoy it as much as I did. If you do (or don't), let me know what you thought of it?