Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Book Review

Evening Bookworms,

I’m back with another review, this time its the long anticipated eighth Harry Potter book. As soon as this was released on 31st July, I made sure I rushed out that morning and picked up my copy. I started reading it straight away and finished it within three days. I thoroughly enjoyed the book. My review does contain some spoliers later on but I will indicate further down when these are coming up. As always I love hearing from you all, o please leave me a comment on what you thought of the book. Happy Reading x

Summary 

Harry Potter

This is the special rehearsal edition.

Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.
It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.
While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

My Thoughts

As an avid Harry Potter fan since the age of eleven, I was so excited to hear that an eighth book was going to be released. I loved reading the other seven books and couldn’t wait to get stuck into the latest edition. As with the other books, there was of course a huge build up and hype about the forthcoming release. There were Harry Potter parties at the book launches, midnight release times and various Harry Potter related book tags across YouTube and the blogging world. Old fans wanted to delve back into the magical world and rejoin their faithful friends now that they were older. We all wanted to experience the magic of Harry Potter once again and this book certainly did not disappoint. I’ve read on some blogs that people didn’t enjoy the book, but I for one can say that I thoroughly enjoyed this new adventure.

The main difference with this novel was the format. Unlike the other seven Harry Potter books, this one was written in the form of a stage play. The read is much faster then the other books which does mean that the action happens quicker and there is less time for a build up to the point of action. Some readers may not like this as with the other books, there was plenty of detail and build up to be had. I found that once I got used t the style, it didn’t bother me at all or affect my read of the book.

If you have not yet read the book then I would stop reading here as there will be some spoilers in the next few paragraphs. If however you have finished reading the book then please continue reading and enjoy.

The eighth book is set nineteen years from where we left off at the end of the seventh. Harry now works for the ministry of magic and is also a father of three married to Ginny Weasley. The story focuses on their third son Albus who is sorted into Slytherin house and befriends Draco Malfoys son Scorpius. Struggling to live with the fame of his dad Harry, Albus starts to rebel a bit. Together with Scorpius they decide to travel back in time to save the life of Cedric Diggory at the Tri Wizard Tournament. The idea is planted into their heads by Amos Diggorys (Cedric’s dad) niece Delphi. She agrees to help them obtain the time turner which has been confiscated by the Ministry of Magic, This doesn’t go according to plan as it is later revealed that Delphi is in fact Vodlemorts daughter who wants to change time in order to make her father the most powerful wizard in the world. Fortunately for Albus and Scorpius everything works out in the end and the magical world is restored to normality.

My favourite character had to be Scorpius. Even though he is a Malfoy, I found him to be a really sweet and gentle character. Suffering with his own turmoil, he still puts Albus first and helps him try to save Cedric. Scorpius is tormented most days by pupils at Hogwarts who say he is the son of Voldemort. Scared that this may be made worse if people found out they were travelling back in time, Scorpius is still brave enough to go along with the plan and help Albus as best he can. In one scene Scorpius is sent to a time where everyone likes him ad he is known as the Scorpion King. Given the chance to keep this alternative time where he is liked, he decides against it and puts the future of others before his own happiness. This scene really shows that he isn’t like all the other Malfoys we know so well.

Even though Albus wasn’t my favourite character, I still warmed to him. Being a son of Harry Potter is a hard enough task but when your sorted in Slytherin, it makes life at school that little it harder. Albus comes across as quite a gloomy personality. His relationship with his father breaks down through the first half of the book. This makes him more determined to right the wrongs he thinks Harry committed i.e. letting Cedric die. Readers are left constantly wondering if father and so can unite and become a family again.

The host of other characters in the story all bring their own bit to book. Hermionie and Ron still portray the same characteristics we know and love about them. Hermionie is now Minster of Magic, she’s strong willed and shows a real determination to be the best minister she possibly can. Ron now runs the joke shop his brothers had set out to originally. He is one character that injects some fun and laughter into the tale. He and Hermionie are married with two children, Hugh and Rose. Rose is the same age as Albus and acts very similar to how her mother did when she was at Hogwarts. Harry has similar traits to what he had when he was younger. He suffers nightmares along with his scar hurting. This convinces him that there is dark magic at work. He sets out to save Albus and prove that he deeply loves his son. Some readers may find it hard to accept that Harry, Ron and Hermionie are no longer teenagers themselves, but for me I soon got into it and treated them like the adults they were in this novel.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who loves the previous seven books. I would say that if you haven’t read any Harry Potter before then it would be a good idea to read them first in order to learn about the characters and how we get to the point we are in the eighth book. Its made me want to go and see the live stage play. I’m therefore giving Harry Potter five bookworms out of five.

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The BFG Book Review

Afternoon Bookworms, Todays review is all about that classic childrens novel, The BFG by Roald Dahl. I loved this story as a child and have recently had a renewed interest in it since the announcement of the up and coming film remake. Grab a cuppa and enjoy the review.

Title: The BFG

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The BFG, soon to be released in cinemas.

Author: Roald Dahl

Series: N/A

Published by: Puffin

Genre: Children’s/Fantasy

Pages: 208

Format: Paperback

Sources: Goodreads

Summary

Little Sophie is captured by a giant! Luckily for her though, this giant is not the typical bone crushing one that eats little children. Had she been kidnapped by any other giant like Bonecrusher or Bloodbottler, she most certainly would not have survived.

The BFG on the other hand is a dream giant. Together he and Sophie must save the children of England and prevent them from becoming some giants next breakfast.

My Thoughts

The BFG has always been a childhood favourite of mine. Since hearing that a new movie is about to be released, I simply had to dig out my copy and relive the tale all over again. Its a story that has a fairy tale feel to it and a feel good factor. You can read the story safe in the knowledge that you know there will be a happy ending.

One of our main protagonists is little Sophie. I immediately warmed to Sophie. She is an orphan, stuck inside a not so nice orphanage. On first meeting her, you can tell that she is a dreamer. She’s sat on the windowsill one night peering out into the dark street. I almost getting the feeling that she is longing or wishing for something to happen. I was unsure whether she is planning to escape or just hoping to be some place else.

Shes a brave young girl. She doesn’t make a sound when she is plucked from her window in the middle of the night by non other then a giant. She accepts that she is in giant country and tries to understand the BFG rather then sitting sobbing to go back to the orphanage.

Her kindness shines through. She listens to the struggles the BFG goes through. As he doesn’t eat children he is bullied and tormented by the other giants. Sophie tries t find ways to make his life better and cheer him up. In one scene the BFG describes the snozzcumbers that are plentiful in giant country but don’t taste very nice. Sophie suggests taking some vegetables when he visits England in order for him to have some nicer food. She looks for little things that might make his life better. Her kindness extends even further when she hatches a plan with the BFG to her save the children of England from being eaten by the nasty giants.

Our other main protagonist is of course the BFG. I see him as a sort of father figure to Sophie. He looks after her and teaches her about the dreams he creates for the children. He shows Sophie that even the simple things in life can be fun. One scene we see them both drinking the very fizzy giant drink, Frobscottle. The bubbles cause wind down below and so we see them whizzing round the room after letting off wind. The BFG refers to it as a whizzpopper.

The host of other characters really emphasise how different the BFG is. The other giants in particular have gruesome names and are described as enjoying crushing the bones of and eating children.

I feel that the BFG and Sophie are both very similar. They both don’t have a family of their own and are both effectively trapped in places they don’t really want to be. The humans are unkind to Sophie and the giants are unkind to the BFG.

The use of creative made up words works really well throughout the novel. Its effective in the sense that it helps distinguish between the two different worlds. It also adds to the fantasy type element and theme of the book.

I really enjoyed the story as a whole. Its a typical good conquers and triumphs over evil. Its also, I think a story about acceptance and being accepted even though you may look different. The BFG clearly stands out in England but is soon made to feel welcome by all. Like all good children’s stories, the BFG has a happy ending. I was pleased about this as I was so keen for Sophie and the BFG to finally find happiness and somewhere thy feel they belong.

Overall the BFG is a classic children’s book which can be enjoyed by both children and adults. Its a timeless novel that will be loved for years and years to come. It’s a book that you can dive back into and instantly be transported back to your childhood days.

With the movie coming out next month, I’d love to hear what you all think of it and how it compares to the book. Does it live up to your exceptions and imagination of what you think the characters are like?

Finally, what other Roald Dahl books do you like?

I’m giving the BFG 5 bookworms out of 5.