The Harry Potter 30 Days Challenge #1

It appears that today is Harry Potter all the way! (Good thing I went ahead and went for that HP font, that looks great, right?). A few days ago leannaatc @Short Story Long had this amazing idea of doing a 30 days Harry Potter challenge, I thought it was a great idea so I jumped on board. You can find the themes for each day here, and you can see her post for the first day here.

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– Day 1: Your favorite book? – 

As I just said in The Harry Potter Tag, for my favorite book I have to pick Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

I really like this book because it manages to have funny moments within all the tragedy that’s going on. We also have the constant presence of Aurors in Hogwarts, which is pretty damn cool, and a lot of Tonks. We also see these teenagers grow a lot, there’s more Quidditch, with Ginny kicking ass. And that kiss! I love Ginny and Harry’s kiss in front of everyone (not at all like the movie).

I also loved that we get the distinct notion for the first time, that maybe, just maybe, Draco is not all into the bad stuff, his character is a lot more complex, and here it finally shows.

And Horace Slughorn, who I found super interesting – and it’s nice to see that not all Slytherins are indeed bad.

I loved how the storyline was immensely more complex :D. Oh, and Harry for once being better than Hermione at class was epic (even if he was kind of cheating!).

That’s it, see you tomorrow for day #2!

Harry Potter: Sorting Hat Song (1995)

Because it is still Harry Potter day, I’ll leave here one of my favorite’s Sorting Hat’s song from Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix, or you know, when things start to get real and bad…

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In times of old, when I was new,
And Hogwarts barely started,
The founders of our noble school
Thought never to be parted.

United by a common goal,
They had the selfsame yearning
To make the world’s best magic school
And pass along their learning.

“Together we will build and teach”
The four good friends decided.
And never did they dream that they
Might some day be divided.

For were there such friends anywhere
As Slytherin and Gryffindor?
Unless it was the second pair
Of Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw,

So how could it have gone so wrong?
How could such friendships fail?
Why, I was there, so I can tell
The whole sad, sorry tale.

Said Slytherin, “We’ll teach just those
Whose ancestry’s purest.”
Said Ravenclaw, “We’ll teach those whose
Intelligence is surest.”

Said Gryffindor, “We’ll teach all those
With brave deeds to their name.”
Said Hufflepuff, “I’ll teach the lot
And treat them just the same.”

These differences caused little strife
When first they came to light.
For each of the four founders had
A house in which they might

Take only those they wanted, so,
For instance, Slytherin
Took only pure-blood wizards
Of great cunning just like him.

And only those of sharpest mind
Were taught by Ravenclaw
While the bravest and the boldest
Went to daring Gryffindor.

Good Hufflepuff, she took the rest
and taught them all she knew,
Thus, the houses and their founders
Maintained friendships firm and true.

So Hogwarts worked in harmony
for several happy years,
but then discord crept among us
feeding on our faults and fears.

The Houses that, like pillars four
had once held up our school
now turned upon each other and
divided, sought to rule.

And for a while it seemed the school
must meet an early end.
what with dueling and with fighting
and the clash of friend on friend.

And at last there came a morning
when old Slytherin departed
and though the fighting then died out
he left us quite downhearted.

And never since the founders four
were whittled down to three
have the Houses been united
as they once were meant to be.

And now the Sorting Hat is here
and you all know the score:
I sort you into Houses
because that is what I’m for.

But this year I’ll go further,
listen closely to my song:
though condemned I am to split you
still I worry that it’s wrong,

Though I must fulfill my duty
and must quarter every year
still I wonder whether sorting
may not bring the end I fear.

Oh, know the perils, read the signs,
the warning history shows,
for our Hogwarts is in danger
from external, deadly foes

And we must unite inside her
or we’ll crumble from within
I have told you, I have warned you…
let the Sorting now begin.

The Harry Potter Tag

Today is July 31st! Which means it is the anniversary of The Boy Who LivedHarry Potter – as well as its amazing author, J.K. Rowling. So, it seemed fitting to do this tag today. Summer @XingSings tagged me for this (thank you so much Summer) and I thought “Hell YES!”. I also saw this tag on INTO THE BOOKCASE, and it had a couple more questions than Summer’s tag, so I decided to add them. Here we go!

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1. Favorite book?

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (with Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban a close second). It’s a funny book, the romances between all of the main characters bring a lightness to some parts of the book, and because ultimately it’s not a books for kids anymore, it has a whole lot of heartbreak (yes Dumbledore and Snape, I’m looking at you two!).

                                     

2. Favorite movie?

Oh, it will have to be Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince again, I mean, seriously, this movie is so damn funny at times, and Rupert Grint has this amazing expression when he’s “in love”… it always makes me laugh.

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3. Least favorite book?

I agree with Summer here, it will have to be Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (though the book is much better than the movie).

4. What is your least favorite film?

Again, same as the book, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

5. Parts of the books/movies that make you cry?

Wow… how to pick? To be honest from book 6 onwards it was a tear fest. But Sirius going through the veil (HP5), Harry realizing that he never saw his father stag on the lake (HP3), Dumbledore dying (HP6), Snape dying (HP7), Tonks and Remus fighting because she loves him (HP6), Tonks and Remus dying (HP7), Mad Eye Moody dying (HP7), Neville at St Mungo’s hospital (HP5), Fred… (now I’m almost crying, I need to stop…).

6. If you could hook up with any character, who would it be?

Ron Weasley… (in the last couple of books… just to be clear!)

7. Favorite character?

Do you want a list?! I always loved Ron, he was always so brave and loyal (it might also be because I have a slight crush on Rupert Grint). Then I was always fascinated by Tonks and Lupin. And Hermione, obviously. Oh, and Luna, she’s just the best!

8. Who is your least favorite character?

Percy Weasley, he was so damn annoying and then he was just dumb and stupid.

9. What is your least favorite line?

There are seven books, and I read them (the last time) a couple of years ago, I don’t remember this…

10. What would your Patronus be?

I have no freaking idea… probably a raven or something like that.

11. If you could have the Resurrection Stone, the Invisibility Cloak, or the Elder Wand, which one would you choose?

Not even a contest: The Invisibility Cloak!

12. What House would you be in?

This one I know (because Pottermore already sorted me and I think it is quite right): I’m a proud Ravenclaw!

13. If you could meet any member of the cast, who would it be?

Evanna Lynch, she just seems so nice. Emma Watson because she’s fabulous. Rupert Grint (see the part above when I mentioned I have a crush on him…). I wouldn’t mind meeting Matthew Lewis though…

14. If you were on the Quidditch team, what position would you play?

Beater, no way I would be able to be a seeker, and I wouldn’t want to be a chaser or a keeper because I could get beaten by a bludger (who wants that?!).

15. Were you happy with the ending?

I was and I don’t get why so many people had a problem with it. But hey, I read Harry Potter for the first time when I was 25/26, so my reactions are not representative of the target population.

16. How much does Harry Potter mean to you?

A lot. Unlike many people it didn’t got me into reading (no, Twilight did that, actually, I read Harry Potter because I was on a Twilight high, go figure). But it made me love reading even more. It created a whole world inside my head, it made me even more tolerant and open. It also gave me the feeling of a fandom for the first time, and that is awesome.


I tag ANYONE who wants to do this – seriously Harry Potter fans, get moving! 😀

Once again, a very happy birthday to the amazing J.K. Rowling, who created this amazing universe, and to her most favorite creation, Harry Potter himself. ❤ ❤ ❤

Liebster Awards #3 and #4

Hello! Once again I’ve been nominated for the Liebster Award, this time by J and E @thewildbookworms and by Nicola @NympadoraWinterfell. Thank you so much to these amazing bloggers – now go and check out their blogs! I have done this award twice before, here is the first, and here is the second (this month already!).

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The rules:

1. Acknowledge the blog who nominated you and display the award

2. Answer the 11 questions the blogger gave you

3. Give 11 random facts about yourself

4. Nominate 11 blogs you think are deserving of the award

5. Let the bloggers know you have nominated them

6. Give them 11 questions to answer

(I will not be nominating anyone, I’ve done a bunch of awards this past month… so, here is the dril, if you think this is something you want to do, consider yourself nominated, answer 11 of the 22 questions bellow, drop 11 facts and link back here)


J & E’s questions:

1. Favorite book? (We know, it’s hard to choose!)

I can’t do it, don’t make me do it, please…

2. Do you have any pets? What are their names? 

I don’t have any pets at this moments, though I had a few along my life. Now I content myself with my brother and my sister’s dogs :). They are two malteses, their names are Snow and Junior.

3. Best subject in school?

Math probably, Biology, …

4. Lucky number? 

7! It was my school number for many years.

5. What’s your go-to outfit? 

Jeans and t-shirt. Unless it’s weekend, then it’s sweat-pants and a t-shirt… not ashamed of that.

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6. Are you short or tall?

1.60 m, I guess average. Although, with 3 brothers and sisters all at 1.84 m, maybe I would say I’m super short… my nephew and niece are already catching up to me, and they’re 12 and 13.

7. Cats or dogs?

Dogs. Though I had a cat once.

8. Preferred ice cream toppings?

Crunched hazelnuts.

9. Favorite food? 

Portuguese typical dishes (cozido à portuguesa, favas and arroz de pato – see picture to get the gist).

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10. Best gift you’ve ever gotten?

I don’t know… I honestly can’t think of anything material that I can include in this category. My mom once gave me a trip to the Philippines because my sister (who was supposed to go with her, cancelled last minute). Forget about that, I just reminded that when I was 9 my older brother gave me and my sister our first dog, she was a Serra da Estrela, and her name was Estrela (Star).

11. What do you want most for your life?

Be happy (is that too cheesy?!). I guess finish my PhD and find an academic position that I truly like. Preferentially in a cold country.


Nicola’s questions:

1. What is your favorite book? and Why?

I don’t think I could choose… please don’t make me…

2. Where do you read?

On the bus, train, at the lunch table,… but I prefer the bed.

3. What book/books would you recommend to someone who likes fantasy?

Right now I’m riding the ACOTAR train, so A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas.

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4. What sort of music are you into?

Everything expect techno and trance.

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5. Do you watch TV shows and what are they?

I do watch a LOT of TV Shows, so many in fact that I couldn’t possible list them all.

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6. What do you usually do on a normal weekday?

I get up at 6:15 a.m., shower, get ready and go to the university and then I work. After that, home, shower, diner, computer, books and bed.

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7. If you were to live a book character’s life, who would you want to be?

I’m very tempted to say Tessa Gray from The Infernal Devices

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8. Where are you from in the world?

I’m from Portugal. More specifically, I’m from Lisbon (the capital), but I’m living in Barcelona (Spain) right now.

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9. Are you a shy or loud person?

The two aren’t mutually exclusive. I’m shy, but when I get really mad or really excited, I’m loud as hell. If I’m pissed, trust me, you want to step aside ;-).

10. Why did the chicken cross the road? Hehe

To get to the other side?!

11. Do you ever read aloud?

Not usually, sometimes I do need to read a certain phrase out loud for it to really sink in.


11 Random facts about myself:

1. My middle name is Alexandra, and all my family calls me Xana.

2. There is only one person in the world who calls me Alexandra, and she’s the only one allowed to do that.

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3. I hate the heat, seriously, hate it with all the power of my being.

4. I have one tattoo on my shoulder blade, which my brother paid for when I was 19.

5. I sometimes buy clothes at the men section, yep, pajamas, sweat pants, super heroes t-shirts… the works 🙂

6. Once when I was 16, I wanted blue highlights, so after the whole process, the color didn’t take, and I ended up with blonde highlights, which I hated. I vowed never to mess with my natural hair color ever again.

7. I have 2 older half-brothers and 1 older half-sister, I’m an only child from my dad’s side.

8. I hate discotheques and partying all night out… my sister hates this.

9. A music that’s ALWAYS on my mp3 player: Joni Mitchel – Both Sides Now. I would go as far as saying that it’s my favorite music.

10. I played Volleyball for my school team when I was 12-13 years, I still miss it.

11. I just bought my plane ticket to go to South Korea and Japan in October (super excited!)

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Thank you again to J and E @thewildbookworms and by Nicola @NympadoraWinterfell. This will be my last Liebster Award, I think I have to draw the line at 4… 😉

July Book Haul

Hi! As promised, I’m here today to share with you my July book haul, which obviously includes my shiny new The Mortal Instruments books, with their amazing new covers (the last books just got in today).

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Let’s start with The Mortal Instruments, which by the way, I have obviously already read some time ago…

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But they are so damn beautiful… look at their spines…

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Right?! Right? Gorgeous!

Other series that I got my hands on this month was the Shatter Me trilogy. I had been trying to get them for a while now, but the bookstore usually just had 2 of the 3 books, and I wanted to buy them all at the same time, to make sure their sizes were the same. A couple of weeks ago I went to the bookstore to pick up another book, and there they were, so, obviously, they came home with me. Shatter Me, Unravel Me and Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi.

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As I had mention before on a Top Ten Tuesday post, I got Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, Magisterium: The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, Hollow City by Ransom Riggs, The Princess Bride by William Goldman, Charmed: The Power of Three by Eliza Willard and Constance M. Burge, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan and The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer.

– click on the covers to go to their GoodReads pages-

      

                

My More Happy Than Not book by Adam Silvera finally arrived – on the day that I had to buy The Shatter Me series…

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And, I got The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas, the novellas from The Throne of Glass series.

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Finally, I bought The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy: A Handbook for Girl Geeks by Sam Maggs, with illustrations by Kelly Bastow.

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And that’s it, 21 books, next month will be a light-to-nonexistent book haul…

3 Days, 3 Quotes Challenge (2): Day 3

Welcome back for the 3rd (and last) day of my second 3 Days, 3 Quotes Challenge (worry not, I still have one nomination to get through, probably next week). Thanks again to THE BIBLIOTHÈQUE for tagging me to do this again! (Thank you so much THE BIBLIOTHÈQUE!!!).

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Here are the three days of my first Challenge: day 1, day 2 and day 3. And here is the quote from day 1 and day 2 of this go!

The Rules:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you.
  2. Post a quote for 3 consecutive days (1 quote for each day).
  3. Nominate three new bloggers each day.

Today’s quote is from a new favorite of mine, A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. I apologize before hand because the quote is a little smutty, and if you can locate in the book, you know that the whole scene is super hot and steamy.

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But I love this moment, I think it’s the moment I knew that Tamlin is truly dreamy, because even though she clearly wanted more, he wasn’t himself and he still had enough control and respect for her to not push the line (that again, she wouldn’t have mind pushed). Oh Feyre, you’re a lucky girl!


Instead of nominating people today – you should definitely do this challenge if you wish, because it’s amaze-balls! – I will give you another quote and Amarantha’s riddle, from the same book. Can you solve it? Drop the answers in the comments – and if you know because you read the book already, not fair 😛 !!!

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P.S. I Still Love You (Jenny Han)

>>>>  Nº 34 on My 2015 Reading Challenge – A book with a love triangle #2 <<<<

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Lara Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter.

She and Peter were just pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever.

When another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too. Can a girl be in love with two boys at once?

In this charming and heartfelt sequel to the New York Times bestseller To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, we see first love through the eyes of the unforgettable Lara Jean. Love is never easy, but maybe that’s part of what makes it so amazing.

It has taken me a long time to talk about this book, I actually finished it on the first week of the month (!!!). Still, I wasn’t really sure where to fit it in the 2005 Reading Challenge, so I’ll just put it right next to the first one To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.

** Warning, there will be SPOILERS because this is a rambling mess **

I was really happy to learn more about Lara Jean and Peter K’s relationship, I was so glad that they didn’t stay apart for long. But the whole video of the hot tub stuff was kind of frustrating, I thought it lasted a tad more than it should have, and I was frustrated with Peter for not admitting that it had been Gen when he found out. That said, it’s the only major complaint I have about Peter. I actually thought he was way more consistent about his feelings than Lara Jean.

I liked the family dynamic again, and I loved Kitty even more, I thought it was brilliant that she kept friends with Peter even after they broke up, and that even though she was rooting for him all along, she still defended her sister when needed be. I’m still not a big fan of Margot, and I was kind of glad that Josh didn’t want to get back to her, because it would be weird as hell, right?

I understand why Lara Jean was so mad about Peter and Gen, but she should have trusted him (although the situation itself was tricky). Still, even though she had a boyfriend, she was already exchanging letters with John and she wasn’t particularly caring about Peter’s needs… she was so focused on winning the game, that she wasn’t even being a present girlfriend for him – WAKE UP LARA JEAN!

Their break-up broke my heart, seriously, I sat there crying like a baby… so sad. And John Ambrose McClaren is great and all, but I did not ship that. I wanted her back together with Peter, and when he hardly talked to her and asked for the necklace back, again, I sobbed like a baby – not very well done Peter. But he was hurting, and it was so clear that he was hurting… my poor baby. She, however, seemed relatively OK with their breakup, and was running around with John… Peter was right, she accused him of not putting her first, but she was the one who couldn’t decide.

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Then Peter asked her back on her birthday, and gave her the necklace again, and ohhh… and John knew he didn’t stand a chance :). I cried again when they got back together :). And I was glad that she realized that the one putting Gen between the two of them was herself and not Peter, I mean, the guy couldn’t even comment on how he loved spooning without her mind immediately jumping to Gen instead of relishing the moment.

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All and all, I really liked it, I just wished we could have seen more of Lara Jean and Peter having a normal relationship, without embarrassing videos or ex-girlfriends in the mix. I just wanted to read more about Lara Jean and Peter being together, just that.

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(Jesus, Peter K is totally swoon worthy! Am I right?! Who says stuff like that?!)

Rating: 4 Stars4-