MK’s Book Reviews: Ranking Harry Potter

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I’m on a mission to write reviews of all my favorite books before the year is out. I’ve reviewed some of them sporadically on my blog, but not all.

I’ve always thought I’d never review Harry Potter, because what’s there to say what hasn’t already been said? Great series whose fans span generations, tastes, reading levels, genre-preferences. Harry Potter deserves every bit of praise that’s been heaped on it and more. I don’t get tired of talking about it. So I thought I’d do a ranking of the books. I understand this is a hotly contested topic, so please remember these are only my opinions.

7. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone The first book is awesome, especially upon a reread after finishing the series. It’s where it all started, after all! Yet of the whole series, it’s the one that’s most like a children’s book. What I love about these books is the way they get progressively darker and more adult. The first one is still very much child’s play.

6. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets This is also a great one–my favorite part is how Hermione figured it out wayyyy before everyone else. But again, it’s one of the more juvenile in the series, which puts it at the number 6 spot.

5. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Unlike some people, I actually really love the whole drawn-out beginning at Number 12, Grimmauld Place. I enjoy Harry’s angstyness as well. But this book could have done with some editing; it just takes too damn long to get to the climax. And of course … Sirius (sob!)

4. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince I really love this one. The penultimate, uber-dark tome of the series, where we get to see more of our favorite anti-heroes, Draco and Snape. I loved every minute of it. Except the end. (more sobbing!)

3. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Some people thought this one was too long as well. I am not one of those people. I loved the Tri-wizard Tournament, I loved the Quidditch World Cup, I loved the arrival of the French and Bulgarians. I love the introduction of the Pensieve, and all that led up to the reveal of the real Barty Crouch. A+ book.

2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows The ending to the series was everything I could have hoped for. I enjoyed the neverending camping trip. I sobbed several times. I even loved the blatant Jesus Christ-like ending. And the cheesy epilogue. All was well.

1. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban And we come to my fave. It’s still incredible to me that only three books in, Rowling was able to produce something like this. I’ve read it several times and am amazed each time at how every little thing, no matter how subtle, builds up to that incredible climax and ending that I never saw coming. I wish I could erase my memories of this book and read it again from the beginning. (Actually, I wish that about all of them.)

Do you agree? Disagree? Why? Why not? Let me know!

My Favorite Female Writers

  
Happy International Women’s Day!

To celebrate, I’d like to pay something of an homage to my favorite female writers. The following women are everything I aspire to be as a writer. Also, from what I’ve heard, they’re pretty cool people, too.

Jennifer Niven Starting off this list with my newest fave. I’ve only read one of her books so far, and loved it, so suffice to say I’ll be reading her other stuff just as soon as I get my hands on it.

Marisa de los Santos I haven’t read her in a while—been on a YA kick for the past year or so—but she’s an absolutely gorgeous writer who you should check out. Start with this book.

Stephanie Perkins Her books are these beautifully-written, entertaining looks at young love. I talk about my love for her books here.

Maggie Stiefvater I fell in love with this series and can’t wish for the last book to come out. Also, she’s a rockstar on Tumblr.

Lauren Oliver Everything this woman writes is pure gold. And I’m pretty sure she’s like, my age. 

JK Rowling Self-explanatory. Not only am I huge Harry Potter nerd but this woman continues to inspire me with everything she says and does.

Tana French Otherwise known as the writer of some of my favorite books of all time. She is, quite simply put, the most beautiful writer I’ve ever encountered. Her character studies are unparalleled. Also, she’s Irish! (I love Irish people). You can read me gushing about her here.

Any other amazing lady writers I’ve missed? Let me know!

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Learning From The Masters: Setting the Scene

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On Monday I discussed the struggles of toeing the line between too much description and not enough. And on Twitter I’ve been tweeting about my frustrations in trying to accurately describe the massive castle my story takes place in without bogging my writing down with too much detail. So today I decided to see how other people have done it…

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The Best Series of All Time (according to me)

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Since getting embroiled in yet another series I love, I’ve been thinking about my favorite series (plural) of all time…

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