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Staying Up with Harry: Or, I Learn How Long “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” Actually Is.

I’ll keep this short and sweet, because finishing a 734 page in 24 hours while also going to work is absolutely exhausting. I know there are people out there who will stay up all night reading, but I’ve rarely done that, and never with something as large as Harry Potter.

imageThe fourth book is SO much better the second time around. In continuing the tradition of comparing past and present, last time I read it, it was mostly on a beach in the summer of 2003, during which I had to make two attempts because, you know, library return dates. Luckily, this time I had my brother’s well-worn copy at my disposal, which, during one particularly un-busy summer, was read by him three or four times.

I think I severely underestimated just how long it takes someone to read hundreds of pages. I’ve always thought of myself as a fast reader, but today really challenged me. I managed to get through 300-400 pages today, but even then it’s been a struggle. My suggestion: pacing. You don’t need to read it all in one day. I have a deadline. You, dear reader, probably have plenty of time.

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alexandra_title

Luna Lovegood and the Beauty of Being Weird

Luna-Lovegood-luna-lovegood-22387019-1920-1080I have literally too many Harry Potter memories to count.  I had friendships bound together in large part by dressing up and attending midnight movie premieres and book releases.  Early in my high school years, when I finally gave in to prompting and actually picked up the books, they helped me through some really difficult times, times when it was nearly impossible for me to get along in the real world and functionally deal with actual human beings.  It offered me a retreat and a host of wonderful fictional friends, my favorite of which always has been and always will be Luna Lovegood. Continue reading

juliao'connell

Women in Dystopia: A Review of The Young World

the_young_world_cover_You may know Chris Weitz as the director of the film adaptations of Twilight: New Moon and The Golden Compass, but this summer, Weitz has something new in store for us. On July 29th, Weitz will be releasing his first novel, a Young Adult dystopia called The Young World.

Set in a post-apocalyptic future in which the Sickness has ravaged the world, killing all adults and young children, The Young World follows the story of a band of teens who navigate the ruins of New York City on a quest to discover a cure for the Sickness. Chapters alternate between the perspective of Jefferson, the reluctant leader of the Washington Square Tribe, and Donna, his childhood friend and crush.

If the plot sounds familiar, you may have encountered something similar before in The Lord of the Flies, the 90s TV show The Tribe, or the “Miri” episode of Star Trek: The Original Series. While the general premise has been done before, Weitz takes an interesting approach to the story. First of all, the Sickness wiped out not only adults, but also all children who had not yet hit puberty, leaving only teenagers alive. This slightly older demographic allows the story to take darker turns and address more adult issues. One issue that really stood out to me while I was reading was Weitz’s ambivalent treatment of women. While Weitz certainly calls attention to the abuse of women by certain groups within the novel as a sign of the degeneracy of their society, his sympathetic protagonists hold problematic views of their own, and the treatment of these issues feels incomplete.

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Hermione Granger Makes Me Feel Warm and Fuzzy

When it came time for me to pick a topic to write about for Harry Potter week, there was only one thing that immediately came to mind: Hermione Granger. But while I knew that I wanted to write about my favorite bookworm, I had trouble deciding exactly what I wanted to say about her. One suggestion was that I write a response to this excellent critique of Hermione’s activism, but while it’s an amazing article that you should all check out, it didn’t feel like it was talking about my Hermione. I did some digging around and found another post talking about Hermione, Ginny, and Luna as “the Girls Who Weren’t Chosen Ones,” and then yet another from around the time of the controversial Hermione/Ron comments J.K. Rowling made earlier this year. But every article I read about Hermione, while nice and all bringing up some of the things I love about her, still didn’t seem right. All of them felt like they were missing something. Where was my Hermione in all of these posts?

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kerry_title

Chocolate as a Panacea and Other Life Lessons from “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”

Another day, another novel. Today I’ll be talking about Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, which I like to think as the Book Where Things Get SERIOUS. I mean, sure, Harry has had attempts on his life and those of his friends in the first two books, but this is the start of the “Voldemort truly returning” plot, and the first time Harry expresses real anger (as signified by the use of all caps when people are saying things).

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Why My Children will Grow up on Bedtime Stories from a Fictional Universe: A Review of Beedle the Bard

In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Dumbledore gave Hermione a copy of a children’s book in his will. In 2008, J.K. Rowling gave that book to us. In the series, The Tales of Beedle the Bard plays a critical role by introducing the trio to the legend of the Deathly Hallows. As a stand-alone creation by a beloved author, The Tales have their own merit. Witty and amusing in typical Rowling style, The Tales show us what kind of stories wizarding children were told at night while we were tucked in to the words of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves or Cinderella.

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AGENT CARTER, HELL YEAH: COMIN’ AGAIN TO SAVE THE MARVEL-LOVIN’ DAY, YEAH!

In case you’ve been out of the geek loop, it’s Comic-Con Weekend. Nerds of all types flock to San Diego, CA in an annual pilgrimmage to a convention of mind-blowing proportions.  Alongside exclusive collectives and beautifully crafted costumes, the de facto importance of SDCC is fandom announcements that usually break the internet.

While DC has mostly been promoting itself through images for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice*, Marvel has upped its game by releasing details of the loudly clamored for Agent Carter TV series.

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*If you haven't already, check out a fellow geekette's thoughts on the released image of Wonder Woman

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kerry_title

Lockhart is a Liar, and Other Takeaways from “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”

Greetings, Potterheads, readers, and people brought here by random Google searches. Welcome to part two of seven of my GRAND HARRY POTTER RE-READ.

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I’m very aware that this article is coming out very late, and, in the interest of being honest with all of you, this is because I went away for the weekend without my computer. In my defense, I thought I could write a thoughtful, detailed account from my phone, but alas, I wasn’t meant to be limited to such a small screen. So, by the skin of my nose, I present my article for Day 2 of the Daily Geekette’s Harry Potter week: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

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JC

In the Mirror, I Found Friends…

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I found friends in the pages of the stories we adore.

When I was a kid, I always wanted to copy my older siblings. Even now I tend to gravitate towards interests that I share with my brother (seven years my elder), and my sister (five years my elder). That being said, when my sister was assigned reading the first installment of Harry Potter for seventh grade, I was six going on seven years old. My siblings both read it for school and pleasure, and I was eager to get my hands on the thick binding and the smooth dust cover. I started out just listening as my dad read me a chapter a night of Philosopher’s Stone…but after three nights I got sick of waiting and not long after I was ravenously devouring Chamber of Secrets and soon after, (my favorite) Prisoner of Azkaban. I was hooked.

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