The Villains Award Tag

This tag comes to me courtesy of the one, and only, Paper Fury. Everyone knows that a good story needs a fantastically written and memorable villain so let’s celebrate a few of the good ones (or evil, as the case may be).

SPOILER WARNING for some of the below paragraphs.


Villain You Absolutely DESPISE and HATE

Dolores Umbridge (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – J K Rowling)

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This was an easy pick. There are some villains you just love to hate but Umbridge, I just flat out hate her. She’s just evil. I mean, the woman tortures students as a form of “punishment”, is a crazy control freak, is so power hungry she basically gets on board with the death eaters when they take over the ministry of magic, treats any intelligent creature that isn’t a full wizard like scum, and worst of all… she thinks kitten plates are good interior decorating.

Villain Who is Entrancing

The Darkling (Grisha Verse – Leigh Bardugo)

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I know, an obvious choice, but how could I not? The Darkling is a dodgy dude. I know it, I really, really do. And yet, he just has something about him. Every time he enters a scene, I’m captivated. There’s this charisma and sense of mystery…I have no idea what it is. But bad guy. BAD.

Book You’d Like to Read From the Villain’s Perspective

The Wicked King – holly black (cardan greenbriar)

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I had a tough time with this one. Like, really hard. I need to read more books with good villains. So I’m going with a sort of anti-hero-ish character? I have no idea at this point. What even is Cardan? While I get what’s happening with him in The Cruel Prince, I would love to have some more insight into what’s going on inside his head in the sequel, especially considering the ending. Plus, there’s an extended period during which Jude is out of commission and a lot of things clearly went down that we don’t have info on. I needs to know, please.

Worst Antagonistic YA Parents

Valentine Morgenstern (The Mortal Instruments series – Cassandra Clare)

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This guy is not winning any father of the year awards. He’s a terrible parent but also a crappy person. He (1) made his wife ingest demon blood against her will which turned their baby into an evil demon-shadow hunter hybrid, (2) tried to enslave the shadow hunter race and then kill them all when that failed, (3) told his daughter that his adoptive son was her blood relation so they’d think they had incestuous feelings for each other, (4) imprisoned and tortured downworlders to “learn” about them, and…the list goes on.

Antihero Who is a Little Bad, Little Good

Gosh, how long have we got? There are so many good picks for this one:

  • Kaz Breker (Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo)
  • Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastards Trilogy – Scott )
  • Victor Vale (Vicious Duology – V. E. Schwab)
  • Kelsier (The Final Empire – Brandon Sanderson)
  • Severin Montague-Alarie (The Gilded Wolves – Roshani Chokshi)
  • Lila Bard (A Darker Shade of Magic – V. E. Schwab)
  • Jude Duarte (The Folk of the Air Series – Holly Black)
  • Mia Corvere (Nevernight Series – Jay Kristoff)

Villain Made From Tragic Circumstances

The Nightbringer (Ember Quartet – Sabaa Tahir)

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The Nightbringer was once the leader of the Jinn before the Scholars betrayed them. In a desire for power, the Scholar leaders took advantage of the Jinn’s hospitality and tricked them into handing over their magic. They then proceeded to kill many of them, including their children and the Nightbringer’s family, and bound the rest in a magical grove. As you’d expect, the Nightbringer has good reason to be pissed off.

Minya (Strange the Dreamer Duology – Laini Taylor)

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Minya is one of only a few survivors of her race. After years of torment under the power of their gods, the people of Weep fought back against their oppressors. Worried that the children might grow to become threats, they slaughtered them as well. Only six years old at the time, Minya remembers the day in detail and is haunted by her failure to save more children from the nursery during the attack. For this reason she harbors a deep hatred for the humans of Weep.

Antagonist Who Gets in the Hero’s Way but isn’t Necessarily “Pure Evil”

Cassius au bellona (Red Rising Series – Pierce Brown)

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Cassius actually starts the series as MC, Darrow’s, friend, however, we all knew the minute he found out Darrow had been forced to kill his brother to enter the Gold military academy this would fall apart in spectacular fashion. And it did. Cassius isn’t an evil character. He has strong ideas about loyalty and honour, but because of how he’s been brought up, he aligns with the existing gold elite. He does come through in the end but up until that point, he’s kind of a thorn in Darrow’s side rather than a big bad.

A Non-Human Villain

  • BeiTech (The Illuminae Files – Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff): Massive evil megacorporation that decided to take over an illegal mining operation on a distant planet knowing its inhabitants would be unable to call for help and then proceeded to try and murder all the witnesses.
  • Smaug (The Hobbit – J R R Tolkein): Obviously, a dragon. Is all like, NO, YOU MAY NOT HAVE YOUR GOLD AND MOUNTAIN BACK. ALL SHINY THINGS FOR ME.
  • Pennywise (It – Stephen King): Ancient being of great power who feeds off fear and often takes the shape of a creepy ass, child eating clown.

Villain Who you Think is Wicked but they’re Intriguing

Hannibal Lecter (The Silence of the Lambs – Thomas Harris)

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Hannibal is a murderer and a cannibal, but he’s just so smooth, suave and intelligent that sometimes you forget. That is, until he makes some weird and creepy comment about eating some dude’s liver with wine. Every scene he’s in you pause, just waiting to see what he’s going to say or do. The fact that he only gives you half the story at any given time (because he wants Clarice to work out the rest herself) also enhances just how intriguing he is – a truly captivating character.

scythe goddard (arc of a scythe – neal shusterman)

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Good lord, Scythe Goddard is bad news. Honestly, the guy is both a physical and mental threat, and he knows how to command a room too. What a cunning villain. Just when you think he’s failed or there’s a line he won’t cross, think again. Goddard has absolutely no qualms about massacring a room full of people and he genuinely believes scythes are better than everyone else. But while he may be awful, I’m always interested in seeing what his next move will be.

Antagonist Who Gets a Redemption Arc

Holland vosijk(A Darker Shade of Magic Series – V E Schwab)

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Oh, Holland. Sweet baby Holland, who just wants to help his world, but of course turns to a super-duper, evil dark magical being to do it. In the last book of the series, Holland joins Kell, Lila and Alucard’s quest to find an object they believe will save their world. By the end of the story, he redeems himself in a big way and *major spoiler* sacrifices himself to fix the situation he helped create.


Who are some of your favourite literary villains and anti-heroes? What makes them so damn good?

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The Fellowship of the Ring Tag

This fabulous Lord of the Rings themed tag (and it’s lovely graphics) comes from Nandini @ Unputdownable Books. As I’ve said before, I’m not a fan of the LotR books (too wordy and too much info dumping, although they do have some really wonderful individual quotes, as you can see from this post) but I looooovvveeee the movies so when I stumbled across this, I knew I had to do it. Nandini’s also added in Gollum just to round out the question total.


Gandalf – A Book that Taught You Something

The Harry Potter Series – J. K. Rowling

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I’m going to double down on Nandini’s obvious answer for this one with good old HP. I grew up with this series and I think I learned a lot about bravery, friendship and loyalty from it. Hermione, in particular, taught me a lot about having a great work ethic and not being ashamed of being smart. Luna showcased the fact that it’s okay to be a little bit quirky and not to worry about what others think of you when you have good friends who accept you as you are. From Neville, I learnt that you can still be brave even if you’re scared and that it’s important to call people out on things even if they happen to be friends. Honestly, I could keep going but better not otherwise we’ll be here all day. 

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Frodo – A Book that Left a Mark on You

Sadie – Courtney Summers

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Sadie was such a raw, emotional and unflinchingly honest read. The book goes to some pretty dark and deep places, and tackles some heavy topics. I don’t think I’ve read many things like it. As a result, it really burrowed its way into my thoughts and emotions. Even without the sudden and open ending, I still think this book would have been playing on me for a long time afterwards. It’s definitely not something I’ll easily forget for a long time.

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Legolas – A Book You Finished in One Sitting

The Selection – Kiera Cass

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I find it difficult to get enough time to read books in one sitting because of my schedule but also because the books I read are often a bit too big. So, instead, I’ve picked something I raced through like there was no tomorrow (which also happens to be very short). The Selection is not well written and its main character, America, can be extremely frustrating, but it’s just so darn addictive in its trashy-ness. I mean, it’s the dystopian Bachelor. I had an absolute ball reading this book and finished it in no time at all.  It’s comfort fiction at its best.

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Gimli – A Book that Features an Unlikely Friendship

Zelie & Amari (Children of Blood & Bone – Toni Adeyemi)

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While I didn’t absolutely adore Children of Blood and Bone in its entirety, one of the parts I really enjoyed was the development of Zelie and Amari’s friendship. These two are from very different worlds and part of a social structure that puts them at odds with one another. When the book starts out, Zelie is extremely judgemental and resentful of Amari, treating her like the snobby and useless princess she believes her to be. However, over time she comes to realise that Amari is a lot more than this. Zelie helps Amari to come out of her shell and be brave. In turn, at the end of the book when Zelie needs it most, Amari is there for her and pushes her to stay strong even when it seems like all hope is lost.

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Merry – A Book that Pleasantly Surprised You

Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell

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I went into Fangirl thinking it’d be another cute, fluffy YA contemporary book that I’d enjoy but because of the hype would likely end up feeling a bit overrated. In the end, I was really surprised at how much I enjoyed it (a lot) but especially by the fact that it actually covered some more serious issues like mental health, broken families, and binge drinking. This book gave me some serious fanfiction nostaglia and while I’m not crazy about it like some people are, I wouldn’t say it’s massively overrated. Also, Levi = major love heart eyes.

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Pippin – A Book that Made You Laugh

The Hating Game – Sally Thorne

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Books rarely manage to make me laugh out loud beyond a casual snort, or maybe a slightly heavier breath, but as I mentioned in my recent review, The Hating Game did it on multiple occasions. I just love the banter and snark between Lucy and Josh – they have fantastic chemistry and although the barbs can be brutal on occasion, I can’t help cracking up when the real winners come out. Lucy, as a narrator, also manages to come up with some pretty funny commentary on events, while even some of the situations themselves are just amusing on their own (e.g. paintball warfare).

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Boromir – A Book/Series that You Think Ended Too Soon

Shades of Magic Series – V. E. Schwab**

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Okay, with already three books in this series I’m probably just being greedy. Also, considering the fact that a lot of series go on far too long beyond where they should have finished, Schwab likely did the right thing going out on a high. Still, I want MORE. *spoilers* A Conjuring of Light ends with Kell and Lila going off to explore the world together. Rhy has become king and is back together with Alucard. I would love to have read about Kell & Lila’s adventures, seen more of the world beyond the taste we got in book 3, and found out how Rhy rebuilt Red London/learned how to be a ruler. *end spoilers* I also feel like there’s a whole bunch of questions I’d really like to get answers for, in particular about Kell’s and Lila’s backgrounds.

** Okay, in the process of writing this post, I’ve actually just realised (HOW DID I MISS THIS) that last year Schwab signed a book deal for three more novels set in the same world as ADSOM. It’ll be called Threads of Power *jumps up and down and screams in excitement*. Okay, it’s not a direct sequel but I’ll take it!

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Sam – A Book with Memorable Side Characters Who Stole the Show

The Shadowhunters Books – Cassandra Clare

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Last year I re-read the first two books in this series (I will eventually re-read/read the rest, okay! I’m slow!) and realised that my favourite characters actually weren’t in them as much as I remembered. Over time, I think Cassie realised that although Jace, Clary and Simon were her leads,  people really loved Isabelle, Alec and Magnus, and as a result, they became much more present as time went on. Honestly, Magnus and Alec are so shortchanged in the early books, it’s almost criminal. I’m so glad that over time they got more page time to properly develop their stories and relationships.

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Aragorn – A Good Book with a Bad/Average Cover

Vampire Academy – Richelle Mead

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I’ve mentioned my eternal love for the Vampire Academy books repeatedly on this blog. It’s one of my absolute favourite series (exciting plots, fantastic characters, dramatic and funny writing, fab ships, and a great friendship at its heart) but the one thing I just can’t get behind is the covers. *sigh* Especially the first book in the series. What is it about YA books and their tendency to put random models on covers in awkward or weird positions? Worse, they’ve been recovered a couple of times and can never seem to come up with a winner. Even the 10th-anniversary edition is lacking a wow factor. Just because a book has vampires in it does not mean it has to look seedy.

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Gollum – A Book that had Great Potential but Disappointed You in the End

Sabriel – Garth Nix

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Sabriel is one of those books in fantasy circles that people seem to really talk up and Garth Nix isn’t exactly an unknown author either. The book has an interesting concept, too, and with all this in mind, I thought I’d be in for a really great read. Parts of it were good but on the whole, I had such a hard time getting into it and often found myself bored. The magic system that I’d heard so many amazing things about massively confused me and the world itself just felt a little odd. If there was one thing I did quite like it was Mogget, Sabriel’s massively powerful magical companion trapped in a cat’s body.


And there we have it. Done and dusted. You guys know I’m not one for tagging people but if you’re a LotR fan and would love to do this tag, I highly recommend it- just make sure to link back to Nandini’s original post.

Who’s your favourite member of the fellowship? Mine is definitely Sam – that sweet little hobbit, saving the world with his heart of gold and a frying pan. But if we’re talking movies,  I should also mention that I’m with you, Eowyn – Aragorn is a total dreamboat.

The Bookish Naughty or Nice Tag

I recently came across this tag over on The Caffeinated Bookworm Life and thought it seemed both fun and seasonally appropriate so thanks Swetlana! I then also found a version on Howling Libraries with a few more questions so I’ve added those in as well (thanks Destiny!) After all, with Santa coming soon, it’s the perfect time to find out whether I’ve made it onto the naughty or nice list for my bookish behaviour. Let’s begin!

Received an ARC and not reviewed it?

Starting this off well with a big no to this one. Each of the ARCs I’ve received, I’ve read and reviewed except for To Best the Boys which I was only approved for like two weeks ago so I think we can all fairly agree, it doesn’t count. Generally, being still a small blog with only a few ARC approvals under my belt, I want to keep my review percentage as high as possible so that publishers know I actually do read the books I’m given. Otherwise how am I supposed to get approved for more?

Have less than 60% feedback ratio on Netgalley?

I’m currently sitting on a very healthy 80%. Yay! So that’s another tick for the nice column.

Rated a book on Goodreads and promised a full review was to come on your blog (and never did)?

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Damn, a naughty one had to come up eventually. Yes…guilty as charged. I just read so many books, take so long to write one review and THERE’S JUST NOT ENOUGH HOURS IN THE DAY, OKAY.

Folded down the page of a book?

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*gaps* Fold. Down. A. Book. Page. I would NEVER. How dare you.

Accidentally spilled on a book?

Spilling, sigh. I do most of my reading on the train to work and home which means I carry them in my handbag with my lunch and water. I’ll admit, there have been…accidents in the past. My poor copy of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society will never forgive me after a bad altercation with my water bottle. *cries*

DNF a book this year?

I’m going to classify this as DNF by choice rather than I got busy and distracted. I rarely do this but this year I decided to cut my losses on two books – Fingersmith by Sarah Waters and Diving Eden by Joelle Charbonneau. Life’s too short and there are too many fantastic books to waste time on ones you don’t enjoy.

Bought a book purely because it was pretty with no intention of reading it?

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No. I have been tempted but no. I always buy with the intention to read. Money doesn’t grow on trees and nor does book shelf space spontaneously appear. But also books are just meant to be read. However, I have purposely spent more on buying a physical copy of a book rather than an ebook because I fell in love with the cover.

Read whilst you were meant to be doing something else (like homework)?

Hm, not really. I’m an adult who works full time so no school. Sleeping maybe? If I’m reading something good right before bed on a work night, I may on occasion do it for longer than I should.

Skim read a book?

Noooooope. I miss things when reading normally so I can’t even imagine how lost I would be if I were to skim. But also, I feel as though if I were to try and do that I wouldn’t connect with the story as well as I could and should.

Completely missed your Goodreads goal?

No! My original goal was 50 which I reached about half way through the year. I then adjusted up and then adjusted again. This has actually been my best reading year ever and I’ve smashed my own expectations. I’m now sitting on 82 books (plus the two halves of the books I DNF and one comic issue) and hoping to make 85 by the end of the year!

Borrowed a book and not returned it?

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Not this year. I don’t really borrow library books, but I am still currently holding onto a friend from university’s copy of The Great Gatsby that I’ve had for a few years now. I really do need to get an address to post that to…

Dodged Someone asking if they can borrow a book?

Sort of. I’m usually fine with lending books out as long as people return them. One of my friends likes to borrow my books occasionally but I won’t let her borrow more until she’s finished the ones she’s already got so in a way I’ve kind of done this but kind of haven’t.

Broke a book buying ban?

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Oh god. Which time? I’ve broken every book ban I’ve set this year (the self control is low with this one) except for November during which I finally succeeded! I don’t spend on a lot of things constantly, books are my major self indulgence, so most of the time I just let myself do it.

Started a review, left it for ages then forgot what the book was about?

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Oh yes. I’ve started a few reviews this year and been unable to finish them because I no longer remember enough detail to write a thorough review. This really pisses me off because I’ve already spent several hours on the damn thing, guaranteed. The Wrath and the Dawn was one, Queens of Geeks was another and I’m currently stuck in a series review for The Grisha Trilogy. Must finishhhhhh.

Wrote in a book you were reading?

I think my soul just died a little at the idea of doing this. The only time I’m okay with writing on books is when a book is a gift and you want to put a nice dedication at the front OR it’s a cookbook and you’re adding tips or clarifications after you’ve cooked something as a reminder for next time. I know a lot of people love annotating but that’s definitely not my style.

Finished a book and not added it to your Goodreads?

No, I always add my books to Goodreads as I’m reading them and when I complete them. How else am I supposed to keep track of my reading goal progress for the year?

Sat on a Book Accidentally?

Um…that’d be a no.

Took the jacket off a hardback to protect it and ended up making it more damaged?

Funnily enough, no. I tend to keep the loose jackets on my bedside table while they’re off and they haven’t been damaged recently which is great because they’re too pretty to wreck. I’d probably just sit there, cradling it in my arms and cry.Divider 3

Results

And the result is…DRUMROLL…

Naughty: 5

Nice: 13 (WINNER)

Looks like I’m not getting coal for Christmas this year. How exciting! And also what a relief because I asked for more books again.

Okay guys, fess up, were you naughty or nice this year?

Book Tag: R.I.P it or Ship It

I recently stumbled across this fun, silly, little tag thanks to Shanah at Bionic Book Worm. After a little digging, it turns out we can attribute the original tag (it’s a little old now) to booktuber, Emma at Emmmabooks. The basic premise is simple: write down a bunch of character names on bits of paper, mix them up and then draw two at a time. You then have to decide whether the two characters you draw would work in a relationship or not. In other words, do you ship it or is this r/shp dead on arrival and should just R.I.P.? I’ve noticed that a few people, including Emma, separated their characters into male and female jars but in going for a more inclusive and diverse approach, I just threw all of mine in together and pretended everyone was bisexual. We’re also ignoring any potential character deaths here, too. Additionally, I did try to keep to popular characters that a lot of people would know.

Match Up 1: Percy Jackson (PJO) x Rose Hathaway (Vampire Academy)

It sounds super weird but I feel like maybe these two could potentially have a thing. BUT that thing would clearly be super bad for the rest of the world. Both Rose and Percy have a habit of rushing into things without thinking and their canon partners are perfect because they ground them. If these two were together it’d be like, Person A: I have this idea (a terrible, crazy idea) Person B: That’s a GREAT idea, let’s do it! Sooo….they probably shouldn’t date because they’d get each other killed and probably a bunch of other people in the process.

Verdict: RIP – for the sake of them and the world

Match Up 2: Blue Sargent x Richard Gansey III (The Raven Cycle)

I swear I didn’t do this on purpose. 100% chance occurance.

Verdict: It’s canon – why fight the flow? Ship

Match Up 3: Inej Ghafa (Six of Crows) x Holland Vosijk (A Darker Shade of Magic)

This seemed like a really weird combo at first but then I started to think that it might actually work. Inej seems to have a thing for broken boys with troubled pasts and clever, plotty minds which actually does fit Holland pretty well. Inej would also probably be a good influence on Holland, and maybe help him see more of the bright side to life. They’ve both been through some crap times so perhaps they could help each other through it.

Verdict: Ship

Match Up 4: Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games) x Nova Artino (Renegades)

Yeah, I don’t see this one working very well, mostly because they’re too similar in a lot of ways. Tough, troubled pasts, snarky, carry the weight of the world on their shoulders… However, I do think that after some headbutting they’d grow to really respect each other and might even become friends.

Verdict: RIP

Match Up 5: Maven Calore (Red Queen) x Amren (ACOTAR)

Oh. Good. Lord. What in the world? My sister thinks that Amren might actually be good for Maven but I have a sneaking suspicion that Amren would simply not be able to handle all of Maven’s drama. She’d be like: I am ancient and a badass, I will not put up with this bullshit. I mean, at least Maven would be able to keep Amren in pretty gems. Still, the idea of this is just hilarious.

Verdict: RIP

Match Up 6: Isabelle Lightwood (Shadowhunter Novels) x Peter Kavinsky (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before)

Isabelle is not at all like Lara Jean, Peter’s actual love interest, but at the same time I think Isabelle has a lot of the traits that attracted Peter to his ex, Gen, without all the bitchy parts. I think they’d have some nice deep and meaningful talks which both seems to need in their r/shps. On the flip side, Isabelle’s taste in Simon shows that she likes softer boys with sweet hearts and Peter can definitely be that guy for her, provided he can avoid being intimidated.

Verdict: Ship

Match Up 7: Nesta Archeron (ACOTAR) x Magnus Bane (Shadowhunter Novels)

BAHAHAHAHAHA. Could you even imagine? Someone turn this into a reality show, it’d be gold.

Verdict: If pigs flew and hell froze over.

Match Up 8: Harry Potter (HP) x Cress Darnel (The Lunar Chronicles)

This is a bit of an odd one. Harry’s another one of those rash heroes who jumps into things without thinking which is why he needs people around him, and a partner, who reign him in a little. I think Cress might remind Harry slightly of Luna which doesn’t really seem like his type. With Cress, on the other hand, Harry may not have Thorne’s sense of bravado but he does have a bit of sass and the hero thing down. He’s not bad looking either so maybe Cress will be into it? Overall, I think this one might be a friendship only.

Verdict: RIP

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And…I think that’s enough crazy-ness for now. It’s so weird trying to match up characters from other fandoms. I find that I’m constantly comparing them to the characters’ actual romantic interests and seeing if there’s an overlap but I guess it’s always hard to know. You just can’t account for chemistry.

Do you guys agree with me on these ships? And do you have any weird cross-fandom pairings that you secretly ship?

The 80s Movie Tag (Original Tag)

While looking at book tags last month, I came across one labelled the 90s movie tag. I thought it was a really great idea for a tag, and it got me thinking about other movies I consider classics worthy of many, many rewatches. As it turned out, a bunch of the ones that came to mind were 80s movies, and so this tag was born!

There are so many popular movies from 80s. However, finding prompts for them that wouldn’t be ridiculously difficult to answer and hadn’t been done a million times already was very difficult. So if I haven’t included one of your favourites, it’s probably because my silly brain couldn’t come up with a decent prompt for it (You have no idea how sorry I am to skip The Breakfast Club, GhostbustersThe Terminator, and Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back).


80s 1A Book That Kept You Up All Night

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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (J. K. Rowling)

When I first got into Harry Potter, I was about four years old. My mum and I would read the books together and we did this until about book four. By the time Half-Blood Prince came out, I was in my teen years, a very competent and quick reader, and just dying to get my hands on it. I read it during school lunch break, in between netball quarters, in the car, and late into the night. I just couldn’t put it down, I needed to know what happened next! I definitely gave myself a headache from eye strain but it was so worth it.


80s 2A Wonderfully Quotable Book

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Stephen Chbosky)

While I definitely quote Harry Potter A LOT, The Perks of Being a Wallflower has some really lovely lines about life, growing up, friendship, and love. Many of them actually made their way into the movie which is wonderful. Here are some of my favourites:

“We accept the love we think we deserve.” 

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“And in that moment, I swear we were infinite.” 

“I just want you to know that you’re very special… and the only reason I’m telling you is that I don’t know if anyone else ever has.”

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“Things change. And friends leave. Life doesn’t stop for anybody.”


80s 3A Character Who Loves Breaking the Rules

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Kady Grant (The Illuminae Files – Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman)

With Kady, if you tell her one thing, you can pretty much guarantee she’s going to do the exact opposite. Kady purposefully fails the testing to place refugees from Kerenza into service and then spends the rest of Illuminae hacking into whatever the hell takes her fancy as well as running around parts of ships she probably shouldn’t. Told to get rid of the crazy AI? Nah, let’s just save it to a datapad. You can also be sure that no matter what’s happening, she’ll be putting her two cents in.

(P.S. How cool is the Illuminae character art by Kira Knight??)


80s 4A Book Couple That Took An Eternity To Get Together

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Damen & Laurent (The Captive Prince Trilogy  – C. S. Pacat)

So, you start this series and get a general idea of the kind of books they are – it’s fantasy but mostly romance involving a lot of questionable content (don’t say I didn’t warn you). It also happens to involve a great deal of banter, sexual tension, and loads of sexual references. For this reason, you’d expect the two leads to get down to it some point soon, right? NOOOOPPPE. You’ve got to make it through the whole of book one AND THEN about two-thirds of book two before you get just about anything. This series redefines slow burn romance. If you’re into these kinds of books (book 2 is a lot better than book one and with far more substance, just sayin’), be prepared for a long wait.


80s 5A Book Involving Time Travel

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11.22.63 (Stephen King)

I read this book after watching the mini-series across a few international flights. It’s a bit of a change of pace for Mr King but it’s very well done. Time travel is key to the plot in that it revolves around an English teacher travelling back to the early 60s in an attempt to stop the assassination of JFK. The characters are good, there’s some mystery and romance, and as usual for King, the writing is great.


80s 6A Character With Unique Style

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Magnus Bane (Shadowhunters Books – Cassandra Clare)

If there are two things we can say about Magnus Bane, it’s that he’s (a) sassy and (b) got some interesting fashion sense  (or perhaps ‘flamboyant’ would be a better word). Glitter, shiny fabrics, bright makeup, leather, crazy prints, Magnus does it all and somehow makes it work, even when he’s running around to help save the world. It’s definitely out there but it’s also an essential component of his character.


80s 8Your Favourite Book involving the Training/Mentoring Trope

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Eragon (Christopher Paolini)

I was definitely not short on choices for this one – you guys know how much I love this trope. So I’ve gone with Eragon. I really love this book. It’s so tropey in general but I don’t care. I enjoy Brom teaching Eragon how to fight, use magic and just generally be a decent dragon rider. Eragon’s a bit of a rash idiot at the beginning but he gets there eventually and this relationship has a big impact on him for books to come.

Special mentions: The Final Empire (Brandon Sanderson) & Nevernight (Jay Kristoff)


80s 9A Book with a Trip that Doesn’t Go to Plan

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The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue (Mackenzie Lee)

Poor Monty, Percy and Felicity. All they wanted was to see a bit of Europe and get away from their stuffy parents for a while. Next thing you know, they’re being held up by bandits and on the run from a very angry French aristocrat whilst trying to protect the work of a famous alchemist. Boy, travel is stressful.


IndianaA Book with the Central Character’s Name in the Title

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The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo (Taylor Jenkins Reid)

I’m going with my most recent read for this one, which I loved immensely. Evelyn is the heart of this story and the book details the events of her life from her teen years up until her 80s. She’s not perfect but she’s certainly interesting.


80s 11A Female Character who Comes out of her Shell

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Piper McLean (The Lost Hero – Rick Riordan)

Piper was my favourite of the newly introduced demi-gods in Riordan’s The Lost Hero. For large parts of the book, Piper’s quite down on herself. She doesn’t realise the full potential of her abilities, chastises herself for not being able to do more in bad situations, and lets herself get pushed around by others. By the end, she realises her value and power, and finds a new sense of confidence. She plays a crucial rule in saving the day, stands up to a bully, takes leadership of the Aphrodite cabin, and convinces herself she’ll win “back” her guy. Go Piper.


80s 10A Death That Took You By Surprise

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XXX (Strange the Dreamer – Laini Taylor)

Avert your eyes if you don’t want to be spoiled. Sarai’s death is actually disclosed in the first few pages of Strange the Dreamer but for some reason, my brain just didn’t process it as being real. I was like, maybe it’s the past or a dream? Even when I got to the scene in context later in the book, I was like…nahhhhhh, Sarai can’t be dead. Later: Wait, she’s actually dead? Now she’s a GHOST. WHAT THE HELL? Let’s say I wasn’t expecting the story to take the direction it did going into book two.


80s 12An Ending that Left you Both Happy & Sad

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The Hate U Give (Angie Thomas)

THUG was such a fantastic and yet gut-wrenchingly real book. The conclusion to the main storyline isn’t satisfying but it’s sure as hell realistic. The fact that this was the way things turned out made me feel absolutely awful for the characters, especially Starr, but worse still because this is what actually happens to African-Americans in the United States. At the same time, Starr’s final pages of monologue are extremely empowering and positive – she’s found her voice and won’t let anyone stop her from standing up for what’s right. She’ll keep fighting. The fact that it’s necessary is terrible but it’s a really strong and wonderful way to end the novel.

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And that makes an even dozen. There are actually two movies on this list that I haven’t seen, Nightmare on Elm St and Pretty in Pink. The first is because I don’t do scary movies and the second, I just haven’t got around to it. Perhaps in the near future?

How many of these 80s classic films have you seen? What’s your favourite 80s movie? 

I Tag 2

I know I actually tagged a list of people when I created my Six of Crows tag a while back but this time around I’m sticking to my usual practice and not tagging anyone. If you’d like to give my 80s Movie Book tag a go for yourself, please do! I would love to see your answers so make sure to tag me!!

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The Greek Mythology Book Tag

Having just finished another Rick Riordan book, it felt like this particular tag was calling my name when I stumbled across it the other week. However, from what I can see there are two variations of it. For the most part, they’re the same except for a couple of prompts in the middle and at the end so with those, I kind of just picked whichever of the two options I felt like doing. I’m a bit unsure where the tag originated from but if you know, pass the info on. Okay, let’s meet the Gods, shall we?


Zeus, The King Sky God

Favourite Book

Why do you guys insist on making me choose between my beautiful babies? It’s NOT possible! There are so many amazing books out there that limiting myself to one seems unfair. So, unfortunately, I’ll have to pass on this one.


Poseidon, God of the Ocean

A Book that Drowned you in Feels

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The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows

This is a book of so many mixed emotions. There are some really sweet moments between the characters (they’re all really loveable) but there’s also a few heartbreaking ones with regards to recollections from the war and finding out what happened to certain people.


Hades, God of the Underworld

A Book with a Dark/Ominous Plot

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Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn

If there’s one thing you can say about Gillian Flynn’s books, it’s that they’re a tad dark. She really digs into the not so pleasant parts of people and uses them to create twisted stories. No one is perfect and everyone has ulterior motives. Even the ending of this one is pretty bleak.


Hera, The Queen Goddess of Family and Marriage

Cutest Fictional Couple

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Percy Jackson & Annabeth Chase (Rick Riordan books)

There are a lot of fictional couples that I adore but not all of them are what I’d describe as “cute”. I haven’t read much of them as a couple yet, but so far Percy and Annabeth are definitely cute. I like the fact that they were friends first and that they complement each other so well – Annabeth is practical and thinks about things first while Percy tends to dive into things head on.


Athena, Goddess of Wisdom and Battle Strategy

Favourite Intelligent Character

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Hermione Granger (Harry Potter Series – J. K. Rowling)

I really should try to vary my answers a bit for these tags but eh, Hermione’s my girl. It’s not hard to see why she’s called the brightest witch of her age. Good thing too, she needs to be to make up for all the stupid stuff Harry and Ron tend to do. I mean, she was petrified in book two and still managed to give them the necessary information to help them solve the mystery.


Gaea, The Great Mother

Series with the Best World Building

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The Lord of the Rings – J RR Tolkien & A Song of Ice and Fire – George RR Martin

This one’s a tie for me. I don’t think anyone can deny the world-building skills of these two authors. I’m not a huge fan of Tolkien’s writing style but the man created maps, languages, history, music, races, everything you need for a rich fantasy world. Martin’s worlds are also fantastically rich, which is probably why his novels are enormous and take so long to write.


Aphrodite, Goddess of Love and Beauty

A Beautiful Cover

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The Last Namsara -Kristen Ciccarelli

I get asked this question in a lot of book tags and in an attempt to try and not reuse the same answers over and over again *cough* Strange the Dreamer *cough*, I’m going with this one. While I found the book itself to be a bit of an average read, I think the cover is lovely. It’s just so sparkly.


Aries, God of War and Battle

Most Violent Book you’ve Read

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Godsgrave (Nevernight 2#) – Jay Kristoff

I almost went with The Hunger Games on this one before I realised that much of the violence actually happens off-screen. Instead, I’ve gone with Godsgrave. Nevernight is pretty violent as well (not that I have a problem with it) but Godsgrave has assassins AND gladiators. There’s bloody chariot races, giant worms burning people with acid stomachs, and lots of stabby, stabby.


Hephaestus, God of Blacksmiths and Flame

A Scorching Hot, Swoon-worthy Character

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Jamie Fraser (Outlander series – Diana Gabaldon)

As if there was any question about how I’d answer this one. I ♥ Jamie. While he certainly has some not so good moments, he always tries to learn from them. He’s kind, brave, and treats Claire as a partner. Oh, and he’s hot. Can’t forget that part.


Artemis, The Virgin Goddess of the Hunt

A Heroine who Doesn’t Need a Man to Save her

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Rose Hathaway (Vampire Academy Series – Richelle Mead)

Rose is one of my favourite heroines and she has been since I was in high school. She’s one of those rare MCs that you actually could say is your favourite character. Rose is spunky, passionate and she kicks so much ass.


Apollo, God of Music, Light, and Healing

A Sequel that Redeemed its Series

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Golden Son (Red Rising 2#) – Pierce Brown

Redeemed isn’t really the word in this instance (the only one that would work for me is  A Court of Mist and Fury by SJM and I don’t want to use it for the umpteenth time) but I scored Golden Son higher than the original book, Red Rising, which is very, very rare for me. It’s a fantastic sequel in a fabulous series. Highly recommend.


Hermes, God of Messages, Travelers, and Thieves

Book with the Best Message

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Queens of Geek – Jen Wilde

There are quite a few books out there that have really nice messages so for this tag I’ve decided to go with Queens of Geek. This novel is massively diverse and inclusive, but even better, it promotes kindness, equality, women supporting other women, self-love, and putting yourself out there even though it might be scary to do so. While there may not be much of a plot and the writing is a little simplistic at times,  it’s definitely a feel-good book.


Hestia, Goddess of Hearth and Home

A Book you go to for Comfort

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Alanna: the first Adventure (Song of the Lioness 1#) – Tamora Pierce

To avoid using Harry Potter AGAIN, which really is my go-to comfort series, I’m going with Alanna: the First Adventure (which yes, I know I’ve mentioned a few times in the past but too bad). It’s the first book in one of my favourite series from childhood. I can always read these books and be taken straight back to primary school, which for some reason is very reassuring. They’re quick, easy reads and Tamora Pierce is a great fantasy writer.  I really should read her newest book, Tempests & Slaughter when I get a chance.


Demeter, Goddess of Agriculture and Fertility

Favourite Bookish setting

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Hogwarts (Harry Potter Series – J.K. Rowling)

Hogwarts. You could ask me this question a million times and I’ll always give you the same answer. I want to go to Hogwarts – hang out in a common room, attend a feast in the great hall, meet the house elves in the kitchens, watch a Quidditch match, take a trip to Hogsmeade, walk the grounds with Hagrid, chat with ghosts, play a game of exploding snap, try out the room of requirement, I WANT TO DO IT ALL.


Dionysus, God of Wine and Feasting

Most anticipated 2018 Release

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What If It’s Us – Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera

I’ve mentioned my excitement for Wildcard by Marie Lu & Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor before so for something different, here’s a YA Contemporary due out in October. What If it’s Us just sounds super cute and I think the characters will be really great. I’ve liked both the Becky Albertalli books I’ve read so far and I’ve only heard good things about Adam Silvera. Here’s hoping this one’s a winner.


Hecate, Goddess of Crossroads and Magic

Favourite Magical read

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A Gathering of Shadows (A Darker Shade of Magic 2#) – V. E. Schwab

Now, this was another difficult one because I read so many fantasy books that involve magic. I have a lot of favourites but A Gathering of Shadows is definitely high on the list. The book actually involves a magic competition which was immensely enjoyable for me – how could it not be with three of the major characters as competitors?


Nemesis, God of Revenge

Favourite Revenge Story

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Vicious – V. E. Schwab

Nevernight is probably my favourite revenge story but since I’ve already used Godsgrave above, Vicious is my pick for this one (yep, another Schwab book. I’m in love, no point denying it). There are a lot of morally questionable characters in this story, which is great. This especially applies to Victor, our male lead, who will do whatever he has to do to get back at Eli, even if it means hurting others. It’s different, a little bit dark, and there are x-men-like powers. A great read.


I Tag

You all know the drill, only if you (a) feel like doing it and (b) haven’t already. Don’t worry, I won’t be offended if you don’t! If you do, I’m looking forward to seeing your answers!

Lu @ It’s Lu Again

Dezzy @ The Thoughtful Voice (for after your mini-hiatus)

Priyasha @ Books and Co.

Kelly @ Another Book in the Wall

Rendz @ Reading with Rendz

If I haven’t tagged you and you’d like to do it, go for it!

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There were some really tough ones in here, you’d be surprised how long it took me to complete this tag. Then again, I probably make it harder by trying not to use things I’ve answered with recently (however, in some cases I fail, epically).

How would you have answered some of these questions? Do you have a favourite book or are you like me and simply refuse to choose? 

Love Ashley

The Ultimate Harry Potter Tag

You know me, I never go too long without expressing a lil’ bit of the old Harry Potter love. Tomorrow night I’m attending an HP trivia, dress up, and treasure hunt event at my favourite bookstore so it seemed like the perfect time to tackle this chunky HP Q&A tag. It’s an oldie, but a goodie. I’ve no clue where it originated from but if you know, pop it in the comments and I’ll give them the credit they’re due.


1. Favourite Book?

Goblet of Fire has always been my favourite. I love the challenges (come on, dragons anyone?), Draco Malfoy as a ferret, the Quidditch world cup, introduction of the other schools onto the scene, and dramatic ending. Plus, it’s the last book before things become dark and serious.

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2. Least Favourite Book?

Order of the Phoenix. It’s not that I don’t like Order of the Phoenix, I do, it’s just a lot heavier (in tone and physically) than the previous books. Harry’s extremely angsty through large chunks of it, Sirius dies at the end, and I hate how Dumbledore spends the entire book blowing Harry off. Also, Umbridge. She’s worse than Voldemort.

3. Favourite Movie?

I adore Philosopher’s Stone because it’s the very first and has such a purity to it but my favourites are probably Prisoner of Azkaban (Buckbeak, Lupin, time turners, werewolves, so much to love) and Deathly Hallows Part 2 (it’s not exactly true to book but I love the epicness of the fight sequences).

4. Least Favourite Movie?

Order of the Phoenix. Now, this was a book that could have used two films. They stripped that novel down to the barest of bones and left it feeling hollow and bleak. There’s barely any of the character building elements other than the DA and I feel sad when I think about all of the wonderful side plots that were missed out on.

5. Favourite Quote?

There are so many wonderful quotes in this series, I couldn’t possibly pick just one so here are some of my favourites (which I’m sure you’ve all heard many, many times before):

“…[T]he world isn’t split into good people and death eaters. We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.” – Sirius Black

“If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals” – Sirius Black

“Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it.” – Albus Dumbledore

And a quote that’s especially important to remember in the world of today:

“We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.” – Albus Dumbledore

6. Favourite Weasley

Fred and George – they’re a package deal. They never fail to make me laugh and I enjoy every scene they’re in.

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7. Favourite Female Character?

Hermione Granger – it may seem a bit cliche but Hermione was one of my favourite characters growing up. She was brave, hardworking, smart, and without her, poor Harry would have been a very dead chosen one not far into the series.

8. Favourite Villain?

This is a tough one. Umbridge, for example, is a “good” villain but she also happens to annoy the hell out of me. I think I may go with Barty Crouch Jr/Mad Eye Moody for this one. Mad Eye is such an entertaining character in Goblet of Fire, but because it’s not actually him, I guess it’s Barty I find so enjoyable. I like the unpredictability, the thought and patience that went into his plans, and the backstory to him ending up masquerading as Moody.

9. Favourite Male Character?

I have a bit of a soft spot for Neville. He’s such a sweet character – clumsy, forgetful, and loves plants. How could you not love that? I also like the fact that over time he gets more chances to showcase just why he got selected for Gryffindor house – deep down, he’s got the heart of a lion (well, except where Snape and his Grandma are concerned).

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10. Favourite Professor?

Minerva McGonagall – that woman is amazing. The sass alone is enough but she also happens to be a badass who can shapeshift into a cat. Need I say more?

Lupin gets points as well for always having a stash of chocolate on hand.

11. Wash Snape’s Hair, or Spend a Day Listening to Lockhart Rant about Himself?

Snape’s hair because I’m sure there’s an easy spell for that somewhere.

12. Duel and Elated Bellatrix, Or an Angry Molly?

An angry Molly because Bellatrix is freaking scary and crazy as hell. At least Molly could probably be reasoned with. Probably.

13. Travel to Hogwarts Via Hogwarts Express or Flying Car?

The Hogwarts Express, hands down. Watch all the beautiful scenery go by and eat a million sweets from the trolley at the same time, yes, please!

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14. Kiss Voldemort, or Give Umbridge a Bubble Bath?

Er, neither. Is that an option? If not, maybe the bubble bath provided I get earplugs and a blindfold.

15. Ride a Hippogriff, or Ride a Firebolt?

Definitely a Firebolt. As lovely as Buckbeak is, I’m not so big on birds (terrified of them actually) and hippogriffs have eagle heads so that’d be a no. Broom all the way.

16. Is there a Character you felt Differently about in the Movies VS the Books?

Ah, Ginny. I really, really like Ginny in the books – she’s such a strong character but she’s massively shortchanged in the films to the point where she’s almost a non-entity unless the plot specifically requires her to show up e.g. Chamber of Secrets, romancing Harry. So disappointing

17. Is there a Movie you preferred over its book?

I do love the movies, but no. The books are better.

18. Richard Harris or Michael Gambon as Dumbledore?

I think Richard Harris is absolutely the perfect Dumbledore. Visually he’s fantastic and just has the perfect combination of quiet strength, quirkiness, kindness, and intelligence that Dumbledore possesses. However, there are moments where I wonder how he would have done with some of the more action-packed parts of the books such as the fight with Voldemort in book 5, especially since Michael Gambon managed these very well. Guess we’ll never know.

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19. Your Top Thing (Person or Event) which wasn’t Included in the Movies that Annoyed you the Most?

God. Just one? Peeves, SPEW and the house elves (especially Winky), Hermione & Ron’s prefecture, Hermione blackmailing Rita Skeeter to help Harry, Cho blowing up at Harry in some teeny-tiny teashop, there are so many things I wish had been included but I recognise the fact that a lot of them weren’t necessary to the overall plot.

20. If you could Remake any of the Potter Movies, which would it be?

Order of the Phoenix, surprise, surprise. I’d split it in two and add in more of the side plots from the book to enrich the characters and story.

21. Which House was your First Gutfeeling you’d be a Part of?

I think everyone wanted to be a Gryffindor when they were little but as I got older I came to realise that Hufflepuff is where my heart truly lies. Loyalty, honesty, and dormitories right near the kitchen. Sounds about right.

22. Which House were you Actually Sorted into on Pottermore?

Back before Pottermore was re-vamped, I did the quiz and got sorted into Hufflepuff. After the changes, I had to do the quiz again for some reason and ended up in Gryffindor, surprisingly. I guess I’m more a Gryffinpuff (or Huffledor) than I realised.

23. Which Class would be your Favourite?

I think Charms would be a lot of fun – levitating feathers, freezing things, making your wand light up, and so on, but Defence Against the Dark Arts could be exciting as well.

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24. Which Spell do you Think would be the Most Useful to Learn?

Lumos would certainly be useful when you need to do something in the middle of the night without waking everyone up (or stepping on a cat, in my case), but I’m extremely lazy so Accio would probably be my pick.

25. Which Character do you Think You’d Instantly Become Best Friends with?

Hagrid – I could teach him how to bake better and he could convince me to get out of the house more. Plus the hugs would be amazing, and I’d get to pat Fang.

26. If you Could Own One of the Three Hallows, Which Would it be?

The invisibility cloak. Nobody should have the power of the Elder Wand, plus I don’t want people murdering me for it.  The stone scares me a little and it seems a bit unhealthy in encouraging you not to let go of those who’ve died. However, I can’t deny that it’d certainly be cool to have conversations with some famous dead people.

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27. Is there any Aspect of the Books You’d Want to Change?

Hm, I haven’t read them in a few years now so things aren’t as fresh in my mind as they could be. The only thing that comes to mind at the moment is maybe the first section of Deathly Hallows. There’s a lot of what feels like nothing and during my first read, it did get a bit boring. I wish there’d been more direction, less bickering.

28. Favourite Marauder?

All of them are great except Peter but if I had to pick, probably Lupin as James and Sirius did some bullying in their teen years which I’m not a fan of.

29. If you could Bring one Character Back to Life, which would it be?

Hedwig. I don’t even like birds and her death was bloody traumatising. I get it was supposed to be about the loss of innocence and all that, but really, WHY??

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30. Hallows or Horcruxes?

Hallows. I’m not really up for (a) murdering people, (b) tearing up my soul, or (c) living forever. Nope, nope, nope.Divider

There we have it, 30 questions done! Some of them were quite difficult, too. Doing this definitely made me want to do a re-read of the series. It’s been AGES. But when do I find the time? The TBR just never stops growing (aka. I never stop buying new books, so it’s my own fault).

Enough from me, tell me all about your own HP favourites and disappointments! What’s your house, favourite book, and fave character?

Love Ashley