The Hogwarts Course Book Tag

Happy Saturday, everyone!

After surviving lots of paper-writing, exam-grading, and a parent-teacher conference that had been heinously lurking in the week after Easter break, I’m back right on time to celebrate my blogiversary!

Or one of my blogiversaries, anyway… ๐Ÿ˜… I technically created this blog on January 16th, 2017, but since I barely ever posted and only a few of my really close friends had access, it feels weird using that as an anniversary date. April 17th, 2020 – the date when I finally decided to go public and that eventually led to me getting to know most of you – feels much more significant! My life would be so much emptier if I didn’t have this wonderful community full of amazing people who love gushing about books just as much as I do, so I’d just like to thank each and every one of you for sticking around and dealing with all of the nonsense I post on here! It truly means a lot! ๐Ÿ’™

Anyway, to celebrate three – or six, I guess, depending on how you look at it – years of A Book Owl’s Corner, I figured we could return to my roots and do the first tag I was ever tagged in! A tag that also happens to deal with my favorite series of all time! As usual when I see anything Harry Potter related, I got thoroughly overexcited about The Hogwarts Course Tag when I discovered it, so much so that the creator Mia @ Of Books and Boys belatedly tagged me. On May 23rd, 2020.

**sweats**

Gosh, guys, the shame is so real! I mean, we all know I’m terrible at getting to my tags, but three years is a new low even for me… However, in my defense, I would have done this much sooner if J.K. Rowling hadn’t decided to go on another one of her crazy Twitter-sprees mid-2020. I felt very iffy promoting anything Harry Potter related in light of all that, and to be perfectly honest, I’m still not completely comfortable with it. However, when it comes down to it, my Harry Potter love outweighs pretty much anything, and as much as I disagree with some of J.K. Rowling’s opinions and statements she’s made regarding the trans community, I will always admire her writing skills and be eternally grateful to her for creating something that means the world to me. If Harry Potter has taught us anything, it’s that people can be complex and multi-layered, well-meaning but still prejudiced, and I personally don’t believe in cancelling an artist completely unless they actively use the money they gain from their works to harm others. In my eyes, J.K. Rowling hasn’t crossed that line yet, and since I love her stories too much to stay away, here we are, I guess. I’m not gonna be able to keep my mouth shut about that upcoming Harry Potter TV series anyway – Like, I haven’t made it a secret that I’m not a big fan of the previous adaptation, so the new one can’t possibly get worse, can it? ๐Ÿค— – which means I might as well out myself as a Potterhead now and get the hate over with!  

So, without further ado, let’s get into the tag!!



โœจ Astronomy โœจ

Look to the stars, for they have secrets and stories to share. In Astronomy class, your professors ask that you find a book with a prophecy in it.

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The Hunger Games may have catapulted Suzanne Collins to world-wide fame, but she had already won little third-grade-me’s undying loyalty long before it was ever released. To this day, The Underland Chronicles remain one of my favorite series of all time. Who wouldn’t want to read about a boy falling into a bleak and cruel fantasy world right beneath New York City? About strange prophecies, giant insects, unlikely friendships, evil rats, dysfunctional families, loyal bats, and a war-ravaged society that simultaneously manages to be horrifying and also weirdly enticing?

So, if you’re looking for prophecies, go ahead and pick Gregor the Overlander up already! Be warned, though: Gregor and the Code of Claw, the final book in the series, is right up there with A Little Life and A Monster Calls as one of the few books that has ever reduced me to an utterly useless, sobbing mess of a human being. There’s gonna be tears and pain, guys!


๐Ÿช„ Charms ๐Ÿช„

A class about charms deserves a charming professor. Find a book with a swoon-worthy (charming) hero.

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I’m not sure if my definition of “swoon-worthy” matches up with other peoples’, since the love interests many of you seem to think are charming are control-freaky, power-hungry egomaniacs who growl at anyone and anything that even dares to look at their chosen mate – **cough** Rhysand **cough** Edward **cough** Rowan **cough** – but I’m gonna go with Brigan from Kristin Cashore’s Fire! He’s caring, a little bit reserved, open-minded, and deeply passionate about making his country a better place, so he’s about a thousand times more swoon-worthy than any sex-driven supernatural hot dude you could throw at me. I dare you to fight me on this!


๐Ÿ’€ Defense Against the Dark Arts ๐Ÿ’€

If there could be only one bookish heroine/hero to defend you against โ€œHe Who Must Not Be Namedโ€, who would you chose? Find a book with your favorite fierce protector.

Well, Harry would be the obvious choice since he’s got experience in that particular department and Voldemort would probably just ignore me and go for Harry if he were around. But since I feel like it might be cheating to use Harry Potter answers in a Harry Potter tag, I guess I’ll go with Marcia Overstrand from Angie age’s Septimus Heap series instead! An ExtraOrdinary Wizard seems like a pretty good companion to help you fight dark magic, right? Especially since she also has plenty of experience!


๐Ÿƒ Herbology ๐Ÿƒ

The flora and fauna of any literary world add depth and magic to any book. Find a book with a bookish world you would like to visit.

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My top choice would still be sticking to Harry Potter and going to Hogwarts, obviously, but I’d also really like to go to study at the University from The King Killer Chronicle. Like, anyone can learn magic there, I’d have access to a gigantic library filled with millions of interesting books, and I could listen to live music performances at the Eolian if I wanted some down time. It sounds perfect!


๐Ÿ‘ป History of Magic ๐Ÿ‘ป

It is only when we look back that we can truly understand the power of the present. Find a book that is set in the past.

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Following an alleged murderer who is later found guilty of poisoning his wife, chopping her up, and hiding her remains in his cellar, Crippen is a historical fiction novel based on the life of convicted killer Dr. Hawley Harvey Crippen. Set in the early 20th century, this book immediately draws you in with its gruesomely eerie writing style and characters whose motivations you can’t help but question continuously. You’re never really sure what is actually true, whose account of events you can believe, and whether Crippen is as guilty as people say he is – which is part of what makes this novel so appealing. Easily my favorite John Boyne book out of the ones I have read, Crippen is perfect for fans of introspective fiction and unreliable narrators!


โš—๏ธ Potions โš—๏ธ

Whatever your opinions are of Professor Snape, we must admit his morals were not always the best. Find a book with a morally grey narrator.

Can Coriolanus Snow be considered morally grey, or are we already straying into morally black territory here? I don’t really know. But I do know that I absolutely love The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes and how it gives us a glimpse into a future dictator’s evil and twisted mind. Getting to experience the beginnings of the Hunger Games and a war-torn Capitol striving for power was fascinating, and while I agree that this prequel doesn’t quite live up to the original trilogy, I don’t understand why it gets so much hate. It’s excellent!


๐ŸงนFlying ๐Ÿงน

Taught to First Years here at Hogwarts, flying is an integral part of our curriculum. Whether used just for travel or if you decide to pursue a Quidditch career, our flying course will take you to new heights. Find a book with an uplifting message. Canโ€™t think of one? Then find a book so good, not even Neville could forget!

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I’m gonna go ahead and choose a book that fits with both prompts! Following a grumpy and depressed bookstore owner whose life is changed forever when a mysterious package gets dropped off at his shop, The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry is simultaneously sad, uplifting, and really, really good. It had me grinning, it had me sniffling, it had me geeking out over various book nerd things – go read it!


๐Ÿ˜ผ Transfiguration ๐Ÿ˜ผ

Professor McGonagall teaches us all how to master the art of changing one object into another. Find a book with a plot twist so shocking that it changed the entire book.

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The Fate of the Tearling ๐Ÿ˜ก The plot twist in this final installment of Erika Johansen’s Queen of the Tearling trilogy didn’t just change the entire book for me, it changed my perspective on the entire series. A series which I had, up until I got to the ending, been completely obsessed with. BUT THE TWIST WAS AWFUL!!! It negated everything that had come before, and even now, years later, I am still extremely bitter about it. WTF, ERIKA JOHANSEN???!!


For all Third Years and above, the time has come to pursue a higher education. Find yourself enrolled in some of the most interesting courses Hogwarts has to offer!


๐Ÿ’จ Apparition ๐Ÿ’จ

There one minute and gone the next. Find a book series that ended too soon.

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While I appreciate the sentiment of having an unlucky thirteen books in a series that deals with unfortunate events, I’d be lying if I said The End had me completely satisfied. I immediately ran to the bookstore when this came out – Yes, I am that old! ๐Ÿ˜ญ – because I was dying to get some answers, but Lemony Snicket only ever scratched the surface! I wanted more background on the Baudelaire parents and VFD! I wanted more time with Violet, Klaus and Sunny! So yeah, I really wouldn’t have minded at all if A Series of Unfortunate Events had been just a tad longer…


๐Ÿงช Alchemy ๐Ÿงช

Alchemy – or as I and some of my fellow professors call it, Magic Chemistry – deals primarily with the four elements, fire, earth, air and water. Find a book character who possesses elemental power.

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I’m not sure if I agree with this definition of Alchemy, but The Sprite Sisters even features multiple characters with elemental powers! Although the covers make this middle grade series seem even cheesier than that new Barbie movie I keep getting ads for – Why, YouTube algorithm? Why? I have no intention of watching that! ๐Ÿ˜ฉ – it’s actually pretty cool, featuring four sisters who can each control a different one of the four elements and have to defend their family home against various villains. My sister and I were totally obsessed with these when we were kids and dreamed of one day living in a magical English manor just like the Sprites. Unfortunately, we’re not there yet, but who knows what the future still has to offer?


๐Ÿ”ข Arithmancy ๐Ÿ”ข

Looking for the answers to the future in the numbers of our present? Maybe be youโ€™ll find the answers in an unreleased book. What is your most anticipated new release?

As of a few days ago, definitely The Warm Hands of Ghosts!!! I was a few seconds away from dying with excitement when this announcement of Katherine Arden’s popped up on my Instagram feed, and I don’t even know how I’m going to survive until January. Like, did the author of one of my favorite trilogies ever really just compare her new novel to one of my favorite books ever and a-not-quite-alltime-favorite-of-mine-that-I-nevertheless-absolutely-adored? I NEED THIS INSTANTLY!


๐Ÿฆ„ Care of Magical Creatures ๐Ÿฆ„

Looking to be a magizoologist, like Newt Scamander? Find a book with a main character who isnโ€™t human.

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My fifth-grade teacher read A Dog’s Life to my class back in elementary school, causing me to fall so in love with it that I begged my parents for my own copy for my next birthday. Even though I’m definitely more of a cat person than a dog person, this tale of a stray dog trying to survive and find a home wormed its way into my heart, and I highly recommend it to those of you searching for a good book with a non-human protagonist!


๐Ÿ”ฎ Divination ๐Ÿ”ฎ

Seeing the future can be a difficult task. Find a book that was spoiled for you.

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Alright, fine. Me being spoiled for The 100 was 100% my own fault. Before reading it, I’d already seen all seasons of the TV show that were out at the time, and when a friend started talking about how much more Bellamy and Clarke content there was in the books, I didn’t exactly make an effort to stop her…

On the grand scheme of things, though, me being thoroughly spoiled for the books didn’t matter because the first one was HORRIBLE. Seriously, the cringy writing and eye-rollingly clichรฉ and insta-lovey romance completely overshadowed the actually interesting humanity-has-returned-to-Earth-after-centuries-of-living-in-outer-space plot! Reading it completely put me off reading any of the next installments! It was like the same people who came up with that atrocious Season 7 TV show ending (๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ˜ญ) had already used the books as their practice ground!


๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ‘งโ€๐Ÿ‘ฆ Muggle Studies ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ‘งโ€๐Ÿ‘ฆ

For some, the lives of muggles may seem mundane. But we pride ourselves on producing well-rounded students. Sometimes the mundane can be interesting. Find your favorite contemporary book.

You can’t make me pick just one!! Not when there are so many wonderful contemporaries out there!

But my top three spots probably go to Jeanne Birdsall’s The Penderwicks on Gardam Street, Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, and Astrid Lindgren’s Seacrow Island. I suppose chaotic families and introverted, socially anxious college students are just too relatable for my own good… The number of times I’ve reread these books is absolutely ridiculous, but, quite honestly, I can’t find it in myself to care. Why should I try new stories when I already love these ones so much?


๐Ÿ“œ Ancient Runes ๐Ÿ“œ

The study of ancient runes is a way for us, as wizards, to rewrite and understand in a new light our own history. Find your favorite mythology retelling.

**Completely blanks for a minute and figures she might only have read terrible mythology retellings**

Wait, wait! The Song of Achilles! How could I even consider forgetting about this one? Achilles and Patroclus’s story is beautifully gut-wrenching, and despite me already knowing almost everything that would happen from my countless years of Latin classes, Madeline Miller’s enchanting writing really sucked me in. The hype for this book is definitely justified!


… any fellow Harry Potter fans who would like to do this! I’d love to see your answers and add even more books to my already overflowing TBR!


Which brings us to the end of this post! I hope you had fun reading and maybe discovered some interesting books! If you’ve read any of them, I would love to hear your thoughts down below, and feel free to spill all of your other opinions, too. What’s your stance on separating art from the artist? Are you excited for the new Harry Potter TV show? Which blogiversary date of mine do you think I should count as my actual blogiversary? I would love to know!

(Also: I’m still waiting on a couple of responses to my 600 follower Q&A collab, so if you wanted to participate but have no recollection of getting an e-mail from me, maybe check your spam folder. .. Or send me some sign of life so that I’m not over here wondering whether it’s my e-mail that failed to deliver stuff! ๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜‰)

26 thoughts on “The Hogwarts Course Book Tag

  1. Nehal Jain says:

    Omg blogiversay naemi!!! Congrats ๐Ÿคฉ๐Ÿคฉ๐Ÿคฉ.
    You’re becoming an oldie blogger now ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ. Jkkkk
    ๐Ÿ˜ญ our bookish tastes are so different I mean– u dnfed that achilles book, yea a grotesque crime I know, and i also didn’t like ballad of dancebirds and serpents. But i do agree that snow was a morally grey character.
    Tho I do like fangirl ๐Ÿ˜€. Like it’s nice, a bit lengthy but nice.
    And i agree lemony Snicket betrayed us. I remember being so so so pissed when i finished that book that we. got no answers on vfd???? I mean how cud he???
    Also congrats on 600 followers dude ๐Ÿคฉ. Lemme do that q and a thingyyyy

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Did you just call me old? ๐Ÿ˜ฑ How truly evil of you! However, you’ve been at this basically as long as I have, so I suppose that means we’re oldies together ๐Ÿ˜œ

      And do you mean YOU DNFed The Song of Achilles? Because I most certainly would not abandon such a masterpiece! ๐Ÿ˜ค๐Ÿ˜‡ But hey, at least we agree on the moral despicableness of President Snow and the epicness of Fangirl!!

      And The End!! Yes, that was infuriating!! Like, I’d spent literal YEARS of my childhood dying to figure out what VFD was and then we got almost nothing!! ๐Ÿ˜ก๐Ÿ˜ซ I STILL FEEL BETRAYED!!

      Finally, though: Thanks for all the congrats!! ๐Ÿ’™

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Line @First Line Reader says:

    I’d forgotten that we have the same anniversary date ๐Ÿ˜… But then I definitely support using April 17th as the actual date because that’s just a cool coincidence ๐Ÿ˜ Congrats!!

    What you say about Crippen sounds great and as I’m working my way through Boyne’s books I’ll probably get to that one eventually. I’ve already decided that my next book of his will be A History of Loneliness because that title is just calling to me but I’ll put Crippen in line after that one ๐Ÿ˜

    I can’t believe you picked a 13-book series as a series that ended too soon ๐Ÿ˜‚ I’ve only read the first one and then I watched the Netflix show so I probably won’t make it through the next twelve books to find out what you didn’t like ๐Ÿ˜…

    Also, you might not like the cover of The Sprite Sisters but 10-year-old me would have adored it with my entire being ๐Ÿ˜‚ I’m still liking the colors even if the silhouettes of the characters remind me of Pokรฉmon.

    And then the Katherine Arden announcement! I have been waiting for that book for so long! She’s finally writing more adult books! I was so excited to see that post on Instagram… and then I read what it would be about and almost started crying with disappointment ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ ANOTHER book about The Great War when Winternight was so good because it explored a more unknown part of history? And it’s going to be centered around a sibling relationship and ghosts? And it’s compared to a boring book and a bad book? She literally couldn’t make me less excited for a book ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ I’m so sad but also knew you would have the exact opposite reaction.

    Anyway, great to get a post from you again and I’ll probably keep this tag in mind when I’ve run out of ideas and need an easy post (even if it’s a very long tag actually) ๐Ÿ˜

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      To be honest, I had forgotten, too – until I read your post! ๐Ÿ˜‚ But then I did vaguely remember us discussing it before and figured you’d just make fun of my Dory-memory if was astounded by that fact all over again… But I’m glad you agree April 17th is the cooler date because I think so, too! ๐Ÿ˜Ž

      From what I still remember about Crippen – It’s been a while since I last read it ๐Ÿ˜… – I can definitely see you liking it! I’m not sure if it can beat your love for John Boyne’s other novels, particularly since there’s less of a focus on friendships, but maybe the unreliable narrator and dysfunctional family aspects can make up for that…

      I HATED the Netflix Series of Unfortunate Events adaptation, though! The format was so weird! ๐Ÿ˜ณ I just could not get used to all of the strange interrupting commentary, so I quit trying after about three episodes ๐Ÿ™ˆ I think the books are definitely way better, but part of that might also be due to the nostalgia factor… I’d say the first book already gives you a pretty good idea of what the rest of the series is like, so if you didn’t feel like continuing on after that, there’s probably not that much of a point in reading twelve more books only to get barely any answers ๐Ÿ˜…

      I’m kind of horrified by ten-year-old you’s taste, though! ๐Ÿ˜œ That cover looks like they let a five-year-old in her princess phase loose on PowerPoint! ๐Ÿ˜ณ Then again, it’s not like I had particularly great taste at age ten, either – basically, if you put sparkles on stuff, I would be thoroughly intrigued – so I guess I can’t really judge ๐Ÿ˜‚

      To be honest, I’m also kind of bummed Katherine Arden decided to write about WWI instead of some period of Russian history… But at least it’s not World War II! That genre even more over saturated, I feel like ๐Ÿ˜… Still, considering how much research she evidently put into this book, I am very hopeful that the book is still going to bring to light lesser known aspects of the war. And the sibling relationship and ghost part sounds perfect to me! ๐Ÿคฉ So yes, I am very excited! ๐Ÿค—

      Also, I totally did not do this tag because I needed an easy post myself ๐Ÿ˜‡

      Liked by 1 person

      • Line @First Line Reader says:

        Well, now we can be Dory together and forget about it again for next year ๐Ÿ˜‚ However, now I’m also thinking there should be a collab about this at some point so we can celebrate together ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿ˜

        A Ladder to the Sky also didn’t deal with friendships so I don’t think that will be a problem. All the other stuff sounds great!

        And I did like the first season of the Netflix adaptation so I watched all the seasons even if it wasn’t so great after that first one. And I definitely didn’t hate the first book. It was more “this is good but I don’t need more of it”. You saying it’s very representative of the rest of the series makes me feel very justified in that decision ๐Ÿ˜

        No, you can’t actually judge people for liking pink and purple when you liked sparkles ๐Ÿ˜‚

        Liked by 1 person

  3. maya rajesh says:

    I really missed reading your posts!! This is such a perfect tag: combining HP and lots of other series. YES, finally another ASOUE fan – I *love* the series so, so much. It was always so intriguing to read. I’ve been debating reading The Song of Achilles because I read Circe and didn’t enjoy it that much (despite the rave reviews) but I’ll probably try it out now! And lastly, great post! Got some great recommendations and I’ll probably put this tag in the back burner for when I’m feeling like bringing back my Potterhead phase, haha. Great post โ™ฅโ™ฅ

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Awww, thanks Maya! ๐Ÿ’™ I’m really glad to see you back, too, and thrilled to have another Series of Unfortunate Events fan around! Those books were such a huge part of my time at elementary school! ๐Ÿฅฐ

      As for The Song of Achilles: I’m not sure if it helps your decision making, but I also put off reading it forever because I thought Circe was mind-numbingly boring and not very original… But then I gave the Song of Achilles a chance and loved it so, so much!! Granted, not all that much happens in it, either, but I just loved how lyrically the relationship between Achilles and Patroclus was written and thoroughly adored Patroclus as a narrator. His life was so much more interesting than Circe moping around on her island!

      Also, if you ever do this tag, do let me know! I’d love to read your answers! ๐Ÿค—

      Like

  4. Charlotte says:

    Firstly Happy Blogiversary. I’d say whichever you feel most comfortable with is the one that counts. And it does make sense to stick with the one where you made your blog public.

    Ooh I want to read the Overlander books one day (if I ever get my tbr under control) I can’t believe I’ve found someone who read them before THG though. And I thought I was ahead by reading the books before the movies were announced ๐Ÿ™ˆ

    The Name Of The Wind is on my tbr and your description of its setting sounds amazing ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ I’m also adding Crippen to my tbr as it certainly sounds interesting.

    Omg yay finally someone else who loved THGs prequel. I only got around to reading it this year (I had to make sure I read it well before the movie) and I was kind of wary given how many negative or mixed reviews I’d seen. I loved it though. I found it oddly compelling & that ending!!

    Also yay for someone else who isn’t desperate to see the Barbie movie. Anytime I see comments about it they’re filled with such excitement but why ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿค”

    I’ve still got to read The Song Of Achilles but I loved Circe & hope to get to it soon.

    Ooh that book by Katherine Arden sounds amazing, I love the potential for some eery vibes. Plus it’s compared to Addie La Rue ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

    And I’m looking forward to the tv series, fingers crossed that it’ll work out. I’m kind of surprised it’s getting another adaptation so soon but it’ll be interesting to see.

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Thanks, Charlotte! ๐Ÿ’™

      And lol, yeah, I read The Hunger Games the minute it came out because I’d been straight up stalking Suzanne Collins online ever since Gregor and the Code of Claw had been released ๐Ÿ˜‚ I’d been dying for a new book by her and remember being sort of disappointed when the synopsis of The Hunger Games was released because I was picturing some sort of bland boxing match with a love story thrown in… It didn’t sound like my cup of tea at all, but because it was by Suzanne Collins, I read it anyway and the rest is history ๐Ÿฅฐ But I still think you’re ahead of the majority by having read the books before the movies came out! And you love A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes!!! Honestly, I don’t get all the hate either – I could not put it down and thought the politics in it were fascinating! ๐Ÿคฉ

      And I’d love to hear your thoughts on all of those other books! As insufferable as the main character of The Name of the Wind can be, that story absolutely entranced me and I desperately need Patrick Rothfuss to give us an ending already ๐Ÿ˜ซ So you can probably take your time reading… And Crippen and The Song of Achilles are really good, too! I was so surprised by the latter because I actually didn’t like Circe all that much, so hopefully, you’ll end up enjoying it even more, too!

      Finally, I’m right there crossing fingers with you! I feel like the TV format gives way more room to include smaller events from the books that make them all the more magical, so they’d better not mess this up!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Charlotte says:

        Well I may not have known to stalk the authors releases (although I know the feeling well ๐Ÿ˜‚) but I remember finding the first book in store and getting the sequel out of the library as soon as it released. Then buying the finale straight away…I’ve never really figured out why I didn’t buy the second. Especially as its my favourite ๐Ÿค” I can’t believe you almost passed it up due to the synopsis though!! I knew it would be fairly different as it wasn’t taking place in the games but I thought seeing how Snow started to change was fascinating and the head gamesmaker gave me chills!!

        Aww yes I think i had noticed a big gap between books date wise in that series. I hope you get the ending soon ๐Ÿคž aww really? I loved it but then I don’t think I’ve ever read the original & a lot of my memories of the Greek mythology that I can remember is somewhat hazy so I wasn’t really comparing it to anything else. I’m not sure I’d that made a difference.

        Yes that’s very true. Hopefully they’ll include some of the characters that were cut from the movies too. There’s definitely a lot of pressure to get it right.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Janette says:

    I have never understood the hate and vitriol that J K Rowling came in for. I have read and reread her comments and don’t get why she isn’t allowed to have an opinion. There are a lot more extreme views out there that go completely unchallenged. The TV series should be an interesting event although I guess there’s a long while to wait yet.
    Gregor was always one of my favourite books and series for 10-12 year olds and I used to read it to my class every year. I would read it early in the year so that they had time to argue over reading the next books in the set.

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Well, I actually did quite a lot of research into the whole controversy back in 2020 because I originally agreed with you and wanted more facts – which led to me seeing things as a bit more complicated than as someone just voicing their opinion ๐Ÿ˜… I think in my eyes, the biggest problem is that J.K. Rowling has such enormous influence that her words had very real societal and legal consequences on the lives of trans people – for example, Senator James Lankford used her essay to defend Republicans blocking an LGBTQ civil rights bill in the US back in 2020, and her tweets also reignited many debates that stopped transgender people from using bathrooms of the gender they identified with across the globe. When you actually start fact-checking J.K. Rowlings essays, though, it very quickly becomes apparent that the sources she’s citing as proof for her claims are mostly non-peer-reviewed articles and studies that were written by authors with a history of transphobia and that people who actually work within the medical and psychological field see as deeply flawed because the results were never independently replicated… Which I think is actually a pretty big issue because J.K. Rowling is giving a distorted view of medical evidence out there and (very convincingly) presenting it as a well researched truth. Most people probably aren’t going to take a deep dive into her sources, assume that J.K. Rowling knows what she’s talking about, and therefore base their decisions on “evidence” that would never pass academic journal standards. Of course, J.K. Rowling wasn’t writing for a medical journal, but I still think that if you have an audience of millions and are going to publicly claim something that has a very negative impact on a minority group that already faces a lot of discrimination and hate, you have a responsibility to at least engage in conversation with the people you are impacting and the countless scholars who disagree with you – even if that ends up in you sticking to your original opinion. But J.K. Rowling flat-out refused to do that, and that – rather than her opinion – is what made me lose a lot of respect for her. If you want to voice your opinion in a public space, you need to be prepared to have a conversation about it, too, especially when you are very intelligent, have a background in academia, and happen to conveniently not mention in your comments how controversial the sources you base your opinion on actually are. That, to me, just feels like she’s purposefully misleading her audience to get them to support her own prejudices… And of course, there are definitely way worse views out there, but I don’t think that lets J.K. Rowling off the hook. She has a much bigger audience, meaning she can do way more damage than a regular citizen announcing their extreme views in a pub or something.

      Then again, I also think it’s completely ridiculous how much people are villainizing J.K. Rowling. I don’t think her heart is in the wrong place – like, her charities speak for themselves and I can also see why traumatic events in her past may have caused her to have some of the views she does – and I admire her a lot for writing Harry Potter. People saying they no longer consider her the author and that she should be seen as completely separate from the series because she was a different person when she wrote it is, in my eyes, extremely hurtful and completely ignores how many years of her life and how much love J.K. Rowling poured into those books.

      So yeah – sorry for the long essay, but my thoughts on this whole thing are so complicated that I just didn’t see any way to explain them more briefly! I hope that at least partially clears my confusing opinion up ๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ™ˆ Though I definitely see where you’re coming from, too!

      Finally, between your World Book Day costumes and reading choices, your class sounds like my childhood dream, basically ๐Ÿคฉ I would’ve loved to attend!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Janette says:

        Thanks for the detailed reply as I certainly hadnโ€™t researched it and definitely agree about the dangers of an influential person presenting opinion as fact.
        I think I would have loved having younger you in my class too. I loved it when the children loved the books that I introduced them too and when they found books that I hadnโ€™t read too

        Liked by 1 person

  6. FangirlFlax says:

    First of all: congratulations on your blogiversary! I’m so glad you decided to share your thoughtful opinions with us all. ๐Ÿ’ž

    Love this tag, and 100% agree with Fire! I re-read it last year, and was really impressed with Brigan (and their relationship in general). It’s so easy to do that romantic set up badly, but I adored them together!

    I absolutely think you can count Snow as a morally grey character throughout most of Ballad. I know a lot of criticism came out about giving the villain too much page time, or villain origin stories being overdone, but I thought his was interesting–the nature vs nurture debate, and how it humanised him. I think that made him an even more chilling villain, especially knowing the events that led to his full descent into what he becomes!

    I love Fangirl, too. You’re not alone relating to introverted, socially anxious, college students, haha!

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Thank you! ๐Ÿฅฐ And I’m glad we’re in agreement about so many of these opinions! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜Ž

      Fire and Brigan’s relationship really is absolute goals, and I love how it’s based on friendship, mutual trust, and appreciation rather than them just blindly lusting after one another. I really need to reread Fire again soon, too! ๐Ÿค—

      Yes!!! The nature vs. nurture thing was one of the mosy interesting parts about The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes! Like, I even sympathized with young Coriolanus to some extent but also found it so chilling to see the difference in how he acted towards people and what he was actually thinking at the time. Like, my heart is still broken over Sejanus! ๐Ÿ˜ญ

      Lol, introverted, socially anxious college students are simply the best! ๐Ÿคฃ

      Like

      • FangirlFlax says:

        Definitely agree with Fire and Brigan! I love that it’s not instalove, and that it’s a slow burn (without being frustrating). I don’t know that it’s necessarily hard to see such an organic relationship in one book, but I can’t think of many examples I like as well as that one!

        Absolutely agree! It was an interesting study for sure to see how he presented versus his internal monologue, but it was straight-up chilling to watch that change in him afterwards. Not even with Lucy Gray, but with Sejanus. My heart breaks, too, but seeing Coriolanus become full Snow and just sort of usurp his position, knowing what he’d done to Sejanus in the first place!

        Again: one of us, one of us! ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ

        Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Lol, I think I’ve seen about fifty different spellings out there – Blogiversary? Blogoversary? Bloggoversary? Blogeversary? – so your guess is as good as mine! ๐Ÿ˜‚ Let’s just say they’re all correct since the word has is too new to already have an established spelling!

      And since you asked… I love nothing better than ranting about the end of that series (๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ˆ), so here goes, I guess:

      **CAUTION: SPOILERS FOR “THE FATE OF THE TEARLING”**

      Basically, Erika Johansen ended the series in the middle of a major conflict by using magic to erase everything that had previously happened and making the plot and all the foreshadowing of the series (that never amounted to anything) utterly meaningless. Which I DESPISED! ๐Ÿ˜ก Like, it felt like she simply didn’t know how she would get her characters out of the drama she’d placed them into, so she figured the “Never mind, this didn’t actually happen!” -route was the way to go. I mean, I’ve seen that some people are fans of how unconventional that ending is, but I was not impressed! ๐Ÿ™„

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Nefeli @BiblioNebula says:

    Happy blogiversary! Here’s to more fun adventures in the blogosphere!

    I didn’t know Suzanne Collins had written other books before The Hunger Games?? Apparently, I live under a rock ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ. I still need to read the Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (hopefully before the movie comes out, but realistically, I probably won’t. But, having read the Hunger Games trilogy I know I really enjoy her writing so I might as well give Gregor the Overlander a chance too. To be honest, you had me at “utterly useless, sobbing mess of a human being”. That’s exactly what I want from my books!

    We are so on the same page regarding swoon-worthy characters, so if anyone takes the dare and comes to fight you over this, know that you have an ally.

    The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry went straight into my tbr list. I love grumpy characters, depressed ones speak to me on a personal level and a book store ownerโ€” hello, dream job! I’m surprised this book has never crossed my radar.

    Only you could say that a 13-books series ended too soon ๐Ÿ˜‚

    Anyway, I really enjoyed reading your answers to this tag, even though the only mentioned book I’ve read is The Song of Achilles. I may not be familiar with many other books, but my tbr will definitely be soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Thank you, Nefeli! ๐Ÿ’™

      Yes, do check out The Underland Chronicles! THEY’RE AMAZING!! ๐Ÿคฉ Honestly, I am utterly in awe of Suzanne Collins of writing both that an The Hunger Games and would be thrilled to have even a fraction of her skill…

      But I welcome thee with open arms, ally! Like, seriously, why is 90% of the book community lusting after all of these hypersexualized, controlling men? I don’t understand!! ๐Ÿ˜ซ

      And I can totally see you liking The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry! I think that one is actually way more up your alley than Gregor, even, and would love to hear your thoughts if you ever end up picking it up! I’m definitely not sorry for causing that TBR expansion ๐Ÿ˜

      Liked by 1 person

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