REVIEW: Harry Potter & The Cursed Child

*Spoilers will be reserved for the end of this blog post, I’m not cruel*

 

I’m baaaaaaaack. 

I know, I know, I’m a shithouse. I made this big thing about being back to blogging and it was a lie and I’m the worst.

To be honest I’ve been feeling pretty uninspired lately, and I kept putting off my next post until there was something that really got me excited (or angry). This morning I finished the latest installment of the HP saga and ThE fEeLiNg hit. I needed to blog.

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Now, anyone that knows me knows that my Harry Potter obsession borders on scary. If it’s crested, I have it. I’ve got wands, I’ve got pyjamas (x42), I’ve got the original books which are tattered and generally eroding, hallows jewellery, a Hedwig that lives on my bed, and the posters. Basically, I’m a big fan.

When I first read Harry Potter it just struck a chord with me. I’ve revisited the story every other year with the books, and rarely go a fortnight without watching one of the movies (Unpopular opinion, Goblet Of Fire is King). Id easily go as far to say it’s the best modern literature there is, and if you oppose this opinion you’re simply wrong.

So naturally when it was announced that a new book/screen play was to be released FEATURING THE ORIGIONAL CAST I felt like I’d been hit by a bus. But like, in a good way.

I won’t lie, I had my misgivings. Why tamper with perfection? Leave the saga as it is, immense and untouched. IMO, it was wrapped up ideally, everyone really did live happily ever after. I just genuinely believed that it was going to be unnecessary.

I was right.

By the time I’d got through Act One I already knew I was not going to enjoy this. It didn’t fit right – the characters didn’t speak like themselves, their mannerism’s were off and I just didn’t BUY the plot.

Of course there’s very limited information available to people that haven’t read/seen it of what the plot IS, so for the sake of the spoiler-free section of this blog,  it involves a lot of time-travel, family feuding and friendship woes.

Starring in this charade is young-ish Albus Severus Potter, a bit of an outcast that’s sick of having to live up with his family name. Alongside his best friend (who for now shall remain nameless), he sets out to right some wrongs and create his own legacy with horrible repercussions.

His dad, formerly The Boy Who Lived, is working himself to the bone as Head Of Magical Law Enforcement at the ministry.

I felt like the great Harry Potter having a normal (normal for a wizard, anyway) occupation lacked the magic that I’d come to expect from JK. At the end of the books, the future was out there for my long-time hero. He could be the next Dumbledore, the Minister For Magic, or he could like, get a government grant or something and spend the rest of his life kicking dark magics’ arse. But no, he’s an over-worked Ministry employee. It’s not even a particularly cool department. Magical Law Enforcement? THE GREAT HARRY POTTER? THE CHOSEN ONE? Pur-lease.

For me, the characters felt like ghosts of their former selves, and the jokes and reminiscence felt entirely forced.

I won’t say it wasn’t exciting to see what the old gang was up to; I’ve spent hours pondering what the personalities of their children and what they’re all up to ‘these days’, but I was disappointed at the lack of references to everyone else. How’s Kreacher’s attitude lately? Did Hermoine ever recover her mum and dad’s memory? How is George coping?????? I’ll never know, it seems.

WARNING – THE SPOILERS START HERE. DO NOT READ ON UNLESS YOU HAVE READ THE BOOK OR SEEN THE PLAY.

So, let’s talk about why we’re really here.

What the fuck was that about? No, seriously, whose idea was it? I need a word with them.

I was almost sure I’d mis-read. JKR wouldn’t allow such a predictable and sloppy plotline to tarnish her legacy.

Voldemort has a child with Bellatrix Lestrange? Are you kidding? In what world, even a world where wooden sticks can make things levitate and the love of your mother can shield you inadvertently from murder, can this happen?

I’ll get the practicalities out of the way first.

Voldy doesn’t have a nose, OR a soul. Okay? If he doesn’t have either of those, can someone explain the likelihood that he’d have SEMEN or a PENIS? This is an actual request, I need to understand the physicality of it.

I mean, some will argue that it wasn’t done via a physical act and rather by magic, but what is this? The bible? Is Delphi Riddle the second coming? No, she’s not.

On top of this, I couldn’t cope with the portrayal of Snape or Dumbledore (dude, stop crying). I get that it’s harder to portray a personality through speech alone and that it’s more down to the actor, but these characters that we’ve known for so long and grown to love… they just wouldn’t talk like that.

However, since I’m such a ‘glass half-full’ type of gal, I’ll tell you what I did enjoy about the book.

Scorpious Malfoy. What a little honey. I knew immediately that I loved him and wanted to cradle and protect him forever (possibly as a step-mother since Draco always did give me *the flutter*). He was funny, charming and adorably portrayed, even on paper. 10/10 for that blond-haired little firecracker.

 

I know some of you will disagree with me, and that’s okay. The beauty of literature is that it can be interpenetrated and enjoyed differently from each person, and that’s a fantastic thing.

This is just one fan’s take on it, and it wasn’t positive. It felt like fan-fiction. I can’t actually imagine this storyline being pitched to Rowling and her saying “Yes, this sounds great. Let’s do it”. She created a whole entire world of magic and wonder and it was AMAZING. To this day I still live and breathe Harry Potter and, to be honest, I feel let down that this is what we’ve been waiting for. There it is. I’m just a girl, standing in-front of her audience, asking them to understand her </3.

Will I go and see the play? Of course I will, because I’m a huge hypocrite and live and breathe the wizarding world of Harry Potter. I pledge my allegiance to Dumbledore’s Army. Potter ’til I die.

 

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I’d be super interested to know how you found The Cursed Child, please let me know in the comments below, or on Twitter at @dimmickhead!

 

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Who’s In My Bookshelf?

This week I left my post over at MyStudentStyle.co.uk, where I’ve been head of their book reviewing section for about three years. It was a sad decision, but since I can no longer be classed as a student (farewell sweet discount), it was time to move on.

The problem is, I’ve been left with a gaping hole where MSS used to be. So, I’ve decided to incorporate my love of books into the ol’ blog more, starting with a ‘Who’s In My Bookshelf?’ piece.

Of course, there are a lot more – possibly HUNDREDS more – fantastic writers in my bookshelf, but here are my top ten:

NOTE: Click on the authors pictures to be redirected to their Twitter. But wait until you’ve finished reading the post, otherwise RUDE. 

1. J.K Rowling
The Harry Potter Saga
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Well, I mean honestly. No book shelf is complete without the Harry Potter books. It’s worth mentioning that I absolutely rebuff any suggestion that these books belong in the Y/A section. I’m 100% sure that I and many others will be reading these books well into our eighties.
I’ll always love J.K and be eternally thankful that she’s given me this precious, magical world to live vicariously through.

2. Malorie Blackman 
Noughts And Crosses (+ Checkmate, Knife Edge, Double Cross), The Stuff Of Nightmares, Noble Conflict, Pig Heart Boy
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I was given my first taste of Malorie Blackman as part of a school project. Usually, any book that my teacher tried to lay on me ended up being incredibly tedious and boring. It turned out that we were only reading the first few chapters of Noughts And Crosses, but for the following days it just wouldn’t leave my mind. I ended up hounding my English teacher to let me borrow it and ten years later, I still haven’t returned it (sorry Miss B!).

3. Mark Edwards
The Magpies, Killing Cupid (co-written with Louise Voss), Forward Slash (also with Louise Voss), All Fall Down (with… guess who?), From The Cradle (once again, with Louise Voss), Because She Loves Me.
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Edwards is my absolute favorite thriller writer. When I first read The Magpies, I knew from the first few pages that this was the kind of book that I’d been looking for. It’s pretty hard to find a good thriller that isn’t predominantly aimed at the older gen’s, so since then I’ve hunted out anything he’s ever written. He writes a lot with another great thriller writer (if you couldn’t tell from his book list above), and he and Voss seem to have a fantastic repertoire for building the tension and drama.  

4. John Green 
The Fault In Our Stars, Looking For Alaska
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OK, Green is definitely under the classification of ‘young adult’, but I don’t even care. When everyone was having an episode over T.F.I.O.S, I wasn’t so sure that this type of book was really for me. I expected that it would be full of absolute sop in an attempt to pull at the heartstrings of the underage who liked to fantasize about ‘troo luv <3’. Christ I was wrong. Yes, Green’s books ARE very romantic

5. Rachel Abbott 
Only The Innocent
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I’ve only had the opportunity to read one of Abbott’s thrillers, but it was one of those stories that really leave you reeling for days. It’s the type of thriller where the story gets more and more seedy and sordid, yet you’re yearning for it to get worse… or maybe I’m just a freak? It may be oh so cliche of me to say, but her book really had me guessing from the first page until the last, and her latest, Stranger Child, is next on my list of downloads.

6. Sophie Kinsella
Shopaholic novels/Twenties Girls/Remember Me?/The Undomesticated Goddess/Can You Keep A Secret?/Sleeping Arrangements
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Kinsella is absolutely the queen of the chick-lit genre. Her books actually make me laugh out loud (a lot of the time when I’m on public transport), and she’s a gift to literature that just keeps on giving. Her Shopaholic series is (currently) eight books long, so it’s great if you’re looking for a proper book-binge, say, on a long holiday.

7. Stephen Chbosky 
The Perks Of Being A Wallflower
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Perks Of Being A Wallflower sort of left me speechless. I knew I wanted to see the movie, and everyone knows that the book is ALWAYS  sometimes better, so I decided to speed-read. Even if that wasn’t the plan though, it would have still happened because I literally couldn’t put it down. As equally funny as it is touching, it made a real impact on me and it’s one of those stories that I know I’ll love forever.

8. Stephen King
The Shining/Carrie
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I have a very limited amount of what I would call ‘oldies’ in my bookshelf. I’ve always much preferred the recent and modern, and something about the wording in most of them just make my eyes glaze over. This definitely isn’t the case with King’s books. I’m a bit funny with them though – Much like Joey Tribbiani and his freezer ritual, I can’t read these two unless it’s through the day and there’s another person at least a meter away.

9. George R.R. Martin
A Song Of Ice And Fire Saga  (a.k.a Game Of Thrones)
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I got into GoT and binge-watched the lot in a few weeks (leaving me up to date for the latest season) but was left with lots of plot-holes that I didn’t understand, probably because there’s just SO MUCH going on! ASOIAF really helped me to understand the story-lines properly, plus they infused the story for me since there’s a lot the program missed out. That being said, Martin is an arsehole and if he kills of Tyrion I’M NOT WATCHING IT ANYMORE OK?!?!

10. Babe Walker*
White Girl Problems
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Oh, Babe Walker. A fictitious spoilt little bitch thought up by the geniuses behind the @whitegrlproblem Twitter account, she spends her days living the life of luxury and being generally horrible to everyone that she meets. The weird thing is though, you really relate to her. I am by no means a middle class Y/A with entitlement issues, but some of the things she comes out with… I swear she reads my mind, and she’s just braver than I am to say it out loud.

Who’s in your bookshelf? Let me know in the comments below, or catch me on Twitter at @dimmickhead!