Weekly Wrap-Up

Weekly (and Monthly) Wrap-Up – 5/31/19

Weekly Wrap-Up

I can’t believe that May is practically over! This year is going by so fast, and while May has been crazy and hectic, it has also been pretty damn productive. I actually feel slightly optimistic for the first time in a while, which is insane.

Starting off, I was finally able to get back to the doctor and get back on some meds to help manage my chronic pain. I’ve been unable to go for almost a year, and from what I can tell, things are starting to work. It’s only been a week, but I have seen some improvements to my pain levels, and also my ability to sleep through the night. That right there makes all the difference in the world.

As I have mentioned in the past, I had to pull my daughter out of school and finish 8th grade homeschooling her. She is also finally on some medication that is helping her anxiety and severe depression. We finished taking our end of year exams last weekend, so homeschooling is done for this year. We are hoping she can return to public school next year so she can start high school with her friends, so keep your fingers crossed for us.

My last announcement is that I will be going back to the theater! As some of you know, over the past five years, I have discovered my love for community theater and have performed in several shows. Because of my health and my daughter’s issues, I have had to take a break from it, but this summer I will be in a local production of Sister Act! It’s a fun show, one I’ve done before, and although I won’t say since they haven’t officially posted the cast list, I have a pretty big part. I’m super excited! It’s going to be a blast!

So now, let’s talk about the blog. This month, I’ve done 37 posts. That’s pretty good! I know I took a little bit of time off around the middle, so I’m happy with that number. Those 37 posts include:

  • 2 Added to GoodReads lists
  • 3 Blog Tours
  • 1 Cover Reveal
  • 2 Book Reviews (outside of blog tours)
  • 12 Chapter-A-Longs
  • 1 Announcement
  • 3 Nostalgic Reads
  • 3 Teaser Tuesdays
  • 1 Top Ten Tuesday
  • 5 Wrap-Ups (including this one)
  • 4 WWW Wednesdays

And I *might* have two more posts this afternoon – another Chapter of Harry Potter and a book tag post that I just saw last night. We’ll see how it goes. I love this blog so much and really appreciate all the other wonderful bloggers I get to interact with. You guys bring me such joy!

Let’s take a quick look at the reading progress for this week, shall we?

  • I did really good with Chapter-A-Longs this week, y’all! I read and posted Chapters 19 to 24 in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire! And I might get to posting another one this afternoon! My goal is to finish Goblet of Fire before I leave for vacation later in June and then start Order of the Phoenix when I get back.
  • I read chapters 6 through 27 of Where I End and You Begin by Preston Norton and it has been really, really good. I can’t wait to share this review with you!
  • I read chapters 27 through 37 of Kushiel’s Avatar by Jacqueline Carey, and should get to more of it this weekend. I’m coming up on the end of my ARCs in preparation of being gone for vacation, so I will have more time to devote to this going forward.

Only three books, but honestly, I’m okay with that right now. It’s letting me focus a bit more and really, I need to do that to get through Kushiel’s Avatar. And then, it will be time to finish the Throne of Glass series.

Have a wonderful weekend!


Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – Chapter 24

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In Chapter 24, we learn just how really terrible Rita Skeeter is and we want to give Hagrid all the hugs. Let’s go!

Ah, the aftermath of the Yule Ball. The good news is that Ron and Hermione have decided to pretty much decided to pretend that their big blow up that night never happened. They had just put their friendships all back together and no one seems to really want to tear everyone apart again. I also love that Hermione tells them how she made her hair so perfect (using “Sleekeasy’s Hair Potion, something that I wish existed in real life!), but that it was way too much to do everyday. I love that girl! Also, once they tell her what they overheard, Hermione doesn’t seem too upset by the revelation that Hagrid is a half-giant.

“Well, I thought he must be,” she said, shrugging. “I knew he couldn’t be pure giant because they’re about twenty feet tall. But honestly, all this hysteria about giants. They can’t all be horrible . . . It’s the same sort of prejudice that people have toward werewolves . . . It’s just bigotry, isn’t it?”

She may have a point, but I don’t know if I’d be ready to go visit the giants anytime soon. They still sound a bit dangerous.

Harry is also starting to get a bit worried about the whole golden egg situation. He still has no idea what to do with it, and he is now realizing that time is slowly but surely running out. He remembers the hint that Cedric gave him, but he also doesn’t really want to give Cedric credit for anything now that Cedric and Cho are dating. A bit of jealousy going on there, I think, which is ridiculous because Cedric’s hint could literally end up saving Harry’s life. I know it’s hard to see your crush with another beau, but let’s take a look at priorities here.

Something else is going to happen that will distract Harry even further: Hagrid is gone. Or at least, not teaching classes. They have a substitute, Professor Grubbly-Plank, who seems very competent in her field and is actually a very good teacher. Harry, Ron and Hermione wonder if Hagrid is sick, but Malfoy laughs in their face and shows them an article that ran in the Daily Prophet, written, of course, by Rita Skeeter. In the article, she reveals the secret of Hagrid’s parentage, quotes Slytherin students talking about injuries they’ve received in his class, questions Dumbledore’s judgment for bringing Hagrid on as a professor, and questioning Harry’s friendship with a half-giant with apparent violent tendencies.

Oh, and the blast-ended skrewts are actually cross breeds of manticores and fire-crabs. So that’s terrifying. Also, as a side note, did anyone ever play the Goblet of Fire video game? The skrewts in that were so annoying!

Harry, Ron and Hermione wonder how Rita Skeeter could have known about Hagrid, since they themselves didn’t know until recently. Who could have told her? Hagrid wouldn’t have, that’s for sure. Harry and Ron didn’t see her in the garden that night, but maybe she had an Invisibility Cloak? The three of them go to Hagrid’s Hut to try and talk to him, but he won’t answer. They don’t see him all week. Malfoy, of course, has to be nasty about it, because that’s just how he rolls.

“Missing your half-breed pal?” he kept whispering to Harry whenever there was a teacher around, so that he was safe from Harry’s retaliation. “Missing the elephant-man?”

Yeah, Malfoy is nasty, but he’s also a coward.

Time marches on. Harry tells Hermione that he is pretty sure he knows what he’s doing with the egg, just to get her off his case about it, even though it is an out-and-out lie. They also see Viktor Krum taking a swim in the lake. In January. Way too cold for me! Hermione tells them that it’s much colder where he’s from, so this is nothing, and also, Krum really likes it better at Hogwarts.

During a visit to Hogsmeade, they run into Ludo Bagman, who was in the Three Broomsticks meeting with a group of goblins. He takes Harry aside and offers to help him with the tournament. Harry asks if he’s also offered to help Cedric, which Bagman hasn’t – he has “taken a liking” to Harry. He also tells Harry that the goblins are looking for Mr. Crouch, who has stopped coming to work, instead sending instructions to Percy by owl. Percy has been telling people that Mr. Crouch is just ill, but Bagman is worried that, with Rita Skeeter trying to dig up dirt, that this could get blown out of proportion, that the rumor could get started that Mr. Crouch has gone missing just like Bertha Jorkins did.

No news on that front, by the way. They know she arrived in Albania and met up with a cousin, but disappeared after she left. Weird.

Fred and George come up and try to buy Mr. Bagman a drink, but he dodges away from them and leaves. Harry, Ron and Hermione discuss what all just happened, and are pretty aghast that Bagman would try to convince Harry to cheat. In the midst of this, who should walk in, but Rita Skeeter. Harry confronts her, accusing her of trying to ruin Hagrid’s life. Rita tries to turn this all around.

“How about giving me an interview about the Hagrid you know, Harry? The man behind the muscles? Your unlikely friendship and the reasons behind it. Would you call him a father substitute?”

Ugh! She’s so awful! And Hermione tells her that to her face, not worried about Rita Skeeter coming after her in any way. She’s not going to hide, and she doesn’t think Hagrid should either. They run back to Hagrid’s, where Hermione bangs on the door and demands that he let them in. She is greeted by, not Hagrid, but Dumbledore, who has been trying to convince Hagrid to come back to work. Dumbledore has received lots of letters from parents who know Hagrid and do not want him sacked.

Hagrid points out that there were also a lot of complaints, letters telling Dumbledore to get rid of Hagrid. Dumbledore tells him not to worry about that, as the school is always receiving complaints with things that the Headmaster does that they don’t agree with. When Hagrid brings up his giant parentage, Harry points out that he is also related to horrible people, the Dursleys, but that clearly doesn’t reflect on Harry himself.

“An excellent point,” said Professor Dumbledore. “My own brother, Aberforth, was prosecuted for practicing inappropriate charms on a goat. It was all over the papers, but did Aberforth hide? No, he did not! He held his head high and went about his business as usual! Of course, I’m not entirely sure he can read, so that may not have been bravery . . .”

There are little things that you catch re-reading these books knowing the ending. We know Aberforth a bit now. Dumbledore is painting him as a bit of a bumpkin, but we know that’s not entirely true. He’s not as smart as Albus, but he’s not an idiot. So while this is very funny, in hindsight I really don’t like how Dumbledore is talking about his brother here.

Dumbledore refuses to accept Hagrid’s resignation and tells him to get himself back together and get back to teaching. Hagrid is a bit overcome with emotion and can’t stop saying how wonderful Dumbledore is to him. He also shows the kids a picture of him with his dad, which is sweet. His dad looks tiny in comparison! Hagrid tells Harry that he felt a bit of a connection with Harry when he first met him — all alone, with no parents, feeling like an outsider. And now Harry is a school champion with a real shot at winning the tournament! The benefit of all Hagrid’s praise is that it made Harry swallow his pride a bit. If he doesn’t want to let people down, he’s going to have to figure out the golden egg, and that means taking Cedric’s advice.

See you next time for Chapter 25!

Books I've Read

Book Review: Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

Empire of StormsTitleEmpire of Storms

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Pages: 704

Genre: YA Fantasy

SeriesThrone of Glass, book #5

Edition Read: Kindle

Blurb: The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius as war looms on the horizon. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those who don’t.

With her heart sworn to the warrior-prince by her side, and her fealty pledged to the people she is determined to save, Aelin will delve into the depths of her power to protect those she loves. But as monsters emerge from the horrors of the past, and dark forces become poised to claim her world, the only chance for salvation will lie in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.

In this breathtaking fifth installment of the New York Timesbestselling Throne of Glass series, Aelin will have to choose what—and who—to sacrifice if she’s to keep the world of Erilea from breaking apart.

Review: I’m finally getting around to writing this review! Huzzah! Needless to say, there will be spoilers ahead for the first books in this series, so read at your own risk.






Plots within plots within plots!

First off, I love that Lysandra is able to be her shape shifty self. She’s awesome.

The stakes are higher each time with these books, which is one of the things I love best about them. It isn’t enough that Aelin is alive – that doesn’t mean she can get her kingdom back. The nobles who live in Terrasen still have to approve of her as queen. And they aren’t ready to do so, not unless she can bring some heavy alliances with her. Seriously, they really shouldn’t underestimate Aelin, not at all. I was completely amazed at all she accomplished by the end of this book. She is not fooling around, and she’s not going to let some crusty old men tell her what to do for her kingdom.

With the King of Adarlan gone, we needed a new villain, and this book really delivered. Erawan is a terrifying villain and it was wonderfully evil to see him as his true self, not hiding in another human body. He is not to be trifled with, very powerful and has some very powerful beings on his side.

Manon continues to be my absolute favorite part of this series and I’m so excited that she’s with the main group of characters now. More Manon is a good thing in my book. I also really love how Elide came into her own a bit more. She is starting to regain some of the confidence she lost as a captive for so many years and it’s the absolute best. The fact that she gained the heart of one of someone like Lorcan just proves how amazing she is. So much untapped potential.

Really and truly, it’s the characters that make this series. I love all of them so much. They are just so well written, well-rounded, interesting, flawed, and great to read about. The story is also very good and keeps going in places you don’t expect, but the characters are really what sells it.

This one left off on such a HORRIBLE CLIFFHANGER!!! Especially since I’m not planning to read the next book for a while!!! And by horrible, I mean exciting and terrifying and wonderful. I honestly have no idea where this story is going to end up, but I am here for it.

GoodReads rating: 5 stars all the way


Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – Chapter 23

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In Chapter 23, it’s Yule Ball shenanigans! Let’s go!

Hogwarts is crazy in the weeks leading up to Christmas break. Fred and George are hard at work — just not school work. They have perfected their “Canary Cream” treats that make people burst into feathers, and George tells Harry that they are working on something else. It’s also nice and snowy. I love the idea of Hogwarts in the snow. What better way to spend the holidays?

Ron is so obsessed with finding out who Hermione is going to the ball with, it’s not even funny. He keeps bringing up the question, over and over, trying to trick her into saying who it is. Hermione is too smart for that though, of course, but she has something else going for her that has boosted her confidence a bit. When Malfoy makes a crack about how shocked he is that someone had asked “the long-molared Mudblood” to the ball, Hermione plays quite the trick on him.

Harry and Ron both whipped around, but Hermione said loudly, waving to somebody over Malfoy’s shoulder, “Hello, Professor Moody!”

Malfoy went pale and jumped backward, looking wildly around for Moody, but he was still up at the staff table, finishing his stew.

“Twitchy little ferret, aren’t you, Malfoy?” said Hermione scathingly, and she, Harry, and Ron went up the marble staircase laughing heartily.

Hermione is the best. The absolute best.

Here’s the thing, too — her big teeth, that she had been self-conscious about forever are no longer quite so big. When she got hit with the spell, Madam Pomfrey helped her shrink her teeth back to normal size, and Hermione let her “carry on a bit.” So now she has a “very different smile,” which makes her very happy indeed.

They are interrupted by the arrival of Ron’s little owl, Pig, with another letter from Sirius. He is very proud of how Harry handled the dragon, but wants him to continue to look out for himself and to write again if anything unusual happens. Hermione really wants Harry to take a look at the egg, but Harry is enjoying not worrying about that a little too much. He’s just not ready to think about it yet.

Christmas Day arrives with a visit from Dobby, who has brought Harry a present. Harry gives Dobby a pair of old socks that Uncle Vernon had given him, and Dobby is delighted, although he thinks that the store made a mistake, selling two socks that were the same. Dobby sure likes his mismatched socks! Ron gives him a pair of socks along with the sweater that Mrs. Weasley had knitted.

“Sir is very kind! he squeaked, his eyes brimming with tears again, bowing deeply to Ron. “Dobby knew sir must be a great wizard, for he is Harry Potter’s greatest friend, but Dobby did not know that he was also as generous of spirit, as noble, as selfless –“

Dobby really hasn’t had much experience with normal people at Christmas.

Also, Dobby’s present to Harry: socks! Quidditch socks, with pictures of broomsticks and Snitches. Dobby makes them himself, and from the sound of it, is pretty good at it! Yay Dobby!

They spend the day enjoying Christmas breakfast, more time with presents, Christmas lunch, and then a snowball fight on the grounds. Then Hermione leaves to get ready for the ball, although Ron doesn’t understand why Hermione needs three hours to do so. Clearly Ron has been raised in a house full of boys. Finally, it’s time for the boys to get ready, which they do nervously. Ron tries to use magic to remove the lace from his old dress robes, which mostly works.

Downstairs, Parvati is waiting for them and says that her sister, Padma, is going to meet them in the entrance hall. Ron greets her, but can’t stop scanning the crowd trying to find Hermione. Dude! You should have figured out by now that you like Hermione! If you had just admitted that in the first place, we wouldn’t be in this situation, now would we! Finally, the champions are called forward. Cedric and Cho are there, along with Fleur and her date (a Ravenclaw boy), and Krum and . . . Hermione! But a very, very different Hermione than what Harry is used to seeing.

But she didn’t look like Hermione at all. She had done something with her hair; it was no longer bushy but sleek and shiny, and twisted up into an elegant knot at the back of her head. She was wearing robes made of a floaty, periwinkle-blue material, and she was holding herself differently, somehow — or maybe it was merely the absence of the twenty or so books she usually had slung over her back. She was also smiling — rather nervously, it was true — but the reduction in the size of her front teeth was more noticeable than ever; Harry couldn’t understand how he hadn’t spotted it before.

Hermione greets them happily and Parvati is absolutely stunned by her transformation, as is everyone else. Except Ron, who walks right past her (I wonder if he even recognized her, since she looks so different) and Karkaroff (who glares at her as she walks up with Krum). Harry notices that Mr. Crouch isn’t there, but instead Percy Weasley has come in his place, as Mr. Crouch’s assistant.

During the feast, Harry overhears Krum telling Hermione a bit about Durmstrang, interrupted by Karkaroff who “jokes” about Krum revealing all their secrets Overall, Krum seems quite impressed with Hogwarts, although Fleur is not. She is telling everyone around her how amazing Beauxbatons is at Christmas. There is also a very cute moment where Hermione is trying to teach Krum how to pronounce her name properly. Which I’m sure was added to help all the readers learn how to pronounce her name properly. I was lucky enough to read the books after the movies had come out, so I had heard it beforehand, but I don’t know if I would have pronounced it right just reading it on the page. Probably not.

After the feast, it’s the dreaded dance, with the champions opening everything. Harry ignores Dean and Seamus laughing and tries to focus on dancing (“Parvati was steering” haha). As more couples join them on the dance floor, Harry takes the opportunity to leave, although Parvati was having a good time. They go over to where Ron and Padma are sitting at a table to see how they are going. Not well. Ron is not paying attention to Padma at all and she is clearly irritated. Parvati wanted to keep dancing, so when a boy from Beauxbatons asks her to dance, she ditches Harry and goes off with the other boy.

While Harry is watching Cho and Cedric, Hermione turns up. Ron is very angry with her, although Hermione doesn’t understand why. Ron claims that Krum is only after Hermione to find out information about Harry and that she is “fraternizing with the enemy.” Hermione is understandably angered by this, since Ron was the one who was such a Krum fanboy when school started, and besides, Krum hasn’t asked any questions about Harry at all. He had been hanging around the library trying to talk to Hermione the whole time.

Hermione also says that she would never even think of helping Krum with the egg riddle since she definitely wants Harry to win. Harry admits that he really doesn’t have a problem with Hermione coming to the ball with Krum, but Ron is too far gone at this point. After Hermione storms off, Padma asks Ron if he will ever dance with her (he won’t) and goes off to join her sister and the boys of Beauxbatons.

“Vare is Herm-own-ninny?” said a voice.

Krum had just arrived at their table clutching two butterbeers.

“No idea,” said Run mulishly, looking up at him. “Lost her, have you?”

Ron, you would have been thrilled at the idea of Krum coming up to talk to you a few months ago. Now you’re just being a jerk. To make matters worse, Percy shows up and praises Ron for making friends with Krum, since this event is all about “international magical cooperation.” So not the right thing to say right now, Percy. After watching Mr. Bagman get interrupted by the twins, and Percy apologizing for their behavior, Harry and Ron decide to leave the hall to get some air, heading out into the garden.

While in the garden, they overhear a very interesting conversation between Karkaroff and Snape. Karkaroff is very worried about something happening, about something becoming “clearer and clearer,” but Snape just tells him to run if he’s scared. Snape will stay at Hogwarts, where at the moment, he is scaring couples out of their hiding places in the bushes. Once Snape sees them, he tells them to move along.

Which they do, but then they come across Hagrid with Madame Maxime. It seems like a, uh, very private moment. Hagrid asks her a weird question.

“I jus’ knew . . . knew you were like me . . . Was it yer mother or yer father?”

“I — I don’t know what you mean, ‘Agrid . . .”

Hagrid goes on to say that he gets “it” from his mother’s side, but that she left him and his father early. Madame Maxime doesn’t want to discuss this, but Hagrid has to know, because he’s never met another half-giant. Maxime takes great offense to this, saying that she is definitely NOT a half-giant, and storms off. As Ron and Harry head back inside, Ron explains to Harry that this is really bad. They knew Hagrid was big, but the fact that he has giant blood could be used against him. Giants are known to be fierce and vicious and bloodthirsty. Hagrid isn’t any of those things, of course, but that might not matter to certain people if they found out.

Back in the entrance hall, Cedric stops Harry and asks for a word. He gives Harry a clue about the golden egg, that he should take a bath, “mull things over in hot water.” He even gives him the password to the prefect’s bathroom so he can have privacy to do so. Harry wonders at this really weird advice and can’t help but wonder if this is a way to make him look like an idiot in front of Cho. Once he gets back up to the common room, though, Harry has something else to worry about: Ron and Hermione.

“Well, if you don’t like it, you know what the solution is, don’t you?” yelled Hermione; her hair was coming down out of its elegant bun now, and her face was screwed up in anger.

“Oh yeah?” Ron yelled back. “What’s that?”

“Next time there’s a ball, ask me before someone else does, and not as a last resort!”

Ron . . . doesn’t really have much to say to that. And that’s probably for the best. Harry doesn’t want to mess up his newly re-formed friendship with Ron, but he is pretty sure that Hermione is in the right here.

See you next time for Chapter 24!

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday – 5/29/19

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Sam at Taking On A World of Words. Three questions, three answers.

What are you currently reading?

I am currently spending most of my time reading Where I End and You Begin by Preston Norton and I’m having so much fun with it! I’m so glad I got this one from NetGalley! Also still reading Kushiel’s Avatar by Jacqueline Carey, although I’ve slowed up a bit on that one. I’ve been doing better, though, about doing my Chapter-A-Long posts for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling, so that makes me happy.

What did you recently finish reading?

Sadly, I haven’t finished any new books since last Wednesday’s post. Things have gotten really busy at work, which makes me super tired when I get home, so my reading has slowed down a bit, unfortunately.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Current plan is still to start reading Tower of Dawn, and then Kingdom of Ash, both by Sarah J. Maas. I’ll start those as soon as I finish reading Kushiel’s Avatar. If I don’t, I have a feeling that my friend Jess will drive out to North Carolina and shove them in my face. 😀

That’s it for me this week. Anyone else reading anything good?



Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – Chapter 22

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In Chapter 22, Harry realizes the First Task is nothing compared to trying to get a date for the school dance. Let’s go!

It’s amazing how much pressure is off of Harry now that the First Task is over and he and Ron are friends again. They are enjoying goofing off during Transfiguration class when Professor McGonagall makes an announcement.

“The Yule Ball is approaching — a traditional part of the Triwizard Tournament and an opportunity for us to socialize with our foreign guests. Now, the ball will be open only to fourth years and above — although you may invite a younger student if you wish —

“Dress robes will be worn,” Professor McGonagall continued, “and the ball will start at eight o’clock on Christmas Day, finishing at midnight in the Great Hall.”

This causes Lavender Brown and Parvati Patil to dissolve into giggles and look towards Harry. Professor McGonagall continues to say that she expects all of the Hogwarts students to be on their best behavior. After class is over, she takes Harry aside and tells him that the champions (and their dance partners) are expected to start the ball. Harry is terrified because he absolutely cannot dance, but McGonagall is adamant. He will dance. It is his duty as a champion of the school.

This causes Harry to spend the day watching girls walk by, moving “in packs,” so he can’t get someone alone to ask them.  Deep down he really wants to ask Cho Chang, but she’s always surrounded by friends as well. There are a few girls who straight up ask him to the dance, but he’s too flustered to do anything about it. Harry also remembers Hermione saying that the girls only liked Krum because he was famous, and has a feeling that this is the only reason anyone is asking him out.

On the plus side, there aren’t as many unpleasantries in the hallways now. Harry thinks that Cedric told the Hufflepuffs to lay off since Harry had given him the hint about the dragons. The only thing he’s worried about now is the prospect of Rita Skeeter publishing a horrible article about Hagrid, but nothing has come out yet. According to Hagrid, Rita Skeeter didn’t even really mention the skrewts — she only wanted to talk about Harry.

Meanwhile, everyone is talking about the upcoming Yule Ball.

Rumors about the Yule Ball were flying everywhere, though Harry didn’t believe half of them — for instance, that Dumbledore had bought eight hundred barrels of mulled mead from Madam Rosmerta. It seemed to be fact, however, that he had booked the Weird Sisters. Exactly who or what the Weird Sisters were Harry didn’t know, never having had access to a wizard’s wireless, but he deduced from the wild excitement of those who had grown up listening to the WWN (Wizarding Wireless Network) that they were a very famous musical group.

It’s gonna be some party, from the sound of it!

Some of the teachers are trying to keep the students on task, others have given up. Hermione keeps trying to get Harry to look into the mystery of the golden egg, but Harry is not worried about it. It’s Christmas, after all! He deserves a break! And he has until February to figure the thing out. He’ll be fine.

What’s not fine: Harry and Ron still don’t have dates to the Yule Ball. Fred shows them how easy it is by asking Angelina to go with him, but that doesn’t really inspire any confidence. Ron doesn’t want them to end up with “a pair of trolls.” Hermione takes great offense at this.

“Oh I see,” Hermione said, bristling. “So basically, you’re going to take the best-looking girl who’ll have you, even if she’s completely horrible?”

“Er — yeah, that sounds about right,” said Ron.

Ron, you are so clueless, it almost hurts. Wow.

By the next day, it’s getting down to crunch time. Harry points out to Ron that at least Ron has the option of going stag if he wants to. Harry has to find a partner. They make a deal: by the end of the day, they will have dates. Harry decides to suck it up and just ask Cho if he can speak to her. Which goes fine, even if her friends start giggling. Cho seems like a nice girl and I think she genuinely likes Harry at this point in the story, if not the same way he likes her. Harry finally spits out the words, but Cho says that she is already going with someone else: Cedric Diggory. She does seem really sorry about it though. Like I said, she’s a nice girl. I’m sure she didn’t want to hurt Harry’s feelings.

His experience was much better than Ron’s though. Ron tried to ask Fleur Delacour to the ball.

“She looked at me like I was a sea slug or something. Didn’t even answer. And then — I dunno — I just sort of came to my senses and ran for it.”

Aw, poor Ron.

They have a laugh about how Neville had asked Hermione to the ball, but Hermione had told him that she was going with someone else. They suspect that Hermione just told him that because she didn’t want to go with someone like Neville, but they are shut down by Ginny. She tells Hermione, who just arrived, that the boys have both been turned down big time by their intended dates. This leads to Ron really sticking his foot in his mouth.

“Hermione, Neville’s right — you are a girl . . .”

Ron, this is not a good way to start this.

“Oh well spotted,” she said acidly.

“Well — you can come with one of us!”

“No, I can’t,” snapped Hermione.

“Oh come on,” he said impatiently, “we need partners, we’re going to look really stupid if we haven’t got any, everyone else has . . .”

Ron, Ron, Ron, you really need to shut up now.

“Just because it’s taken you three years to notice, Ron, doesn’t mean no one else has spotted I’m a girl!”

Hermione shuts him down but good. And he deserves it. He was taking it completely for granted that Hermione was as much of a loser as he was. Ron still tries to say that she’s lying, but Ginny sets him straight. Hermione is not lying. She has a date to the ball, and no, Ginny is NOT going to tell him who she’s going with, because that’s Hermione’s business, so there. I like Ginny.

Ron suggests that Ginny go with Harry, which would have made her very happy a few years ago, but Ginny tells them that Neville asked her and she said yes, because as a third year, she wouldn’t have been able to go otherwise. So now Neville has a date and you don’t, Ron. How do you feel about that?

Harry sees Lavender and Parvati in the common room and decides that enough is enough. He walks up and asks Parvati to go with him. She giggles, but says yes. He asks if Lavender will go with Ron, but she’s already going with Seamus. Parvati suggests Hermione, and is surprised when she hears that Hermione already has a date. Instead, Parvati suggests that Ron take her sister Padma, who’s in Ravenclaw. Glad to be done with the whole thing, Harry agrees.

See you next time for Chapter 23!

Teaser Tuesday · Top Ten Tuesdays

Teasers and Top Tens – 5/28/19


Teaser Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Purple Booker. Here are the rules if you want to play along:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! 

There was only one rule in the entire universe that governed mine and Wynonna’s body-swapping. That was that the first swap of the day happened exactly at 3:14 A.M. every night.

Where I End And You Begin by Preston Norton

I am enjoying this one so much! I’m so glad NetGalley gave it to me! I should have it finished and a review up by next week.

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic:

Favorite Books Released In the Last Ten Years

To clarify, this is will be a list of my favorite book read each year for the last eight years, not ten. I’m going to have to go by GoodReads on this because it is really hard for me to remember what I’m reading at any given moment, and I only kept up with my yearly lists starting in 2012.

2019 (so far)The Shadow Watch by S.A. Klopfenstein – This was my very first blog tour book and I have to say, I absolutely loved this book. It was such a fun fantasy, reminding me why I originally got into the genre in the first place.

2018Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson – Not only did I read this book at a time when I desperately needed to, it also introduced me to the wonderful Bloggess, which I am eternally grateful for.

2017Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo – The last book in this trilogy and I loved it so much! I loved everything about this series and Leigh Bardugo’s writing, and this ending was so satisfying.

2016The Book Thief by Marcus Zuzak – For the most part, I am trying to avoid re-reads on this list, but honestly, this was by far the best book I read this year. It’s absolutely amazing and everyone should read it.

2015The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu – This book was brutal and difficult to read, but I think that’s why people should read it. I like books that show you how words can hurt sometimes, and how you can hurt people without meaning to.

2014Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor – Such a beautiful book. This one was strongly recommended to me by my friend and former podcast co-host, Jess. And by strongly, I mean she told me I wasn’t allowed to read anything else until I read this one.

2013Pawn by Aimee Carter – I think I got this one via NetGalley many years ago, one of the first ones I got for the blog. It was so good and I really need to finish this series. It’s on the list and I hope I can get to it this year.

2012Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare – What can I say about this series? I loved the original Mortal Instruments series by Cassie Clare, but I think I liked the Infernal Devices trilogy even more, if that’s possible.

I wish I could go back further, but I just don’t have all the info on it. Still, I think this is a pretty good list. It was fun to go back and look at all the things I’ve read (and see how many times I’ve re-read certain things, like the Harry Potter books, A Song of Ice and Fire, and The Hunger Games trilogy).

Do you have any teasers or top tens this week? Please leave them in comments!